Juan Gabriel was born on January 7, 1950 on Cinco de Mayo street, now known as Juan Gabriel Street, in the small town of Parácuaro, Michoacán.
At the age of 5, he was sent to boarding school where he met a teacher, Juan Contreras, who became his mentor and encouraged him to explore his musical talents.
However, Juan Gabriel wasn’t happy with just being a local performer, so he left for Mexico City where he began working part-time for RCA, writing the chorus of songs for many established artists.
At 19, Juan Gabriel returned to Mexico City and in 1971, at the age of 21, he signed a recording contract with RCA Records after officially changing his name to Juan Gabriel (Juan, in honor of Juan Contreras his teacher and mentor; and the surname of Gabriel, in honor of his own father).
Juan Gabriel established himself as Mexico's leading commercial singer-songwriter, penning in many diverse styles such as rancheras with mariachi, ballads, pop, rock, disco, with an incredible string of hits for himself and for leading Latin singers including Angélica María, Gualberto Castro, Aida Cuevas, Enriqueta Jiménez, Lucha Villa, Ana Gabriel, Lorenzo Antonio, and international stars José José, Luis Miguel and Rocío Dúrcal.