Interview: Jingle Bash headliner Enrique Iglesias bashes himself (just a little)

Enrique Iglesias

Singer Enrique Iglesias performs on stage during "40 Principales Awards" 2011 at Palacio de los Deportes December 9, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Someone must have told Enrique Iglesias he rambles on too much, because the Spanish pop star seemed self-conscious about his longer responses during our phone conversation in late November. Well, that or he was just being self-deprecating — as he’s known to do.

“Am I talking too much?” Iglesias asked on two separate occassions.

He wasn’t. And even if he was, there was no need to put Iglesias down. He does it enough to himself.

Iglesias said his English could be better, which worries him because he doesn’t think his Spanish is great, either. As for his acting role in 2003’s “Once Upon a Time in Mexico,” he said he refused to audition because he was worried he would get nervous and “(Mess) it up.” And unlike some artists who claim they always knew they’d make it big in the music industry, Iglesias said he was convinced he wouldn’t last long when he released his self-titled debut album in 1995.

“I didn’t expect to be around a year,” Iglesias said. “After the first tour, I was like ‘What do I do now?’ I thought it was over.”

Since then, Iglesias has released several albums in both English and Spanish and found success on the charts with the singles “Bailamos,” “Hero” and “I Like It.” Ironically, Iglesias’ previous record label was reluctant to release the latter song, which eventually reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

“I remember being at the record company playing ‘I Like It’ and them saying, ‘It’s never going to work. It’s too Euro,’” Iglesias said. “I had it for two years and was going nuts thinking, ‘This has to come out.’ I wanted that song as a single for the greatest hits album and they didn’t take it. … It felt so good (when the song became a hit), you don’t even know. I’ve been wrong in my career, but this felt so good.”

Iglesias performed the song with rapper Pitbull during halftime of the Dallas Cowboys-Miami Dolphins game on Thanksgiving and performed “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)” with Ludacris during the American Music Awards earlier that week. On Saturday, he will take the stage at Allstate Arena for the second time in three months to headline the sold-out B96 Jingle Bash along with Selena Gomez, LMFAO and Joe Jonas, among others.

Don’t expect to see as much of the 36-year-old Iglesias once he’s done touring and promoting his 2010 album, “Euphoria.” “When I’m not working, I don’t like being in the spotlight,” he said. “You won’t see me. I’m not a fan of red carpets.”

Still, he understands celebs make headlines even when they don’t mean to — especially when they’re dating another celebrity. Iglesias has been with tennis star-turned-model Anna Kournikova for 10 years and said the reports of a secret marriage five years ago are false. He does, however, admit to playing along with interviewers who haven’t done their homework.

“I have a very stupid sense of humor,” Iglesias said. “If a reporter asks me how my marriage of five years is going, I’ll say, ‘We recently got divorced.’ And they’ll write it. But I have a good relationship with the media and understand the business. I understand there’s compromise. You pay a price, but the return is greater.”

Twitter @aboutluisgomez

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