More than an International artist, a Latin Music Diva
I will always be aguinaldo, bomba and plena,
the danza, the seis and the mapeye.
From Puerto Rico to the world, India!
Wonderful things can happen when an artist puts their heart, body and soul into their work. When this is achieved, they are not simply admired for their talent, but respected as someone that lives for what they do and love. This is the essence of India, she gives it her all in each and every one of her performances and recordings. Apart from the obvious charisma and powerful vocals that distinguish her as a well rounded star, she is also a multifaceted artist of unquestionable Latin identity and a genuine diva. India (born Linda Bell Viera Caballero in R�o Piedras, Puerto Rico), grew up in the Bronx, New York, where by the age of seven she had put all shyness aside to nurture her love of the arts, training first as an opera singer and later moving on to runway modeling. As a tribute to her beauty and free spirit, her maternal grandmother lovingly nicknamed her India, for her beautiful brown skin and her straight, raven hair that resembled her taino ancestry.
Her passion for music instantly made her into a bold, charismatic and charming soul that easily connected and thrilled audiences. She made her debut in the music business in the decade of the �80s, with the popular dance group TKA, one of the first Latin free style groups to take over the streets of the Big Apple, garnering the honor of being the first group to revolutionize the Latin beat internationally. With this group she participated in numerous events that featured prominent mainstream headliners like Madonna, catching the eye of prominent music industry gurus who quickly discovered her outstanding potential.
Music producer Little Louie Vega was one of the first to approach her and introduce her to fellow producer Jellybean Ben�tez, who amazed by her gifted vocals decided to sign her to his own independent label distributed by Warner Brothers. Under his guidance, she released her first single: Dancing on the Fire �with its Spanish language version Bailando En El Fuego-, and later, Lover that Rocks, which made it to the Top 5 singles spot under the dance genre. After these jaw dropping hits, 1989 witnessed the debut of her first album, Breaking Night, a pop dance album with free style influences. Everything was moving like a well oiled machine and Linda Caballero was viewed as the Latin Madonna. "They wanted to change my essence and make me a part of the mainstream culture, in other words, they wanted me to be white, and that?s just not who I am. I didn?t want to be the next Madonna, I wanted to be me, and that?s what I did, she states without regret. She had always longed to share her roots, to embrace her culture before her audience and to portray how she felt on a stage. But she was quickly becoming a music icon and she couldn?t just throw it all away so easily. That?s when destiny brought her to meet legendary composer and pianist Eddie Palmieri, who would become her bridge for the cross-over into Latin music. Impressed with the talented young artist, he offered her the chance of recording her >first album in Spanish, giving birth to Llego La India via Eddie Palmieri, her impressive Latin music debut album in 1983. It was an absolute hit. It gave her a stronghold as a leading lady within the generally male dominated salsa genre.
By 1993, she had released her second album in collaboration with prominent producer and arranger Sergio George. Titled Dicen Que Soy, its astounding sales represented for La India her first 4 times Platinum record. It also included the explosive single Vivir lo Nuestro, a duet with Marc Anthony, which crowned her as an international superstar. The album rendered numerous hit songs that quickly surpassed all borders, including Nunca Voy A Olvidarte, which captivated the top international music charts for five consecutive weeks. The astounding success of the album quickly led to important performances and to being recognized as the new shining star of tropical music. Although already well known, her powerful voice and candid nature never failed to impress tropical music greats like Latin Jazz icon Tito Puente, who along with Celia Cruz dubbed her, The Princess of Salsa. It was an honor to have caught their attention because I had always followed their music, and later on he and Celia became my mentors, expresses the Puerto Rican artist deeply moved by her admiration and respect for these two legendary figures. Puente invited her to join him in recording what would be the history making release Tito Puente/India Jazzin with The Count Bassie Orchestra, an absolute collector?s piece for both their fans. The great honor of sharing the stage with the jazz icon came again in 1999, under the musical direction of Isidro.