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For Jon Secada, a sort of homecoming

MusicJon SecadaEnrique IglesiasGloria EstefanAmerican Idol (tv program)Jennifer Lopez

Thanks to a healthy lifestyle and strength training, Jon Secada says he's in the best shape of his life. The Latin crooner shows off his toned, muscular body in the video for his new single, "Never Too Far Away." In the video, which was filmed at the graffiti-ridden Miami Marine Stadium in Key Biscayne, a shirtless Secada, 50, sings passionately into the camera. "We shot in a dark room and it was very quiet, almost like a jail cell," he says. "It seemed like the right time to do something, so we just went for it."

Secada, who in the early '90s found crossover success in the U.S. market with his singles "Just Another Day," "Angel" and "Do You Believe in Us" will perform some of his greatest hits (in Spanish and English) on Wednesday at Hard Rock Live. The last time Secada, who lives in South Miami with his wife and two children, performed at home was in 2010 at the Magic City Casino. "It is always special to sing at home with my fans, in South Florida where I got my training, singing in the local clubs."

Even though he hasn't done much lately in the States, Secada has had plenty of success in Latin and South America. He's written songs for Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias and appeared as a judge on "Latin American Idol," the Spanish version of the American and British singing competition. He currently holds a guest spot as a judge for a TV show based in Chile. "A big part of my career has been discovering new talent," he says, "and I love the fact that I can keep doing a little bit of everything."

Together with his wife, Maritere, Secada — a graduate of the University of Miami — volunteers in the community, mostly as an advocate for music education. "I'm a firm believer in education, and if my children wanted to follow in my footsteps," he says, "I would tell them to prepare themselves, to go to school and learn as much as you can."

He has some sage advice for younger singers. "The substance of an artist depends a lot on the team he has around him," Secada says. "Once you become famous, from that point forward, it's who is part of your team that will determine how far you can go."

Jon Secada will perform 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, 5700 Seminole Way, in Hollywood. Tickets cost $39-$69. Go to Hardrocklivehollywoodfl.com.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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