GIPSY KINGS FACTS:
Members: Nicolas Reyes, Paul Reyes, Canut Reyes, Patchai Reyes, Andre Reyes, Diego Baliardo, Paco Baliardo, Tonino Baliardo
Genre: Pop, Rumba Flamenca
Hometown: Arles, Provence, France
Albums: Allegria (1982); Luna de Fuego (1983); Gipsy Kings (1988); Mosaïque (1989); Este Mundo (1991); Live (1992); Love and Liberté (1993); Tierra Gitana (1996); Compas (1997); Cantos de Amor (1998); Somos Gitanos (2001); Roots (2004); Pasajero (2006)
Other: Their cover of "Hotel California" was featured in The Big Lebowski.
They may have been formed in France, but the Gipsy Kings are rife with Spanish flavor. As one of the few bands who have managed to incorporate flamenca influences into pop music, the band has been tirelessly performing and recording for almost 30 years, creating a loyal following of fans throughout the world in the process.
The Gipsy Kings were formed in the late 1970s by brothers Nicolas and Andre Reyes. The duo was soon joined by their cousins, Tonino, Paco and Diego Baliardo, and the band released their debut album in 1982 with Allegria. The release and its follow-up, 1983's Luna de Feugo, failed to gain the group much mainstream success, and it appeared as though their career would be over before it got off the ground. However, just five years later, their fortunes seemed to change.
In 1988, the band came out with their self-titled album, which was an immediate hit. While they still maintained their unique flamenca sound, the Gipsy Kings found success with their song "Bamboleo." The record featured a pair of other popular tunes,"Tu Quieres Volver" and "Djobi Djoba." Thanks to favorable reviews and a sound unlike any other band, the album spent 40 weeks on the charts in the U.S.
With their first mainstream success in the U.S., the '90s were very kind to the Gipsy Kings. Throughout the decade they released a number of popular albums including 1996's Tierra Gitana and 1997's Compas. Their exposure came to a head when their cover of the Eagles' classic "Hotel California" was featured prominently in the Coen brother's 1998 film The Big Lebowski.
Although they have been less prolific over the last decade, the band has still managed to produce a trio of popular records, including their most recent release, 2006's Pasajero. Despite having decreased their presence in the popular music scene, their tunes can still be heard on television and movies, including the Spanish version of the 2010 hit Toy Story 3.
With more than 13 million albums sold across the globe, from the U.S. to their native France to the Middle East, there have been few bands that have had such a far reaching influence as the Gipsy Kings.