El Sol De México: Luis Miguel Tour Shines In Q1 Charts

Latin crooner Luis Miguel pictured performing at Miami’s Kaseya Center on October 11, 2023, was second on Pollstar’s Q1 charts with a gross surpassing $84 million. His sold-out arena show in Miami, produced by Cárdenas Marketing Network, hauled in $2,861,013, according to Pollstar Boxoffice. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images)

If you were to ask anyone in the live industry to guess which iconic solo artist who was propelled to stardom in the ’80s is moving hundreds of thousands of tickets at arenas and slaying at the box office, their response would likely be Madonna. It’s an obvious and correct answer, but not the only one.

That other superstar is Luis Miguel, a Puerto Rican-born singer raised in Mexico who crooned his way into the hearts of millions over the past four decades and raked in $84,367,629 between Nov. 16, 2023, and Feb. 14, 2024, placing him No. 4 on Pollstar’s Q1 Worldwide Top 100 Artist Grosses — just behind the Queen of Pop. His first tour in four years also lifted indie Latin promoter Cárdenas Marketing Network (CMN) to No. 5 on Pollstar’s Q1 Worldwide Top 50 Promoter Grosses with $95,707,519.

“Why is this happening? Because he’s an idol. People love him,” Henry Cárdenas, CEO and founder of CMN, tells Pollstar. “The other thing is that he doesn’t go out every year, and people were hungry to see him.”

SEE: Pollstar’s Quarterly Report Of Top Tours Worldwide

Just listen to his soothing, booming voice and it’s not hard to understand why music fans came out in droves to see Miguel, who sold a whopping 593,308 tickets in Q1 with shows in the U.S., South America, Mexico and Central America. His ability to succeed in multiple genres — pop, mariachi, ballads, jazz and boleros — is a testament to his vocal talent and range.

Don’t just take this writer’s word for it. Frank Sinatra was also swayed by the Latin singer’s voice and featured him on his 1994 album, Duets II. Sinatra admired him so much that Miguel was the lone Latin artist invited to his televised 80th birthday celebration, and Sinatra wrote a letter in 1996 congratulating his buddy “Micki” for his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“For years it’s been flattering to hear young singers talked about as the new Frank Sinatra. It was even nicer when I heard of a young man in Mexico who was beyond comparison with anybody,” Sinatra wrote in the letter, which Miguel shared on his social media page last year. “When I met you in Mexico and actually heard your voice, I realized that you are a true original, a tremendous talent and not bad to look at either.”

Miguel’s voice continues to resonate with fans of all ages, even at 53 years old, and his popularity has never waned despite being rarely in the public eye, not participating in interviews or attending awards shows. Nicknamed “El Sol de México” (“The Sun of Mexico) after his mother referred to him as “Mi Sol,” Miguel, who emulates artists such as Sinatra and Elvis Presley, is the kind of performer rarely seen these days: a saloon singer who shines by simply walking on to a stage wearing a fitted suit and captivating a crowd with his vocal talent and winning smile.

“This is a unique artist,” Cárdenas says. “He is elegant, and people like to pay to see an elegant singer. He can be playing at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden or a soccer stadium, and he’s always dressed elegantly. He’s not on MTV, or radio stations every day doing interviews. It’s about his talent. How many Latinos have that voice and the hits?”

It’s hard to find someone comparable to Miguel, especially when it comes to his work ethic. CMN and Miguel initially signed a deal for a 143-date tour, but with many of the initial shows selling out, the inspired singer set loftier goals.

“He saw the response and said, ‘I want to do something that [no Latin artist] has done. I want to do 200 shows,’” Cárdenas says. “And I said let’s do it.”

Cárdenas didn’t experience much trouble routing the extensive tour. His contacts throughout Latin America and Miguel’s resources — including two planes that carry whatever is needed for the production — made the first 96 concerts relatively smooth.

The only issue the promoter had was with Miguel’s promptness and attentiveness. The singer is one of the rare artists to go out on stage near the time listed on a ticket.

“We told him, ‘Micki, you can’t go at 8:15 because Latinos tend to get there very late,” Cárdenas says. “And he was like, ‘Yeah, people used to criticize me and say I was irresponsible, and I want to show that I am responsible. I want to start my show 15 minutes after you program it.’ And that’s a big fight because in a lot of places, like Miami or Puerto Rico, people arrive late because of traffic and security. It’s a challenge for us because if the place is 50% full [at 8:15 p.m.] when he goes on, [fans] are going to miss the first songs.”

And judging from the social media posts and ticket sales of his shows, the blistering musical experience from El Sol is one that you don’t want to miss.