Happy Birthday to Ruben Blades

Happy birthday to actor, singer, politician, poet and social activist Ruben Blades, born in Panama City, Panama on July 16, 1948. After achieving a degree in law and economics, his love of music inspired him to take a job in the mailroom of a record company in New York.  In true American style, his big break came when famous singer Ray Barretto asked Blades to fill in for one of his singers.  Blades has recorded more than 50 albums, won 9 Grammies, and appeared in 50 films.  He ran for President of Panama in 1994, and earned 18% of the vote.  He was appointed as Minister of Tourism in 2004.