Dick Church grew up in Botwood, Newfoundland, dreaming of one day making it in the big time. The Big Time. Surrounded by those content where they were, he always knew he had to get out, but he didn’t know how.

One summer evening, when he was seventeen, Dick was at the only bar, complaining to a ship’s captain about being stuck in a small town. The captain was drunk to hell and had a soft spot for young Dick, so he invited him to join him as a deckhand when they left port. Dick said yes faster than he said no, and the next morning the hungover duo stumbled to the dock and climbed aboard.

Scared as he was to embark on the unknown, Dick was determined not to turn down any opportunity, in case it somehow led to him becoming a star. He would sing in his bunk every night, getting his roommate Ricky to critique his every note. He got good. Real good. But he still had a ways to go to reach for the stars. He had to get off the fishing boat to show the world what he could do.

One of their stops was in Basque country, and while everyone else made it back in time for lift-off, Dick intentionally stayed away, and instead marched straight up to the nearest record producer and demanded he give him a contract. Now normally, this wouldn’t go over very well, but Alejandro could see that nothing was going to stop the kid that night, and he too ended up having a soft spot for slightly older Dick. Alej brought him into his studio and said he’d give him one shot, one opportunity. Well little Dick sang his heart out and the rhythm took over Alej in a way he’d never felt. In a few short weeks, he gave Dick a new persona, recorded a few songs for him, and the rest, as they say, is Bailamos.

[Author’s note: If you can’t tell yet, Dick Church is your original, English name. This story is about you. You’re from Botwood. Pay attention.]

May 8 – Enrique Iglesias gets his origin story
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