Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna was born on 16 July 1948, in Panama City, Panama, to Anoland Díaz, a Cuban musician and actress, and Colombian athlete and percussionist Rubén Darío Blades, Sr.. He is a Panamanian actor, singer, songwriter, activist and politician, best known for his hit “Pedro Navaja”, and for playing Daniel Salazar in the television series “Fear the Walking Dead”.
So just how wealthy is Rubén Blades? Sources state that Blades’ wealth reaches $15 million, as of early 2017. His fortune has been earned through his career in music, film and television, and through his involvement in politics which all began in the early 1970s.
Ruben Blades Net Worth $15 million
Born into an artistic family, Blades developed a great interest in music during his teenage years, becoming the lead singer of a band called the Saints, formed by his older brother. He later sang with Los Salvajes del Ritmo and served first as a guest singer and then as a songwriter with the professional Latin music conjunto, Bush y sus Magníficos. While studying law at the University of Panama, he continued to be involved in music, making his first trip to the USA in 1974, where he performed and recorded an album entitled “From Panama to New York” with Pete Rodriguez. He then returned to Panama to finish his education, before returning to the States and settling in New York, where he began working in the mailroom of the Latin-oriented record label Fania Records. Not long after, he began working with the salsa band of Ray Barretto, and later with Willie Colón, a salsa musician, with whom he release a number of albums, achieving enormous success with the 1978 “Siembra”, which became one of the most popular salsa albums ever. It sold over three million copies, with the single “Pedro Navaja” becoming the biggest selling single in the history of salsa, selling over 25 million copies. Blades’ net worth was considerably boosted.
In the early ’80s, Ruben formed his own band called Los Seis del Solar, releasing several albums, including the Grammy Award-winning “Escenas” and “Antecedente”. His wealth grew commensurately, but then he took a break, and in the mid-’80s he obtained his MA from Harward Law School.
The ’90s saw the singer releasing several albums with his band, including the Grammy Award-winning “La Rosa de los Vientos” and “Tiempos”, further expanding his net worth. He went on to release another successful album in 2002, entitled “Mundo”, followed by the 2009 “Cantares del Subdesarrollo”. His most recent album, “Tangos”, came out in 2014, earning Blades another Grammy Award.
Aside from his remarkable music career, Blades has also been involved in the film and television industry. After making his film debut in the 1982 “The Last Fight” playing the lead part of a singer-turned-boxer, he went on to become a co-writer of the independent film “Crossover Dreams”, in which he also starred as a salsa singer striving for mainstream success. He then landed several other film roles during the ’80s, including “Critical Condition” and “Fatal Beauty”.
The ’90s saw him in films like “The Two Jakes”, “Predator 2” and “The Dewil’s Own”. He also gained some stage experience during this time, making his Broadway debut in the musical “The Capeman”, sharing the title role with Marc Anthony. All added to his fortune.
As for the small screen, he played Dr. Max Cabranes in the TV series “Gideon’s Crossing” from 2000 to 2011, and also appeared in films such as “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”, “Safe House” and “The Counselor”. His most recent film part was in the 2016 “Hands of Stone”.
As of 2015, he has been playing Daniel Salazar in the series “Fear the Walking Dead”. He has also written soundtracks for many of the mentioned films, so Blades’ involvement in the film and television industry has significantly improved his net worth.
Aside from showbiz, Blades has been involved in Panamanian politics too, running for the Panamanian presidency as founder and head of the Papa Egoro party in 1994, and becoming minister of tourism in 2004. His political career has been another source of his wealth.
In his private life, Blades married Lisa Lebenzon in 1986, but the couple eventually divorced. He later married American actress and singer Luba Mason in 2006, with whom he has remained ever since.
Holds degrees in Law from the University of Panama and International Law from Harvard University.
Blades uses the English pronunciation (rhymes with "glades"), as Ruben's grandfather Reuben Blades was English, a native of St. Lucia.
The son of a bongo player turned police detective and a mother who taught piano, Blades grew up with music but studied law at the University of Panama. In 1974, at 26, he landed in New York City with just $100 in his pocket and a dream to make it as a singer.
His grandfather, Reuben Blades, was born on the British island of St. Lucia.
Was Minister of Tourism in Panama from 2004 until 2009.
In Predator 2 (1990), he played a character with the last name Archuleta who is killed by the bad guy, and in Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2003), his character avenges the death of a partner with the last name Archuleta.
He won his first Grammy for the album, "Encenas", and has won 4 more in Latin categories, a Latin Grammy, and one in World Music for the album "Mundo.".
Ran for President of Panama as founder and head of the Papa Egoro party in 1994. He came in third behind the two leading Panamanian parties. However, he won a respectable 18% of the vote. His party gained enough seats in the Panamanian Legislature to ensure its continuance and a place in national politics, until it was dissolved in 1999.
Songs as: "Maestra Vida", "Pedro Navaja", "Desiciones", "Desapariciones", "Tiburón", etc.
On stage, he wears a hat On interviews wears a bonnet
Songs about social criticism and daily life
His maracas painted like flag of Panama
What good is it to know something, if you don't share what you know?