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Latin music superstar Juanes lights up TODAY plaza with 'universal language'

April 21, 2014 at 9:34 AM ET

For American audiences, Juanes may not yet be a household name. But around the world, the Colombian-born musician is one of the hottest rock acts out there, as he proved during a visit to the TODAY plaza Monday.

"I've been singing in Spanish since I started my solo career, and we have been traveling all over the world singing in Spanish," he said, acknowledging that his music seems to transcend language. "It's something very special for us, and makes me feel close to my essence. But at the same time, it gives you the opportunity to connect with people (who speak) different languages. (It) doesn't matter where you are from, music is a universal language."

But with a clutch of Grammys and No. 1 singles to his name — plus more than 9 million Twitter followers — Juanes seems ready to finally get a foothold in the U.S. He recorded his new album, "Loco de Amor" in Los Angeles, and it's already hit No. 1 in over a dozen countries.

And as he proved Monday, he's willing to get up super early to make sure TODAY audiences hear his music. "I feel very happy to be in New York!" he said, and launched into two songs, "La Luz" and "Mil Pedazos." 

Check him out in the videos, and on Telemundo's live broadcast of the 2014 Billboard Latin Music Awards on April 24 at 7 p.m. ET.

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