Antonio Paoli, “Hijo Predilecto de España”

Over a hundred years ago, Puerto Rico sent forth to the world its first Latino music superstar: Antonio Paoli. He was an opera singer, who trained extensively in Spain. For his work and success, the Spanish monarchy declared him “Hijo Predilecto de España”. In addition, he always identified himself as both Spanish and Puerto Rican…even after living through the first decades of American rule. He never forgot what the Spanish did for his career, and he even traveled with his old Spanish passport after the island became part of the U.S. Like many other forgotten luminaries, this man bridged the Hispanic and American worlds with marvelous work.