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Colombian superstar Juanes talks Juntos and McFarland USA

Juanes wrote the song Juntos for the movie McFarland USA.

America seems to have fallen in love with Colombian superstar Juanes and after his stellar Spanish-language performance at this year’s Grammy awards, it may be just a little more smitten.

Juanes rocked the stage at the prestigious awards show with his performance of the song Juntos, which he wrote and produced exclusively for Disney’s original movie McFarland USA. The star-studded audience was so moved by his performance that Juanes received a standing ovation.

SEE ALSO: Our favorite Grammy performance of the night: Juntos by Juanes 

Juanes was equally touched by the film and said he could relate to its message.

“I identified with many elements of the McFarland USA story,” said the 42-year-old singer in an interview with Press Pass Latino. “It was very inspirational and moving and made me think back on my life and about being young, and young people with aspirations and dreams, people who work hard to achieve them and what it takes to succeed in a new country.”

McFarland USA, is based on a true story and follows a group of low-income Latino high school students in their quest to build a cross-country team. The novice runners face a variety of obstacles but with the help of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), their running abilities, high work ethic and powerful familial ties the boys are able to reach far beyond their initial goals.

McFarland USA hit theaters February 20th.

Juanes was commissioned by Disney to write and produce an original song for its film, McFarland USA. His performance of the song “Juntos” was a hit at the Grammys. (Photo courtesy of Disney)

“It’s incredible what these boys were able to achieve,” said Juanes. “They came to the sport of running almost by accident because they didn’t have enough money to buy a car or even a bicycle and so because of need, they would run everywhere and that’s how it all began but it makes you think ‘If they could do it, I can too’ and that applies to any goal or dream that you may have.”

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And this year has been one of many dreams come true for the star. When he was invited to perform Juntos at the Grammy awards in Spanish he couldn’t withhold his excitement and shared a video on social media with his 17 million followers.

“We got invited to perform at the Grammys! From Colombia to the world! Thanks! We love you! Ciao!”  But it that wasn’t clear enough, in an interview with the U.K’s Daily Mail he said: “I’m very excited and I can’t believe this is happening, I’ve been waiting for this moment for many years and I couldn’t be happier now that it’s going to come.”

Juanes made another dream come true when he filmed an episode of The CW’s Jane the Virgen series in late December. His song Una Flor was featured in the show’s premiere and his music is used regularly throughout the series in different episodes.

“I had never done anything like that before and especially not in English,” he jokes. “They invited me to do a short role and so I did and I loved it, I felt very comfortable and it was exciting and different.”

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In Jane the Virgen, Juanes took on the role of music producer Elliot Lantana and starred alongside actress Andrea Navedo in Chapter Eight. Though, acting is not his primary focus right now he says it’s something he’s always liked and would love to explore more of in the future.

For now, he will continue his English-language media tour and complete a series of musical performances of songs Juntos, Una Flor, and other favorites from his Loco de Amor album. He will also keep dreaming, “Dreaming is what keeps us alive, keeps us going, I think before I die I’d like to perform in outer space.”

Colombian superstar Juanes attends the world premiere of McFarland USA.

Juanes performed “Juntos” at the world premiere of McFarland USA. (Photo Courtesy of Juanes Instagram)


Daysi Calavia-Robertson has a BA in Mass Communications from Florida International University. Her articles have appeared in The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, The Sun-Sentinel, The South Florida Times and The Huffington Post. She's also conducted entertainment reporting segments on local television. No matter what the medium, Daysi believes in the power of storytelling.

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