updated 03/14/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 03/14/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST
Once he got his feet wet in America, Juanes (born Juan Esteban Aristizabal) soon drew comparisons to Bono and Bruce Springsteen for his ability to combine rock-star charisma with stirring messages of global social awareness about his drug-and civil-war-ravaged homeland. "I want people to see the beauty of my country and to deliver a message of hope," says Juanes, 32, who has won nine Latin Grammys and just kicked off a 25-city U.S. arena tour on the heels of his third hit album, Mi Sangre (My Blood). Says his friend, singer Nelly Furtado: "His music pulls you in with the intelligence and sensitivity of a South American prized poet."
But being a dad (he and his actress wife, Karen Martinez, 25, live in Miami with 17- month-old daughter Luna; another girl is due in June) has led to less serious numbers in his repertoire. "I sing Barney songs to her," says Juanes, laughing. "My daughter changed my whole life."