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September 2, 2014
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Viña del Mar Festival kicks off tonight

Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin opens Viña del Mar International Music Festival tonight.

Line-up includes Ricky Martin, Rod Stewart, Paloma San Basilio, Laura Pausini and La Ley

Viña del Mar International Music Festival kicks off today and will run through Friday with a prestigious line-up that includes Ricky Martin, Raphael, Fito Páez, La Ley, Laura Pausini, Ana Gabriel, Carlos Vives, Paloma San Basilio and Rod Stewart.

For 55 years this festival, which takes place in the Chilean seaside resort Viña del Mar, has hosted unknown singers who later became great stars, such as Julio Iglesias in 1969.

Italian singer Laura Pausini, who will play tomorrow after 17 years at the famous “Quinta Vergara” — as the venue is known.

“It was the first time I performed in such an important festival out of my country” she recalled in a telephone interview with AP. “Lets say that Viña del Mar gave me the chance to show my work to other countries where my music hadn’t been heard in those times. My participation in the festival was a key moment in my life,” she stated.

Ricky Martin, who has performed several times in the festival, will open the event tonight. The Puerto Rican singer played for the first time in Viña del Mar in 1993 and returned in 1994, when he had long hair. In 2007 he received a standing ovation. Tonight, he will be singing hits such as Livin la vida loca and Come With Me, in front of more than 14.000 people.

One of the most famous issues of the festival is the public. It is so demanding that it is known as the “monster”.

Maybe the most awaited performances is rock star Rod Stewart’s show. In 2002 he cancelled his début in Viña del Mar. On Thursday he will play his greatest hits, such as Sailing and I Don’t Want to Talk About It.

Local rock icon Fito Páez will go on stage for the fifth time on Monday. Tuesday’s highlights are Ana Gabriel and Raphael. Chilean group La Ley and Colombian singer Carlos Vives will play on Wednesday. Paloma San Basilio will play on Thursday and she is a member of the jury of two music competitions: international and folk music. Mexican duet Jesse & Joy and Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Tommy Torres will close the festival.

Herald with AP

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