UPDATED 05/03/1993 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/03/1993 at 01:00 AM EDT

A woman can have red hair, blond hair...whatever. But [the real question] is: How is the chemistry with that person? Chemistry makes a person beautiful," says Chayanne, the 24-year-old hot new corazón-throb wherever Spanish is spoken or sung. Onstage since the age of 10 with a Men-udo-like group called Los Chicos, he has 16 platinum and 12 gold albums in Latin America, a 1989 MTV Best International Video award and a 1990 Grammy nomination for Best Latin Pop Vocalist. As they do everywhere, his teenage fans at a sold-out concert in Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall earlier this year went loco when Chayanne doffed his motorcycle jacket and shirt and did some athletic hip shaking with his two female dancers.

At this point, however, there's no pandemonium on the romantic stage. "I have girl friends, but no girlfriend yet," he says. "But I'm almost easy to catch." He says he would like to get married "maybe in 10 years." While Chayanne (his real name is Elmer Figueroa Arce) admits to speaking "terrible, bad, ugly English," he knows that good manners communicate everywhere. "He may have a sexy image, but everyone at our studio found him to be incredibly sweet," noted Kathy Lee Gifford after Chayanne appeared on Regis & Kathy Lee. "And anyway, I love a man who sends me roses the next day. His mama raised him right."

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