Juan Gabriel is arguably the most successful Mexican singer, songwriter, and producer of the last three decades of the twentieth century. One could begin measuring his success through the numerous Billboard, Grammy, Latin Grammy, and MTV awards, and more than fifteen hundred gold, platinum, and multiplatinum records. The excesses one witnesses in Juan Gabriel’s commercial success are analogous to the stylistic excesses one observes in his vocality and the performance of his musical persona. This article focuses on these excesses and examines them in relation to mainstream ideas about masculinity in Mexico and Latin America. Relating Juan Gabriel’s symbolic excess in performance to the Marxist idea of surplus, this article takes the singer’s vocality as a case study to theorize the notion of jotería as a libidinal economy of excesses that puts in evidence the contradictions, silences, and absences of the Mexican and Latin American heteronormative fantasies.
Alejandro L. Madrid; Secreto a Voces: Excess, Performance, and Jotería in Juan Gabriel’s Vocality. GLQ 1 January 2018; 24 (1): 85–111. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-4254513
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