If you’re roughly over the age of 30 and you hear the phrase “Rico Suave,” you can picture the six pack and the bandana and are instantly transported back to 1991 when that song, sung by newcomer Gerardo, was #4 on the Billboard chart. You might be inclined to think “One hit wonder!” and while you’re not totally wrong, Gerardo has had a career that spans waaaaay beyond just that one hit single.
Before the Suave Says star started singing, he appeared in several huge movies, and after “Rico” he became a music exec responsible for breaking a couple of big time acts like Enrique Iglesias. Check out our list of moments that you won’t believe Rico Suave himself had a hand in.
1. Can’t Buy Me Love.
Did you even know he was in this classic ’80s rom-com? Because he was and, let’s be honest, he was hotter than Patrick Dempsey. “That mullet! I sported it well,” Gerardo laughed. “I still get residuals from that movie, so I know it gets played and played and played, that’s a movie you fall in love with, it felt like a John Hughes movie and people still to this day. When I was in New York a month and a half ago, these guys had pictures from Can’t Buy Me Love asked me to sign them.”
“I’ve got great memories working with Robert Duvall, Sean Penn, the late Dennis Hopper,” Gerardo says. “That was pre-’Rico.’ I loved it but the reason I started doing music was because I played that gang role so many times. There came a time when I was like ’I don’t want to play the bad guy anymore,’ so that’s when I decided to make ’Rico Suave.”’
3. 21 Jump Street
Yes, on top of his fine work in Can’t Buy Me Love, Gerardo starred alongside Johnny Depp in an episode of 21 Jump Street in 1989 in his early days. “Johnny Depp played undercover in an opposing gang!”
4. The Beginnings Of Interscope Records & Enrique Iglesias
Music exec Jimmy Iovine’s name is synonymous with Interscope, and Gerardo’s debut album, Mo’ Ritmo, was the first album on the label. “Jimmy would call me the ’George Washington of Interscope Records’. I was the first successful artist to come out of that label,” Gerardo told VH1. Gerardo went on to work at Interscope for decades as an A&R man.
Enrique Iglesias was the first artist that Gerardo signed to Interscope records when he started working there behind the scenes. Gerardo later went on to work with rapper Bubba Sparxx.
5. Celebrity Wife Swap
Suave Says won’t be the Mejia family’s first foray into realty TV — Gerardo and wife Kathy braved the show and swapped lives with Sisqo and his wife.