Born to Carlos Humberto Valenzuela Priego (died 2007), a medical doctor, and Dulce Canseco, she was the youngest of three; one brother, Carlos Valenzuela Canseco, and sister, Yamili Valenzuela Canseco. Her grandfather is of Cuban descent. During her childhood she studied ballet; at age nine she received a scholarship to study ballet at the famous Bolshoi in Moscow, Russia. However, due to her age and the prospect of having their young daughter living in a foreign country her parents declined. A few years later, her mother in compensation allowed her to join a garage band in Veracruz called Yuri y La Manzana Eléctrica. The band played at fiestas and important festivals around the city of Veracruz; at one of these festivals she had the opportunity to sing with Celia Cruz. During another performance, Julio Jaramillo, an executive producer from the recording studio Gamma, discovered her talent as a singer. Julio Jaramillo proposed a record deal, and urged her to move to Mexico City. Her parents had an altercation over the future of their younger daughter. Her father wanted her to pursue a college degree, and her mother, convinced of Yuri's talent and charisma, supported her artistic endeavor. In the mid-1970s, she and her mother left the rest of the family in Veracruz to pursue a record deal in Mexico City without her father's consent or economic support.
Once they arrived in Mexico City, her mother became her manager. At first, they struggled economically until Yuri finally started recording her first album. Her mother was an effective manager and had to fight the record executives to fulfill their verbal contract with her daughter. Yuri's first album, Tú Iluminas Mi Vida, was released on Gamma Records in 1978. The title track was a cover of the Debby Boone smash hit "You Light Up My Life". The album went almost unnoticed. In the same year, she obtained a role in the movie Milagro en el circo. Later that year she co-hosted with Cepillín on the TV show, En Familia con Chabelo.
In 1979, Yuri represented Mexico in Festival OTI; she was disqualified because the song she sang, "Siempre Hay un Mañana" by Irasema, was seen as plagiarism "McArthur Park" sung by Donna Summer. During the competition, the judge panel decided, unanimously, that she be awarded the "Award for the Best New Female Artist". The new award convinced the executive producer, Julio Jaramillo, to record a second album titled Yuri. This album gave Yuri her first hit, "Esperanzas", and helped her to appear in the Mexican soap operas Colorina and Veronica. Shortly after recording her second album, Yuri embarked on an international concert tour in Central and South America, the Caribbean and the United States. "Primer Amor", "Goma de Mascar" and "Regresarás" are the most popular songs in Latin America. In 1981, she sang the song "Deja" by José María Napoleón in the Festival OTI, being placed third in the category of "The Best Female Singer".
In 1982, Yuri recorded her third album and her first gold record in Latin America and Spain, Llena de Dulzura, with the hits "Mi Timidez", "Llena de Dulzura", "Tú y Yo", "Este Amor Ya No Se Toca" and "Maldita Primavera" (the Spanish version of the song "Maledetta Primavera" by the Italian singer Loretta Goggi). In the same year, she recorded a single, "El Pequeño Panda De Chapultepec", dedicated to Tohui, one of the first pandas born in captivity in Mexico. It sold a million copies in the first year.
She was later invited to the Festival Internacional de la Canción de Viña del Mar in Chile. She won the award "Antorcha de plata", the first female Mexican singer to receive this award. In 1983, Yuri continued to prevail in the Latin entertainment industry with a popular fourth album, Yuri, Te Amo, Te Amo and her second movie, Rapto en Acapulco.
1984 was a particularly successful year for Yuri. Her fifth album, Karma Kamaleón was a hit that dominated the music charts in Latin America. Yuri decided to participate in Festival OTI for a third time and sang "Tiempos Mejores" by Sergio Andrade. She won the national competition to represent Mexico at the International Festival OTI, but she came in third place in the category of "Best Female Singer".
In 1985, Yuri signed a contract with EMI to record the album, Yo Te Pido Amor, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Performance and included the hits "Dejala" and "Dame un Beso". During the TV y Novelas Award ceremony she fled with Fernando Iriarte, the son of the television personality Maxine Woodside. Yuri married Iriarte that year, and she held a press conference afterwards when she revealed the internal conflicts of her family and her wishes for independence. Iriarte replaced her mother as manager. Despite being a novice, he proved to be quite efficient, giving Yuri a more sophisticated sound and image. A few months later, she appeared in Playboy but she did not pose nude. In 1986, Yuri was released; "¿Es ella más que yo?" and "Un Corazon Herido" are the two major hits that made it another great year for her.
In 1987, Yuri participated in the Festival OTI for the last time and was disqualified. She sang "La Locura de Vivir" and it was considered a major mistake in her career. Shortly after she was baptized into the Catholic Church so that she could be married through the church with Iriarte. In the same year she recorded her most successful record, Aire, with the hits "¿Qué Te Pasa?" and "Cuando Baja La Marea"; the album was a super hit in all of Latin America and the United States. One of her biggest hit songs from this era, heard widely on Spanish radio and in dance clubs, was the up-tempo "Que Te Pasa?" written by José Ramón Florez. This single is the second longest-running female single of all time in the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart (second to Shakira with "La Tortura"), spending 16 weeks at number one in 1988 and the fourth one in general.
Aire dominated the music charts which helped her sign a record deal with Sony Music to produce the album Isla del Sol. This was her most diverse record yet and included remnants of dance, rap, pop and balads, including the songs "Hombres al Borde de un Ataque de Celos", "Imposible Amarte Como Yo", "No Puedo Más" and "Hola". In the same year, she received the Lo Nuestro a la Música Latina award. Later that year, an American actor, Don Johnson, asked her to record a duet called "A Better Place", which is her only English-language musical recording to date. In September 1989, she recorded her tenth album, Sui Generis; the album did not sell as well as her previous albums. Yuri's 1980s albums and singles often reached the top of the charts, earning her several gold albums in Mexico alone.
At the end of 1989, she revealed that she was separating from her husband. After her divorce, she released a new album, Soy Libre. Three months after release, the album sold more than half a million copies. Five singles dominated the Latin charts: "El Apagon", "Todo Mi Corazon", "Quien Eres Tu" and "Sabes lo Que Pasa". Yuri broke another sales record when an edition of Playboy titled "Sin Límites" was published; she received admiration and criticism from her fans. At the same time her fans were comparing her to Madonna and American celebrity journalists were speaking of a possible rivalry between the two stars on the program Hard Copy. In late 1990, Yuri and Ricky Martin filmed a risque music video for her hit single "Todo mi corazón".
In 1991, she starred in her first female lead in the movie Soy Libre along with Omar Fierro. In the same year, the album Isla del Sol was made in Brazil for which she recorded four songs in Portuguese. A year later, she had a makeover by dying her hair red in an effort to help promote her new album, Obsesiones. Her new appearance and album were not readily accepted by her fans. Despite her previous record, in 1993 Yuri released the album Nueva Era which was a success with the tracks "Detrás de Mi Ventana", by Ricardo Arjona and "Amiga Mía". The album dominated the Latin music charts once again. In 1994, Yuri and fellow pop star Chayanne were the stars of Volver a Empezar, a telenovela that was panned by critics but earned big ratings for Televisa, and Univision in the United States.
In 1995, Yuri promoted a new album, Espejos del Alma. At the same time she was diagnosed with tumors in her vocal cords. This diagnosis became a pivotal moment in her life. She looked for possible solutions to her ailment and soon became a born-again Christian and stopped singing secular music. In that year she married Rodrigo Espinoza, a Chilean musician. At the time, she had expressed considerable regret for her past life, confessing that she had become a sex addict and that she would demand sex from anyone she found attractive enough after drinking even minor quantities of alcohol, even to the point of missing professional appearances while indulging in sexual marathons. She then visited numerous Christian congregations in Mexico and abroad, gave testimony to the radical change she had experienced, and warning young people against the dangers of promiscuity and unprotected sex.
After many struggles her tumor disappeared. In appreciation of her recovery she dedicated an album to God in the mariachi genre titled Más Fuerte Que la Vida; that year she was recognized as the "Reina VI del Festival Mundial de Mariachis". The album was well received by her fans, but did not sell well. She asked her record label, Sony Music, to allow her to retire so that she could dedicate more time to herself. As she left the Latin pop music stage, many artists like, Fey, Paulina Rubio, Thalía, Christina Aguilera and Gloria Trevi, took advantage of the gap and many fans soon looked elsewhere for music icons.
In 1997, she starred in her autobiography, Yuri, Mi Verdadera Historia and once again sang with Celia Cruz. She decided to record music again, but of a different kind, gospel. She found a company that would allow her to sing Christian music. The music label, Poligram, recorded her new single "Sabor a Mi" which was supposedly going to be part of a new album that took almost the rest of the year to be produced. The album, Mi Testimonio, was produced but was only distributed among Christian music libraries in Latin America.
In 1998, Yuri decided to release a new Christian record titled Huellas in the inspirational pop genre. The album included the single "Y Tú ¿Cómo Estás?", a cover version of "E tu come stai" by Italian singer-songwriter Claudio Baglioni, and became a Latin top 10 hit. Soon after, she finally decided she was really going to leave the entertainment business to dedicate herself to her new faith and family. Yuri continued to use her fame and fortune to help people around the world. Two years later, she decided to record a new Christian record in the United States titled Yuri: Que Tu Fe Nunca Muera. This was not commercially available but was circulated by Christian congregations throughout Latin America.
In 2002, after four years absence from mainstream Latin entertainment, Yuri signed a contract with Televisa to compile her thirty best hits into an album titled Mis 30 Mejores Canciones. She promoted the album on several Latin TV shows and singing her old songs with a new twist.
She soon signed a new contract with a record label Español MUXXIC. Her new album, Enamorada with the single "Ya No Vives en Mi", did not reflect the level of success she had had in the 1980s and early 1990s. Media critics and fans agreed that the CD proved that Yuri was still a powerful and diverse pop artist. Regardless of her talent, her absence had taken a toll, and some tracks barely made the top ten in a few countries like "Baile Caliente" in Chile.
In 2004, she went back to Sony Music and released a new album titled Yuri, A lo Mexicano, but this had even more disappointing sales, partially due to the lack of promotion.
In 2006, Yuri released an album with the Mexican singer, Mijares, called Acompáñame. This album was her first to be certified gold in almost a decade Yuri promoted the album, mostly duet ballads as a tribute to Camilo Sesto. The album produced the single "Callados" which reached the top of the charts once again. Acompañame reached platinum in Mexico. The success of the album opened the door for her to become a judge in the reality TV show, Cantando Por Un Sueño, similar to American Idol. Later, she was also asked to host the reality show Objetivo Fama, a talent show produced by Univision / Telefutura that is broadcast to the United States and Puerto Rico. Univision fired Yuri as the host of the show for unknown reasons.
In February 2007, she recorded a live show at the Metropolitan Theatre in Mexico City that was released as a CD/DVD. The album from that concert, Yuri: Vive La Historia, reached platinum in Mexico despite minimal promotion. In January 2008, Yuri was asked to host the Televisa series Noche de estrellas. She has used this forum to continue to promote her career by performing with current and past Latin music icons like Lupita D'alessio, Enrique Iglesias, Emmanuel and Juanes. Later that year, she released another album, Mi Hijita Linda. From February 14, 2009, to March 26, she sold out concerts in the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, where she made a tribute to Madonna. In July 2009, Yuri announced that she would adopt a seven-month-old little girl, Camila.
Yuri’s Inusual album was released on June 22, 2010, the 23rd record in her 30-year career. The album was produced by Scott Erickson and has eight new songs and five covers. The album reached number one in Mexico in the first week after its release and, in less than a month, became a gold album in Mexico. As a result of the success of the album, Yuri was asked to record a theme song "Con las manos atadas" for the Latin series Mujeres Asesinas and, in 2011, the theme song "Por el amor de un hombre" for the TV series Infiltradas by Chilevision. The song "Ya Para Que" was adapted from the song "Palaanadhu Palaanadhu" from the Tamil film Kuruvi music album composed by Vidyasagar which was released in early 2008.
She is currently married to Rodrigo Espinoza, a Christian singer and has a daughter born in 2003.
Invencible Tour 2015-2016Milagro en el circo (1978)Secuestro en Acapulco (1983), also known as Canta ChamoSiempre en domingo 1983Soy libre (1991)Altos instintos (1995)Yuri, mi verdadera historia (1997)Colorina (1982)Verónica (1983)Volver a empezar (1994)¡Vivan los niños! (2002)¡La fea más bella ! (2006)
Revelation Award Of The Mexican OTI 1979.
Gold Record for selling 1,000,000
copies of her album Esperanzas
Double platinum record and gold for selling almost 2,000,000
copies of her album Llena de Dulzura
. This album obtains gold record in Spain, the first gold record awarded to a Latin American singer for the sales over 50,000 copies only in Spain. Llena de Dulzura also recognized gold record because of the highest sales in Colombia, Ecuador, Brasil, Chile, Perú and Panamá.Award "Galardón a los Grandes'" from the TV show Siempre en Domingo
Named by the Mexican OTI as The Best Singer Of The Year for the song "Deja"Award Galardón a los Grandes
from the TV show Siempre en Domingo
.Gold record in Spain (first Latin American woman to win a gold record)4 platinum records and 1 gold record for her album Oso Panda de Chapultepec
, 2,000,000 copies sold.
Award in Spain as "International Revelation"Award "'Galardón a los Grandes" from the TV show Siempre en Domingo
First place nationwide at the Mexican OTI for the song "Tiempos Mejores" and awarded best Interpreter, and third place with the same song at the international OTI festival.
The "Antorcha de Plata" at the Viña del Mar Festival: Best Female PerformanceAward "Galardón a los Grandes'" from the TV show Siempre en Domingo
obtains platinum and gold records for selling 700,000 copies.
Gold and platinum record for selling over 600,000 copies of Yo de pido amor
Nominated for US Grammy for the song "Yo te pido amor".Platinum record for selling 250,000
copies of Un corazón Herido
Award Galardón a los Grandes
from the TV show Siempre en Domingo
Her native Veracruz held a tribute in her honor.Her album Aire
obtained platinum certification for selling over 700,000 copies.
Award Lo Nuestro
from the Latin US TV network Univisión for her album Aire
Platinum record for selling over 350,000 copies of Isla del Sol
Award "Galardón a los Grandes" from the TV show Siempre en Domingo
.EMI released a compilation album named 15 éxitos de Oro
(15 Gold Hits
) that she had when working for EMI Capitol. This received platinum and gold records for selling over 350,000 copies, one of her most successful compilation albums.
TVyNovelas Award as "Singer With Most International Projection"Award "Galardón a los Grandes" from the TV show Siempre en Domingo
ACE Award to the most outstanding singer of the year.ERES award for Best Performance.Gold and platinum records for sales of 350,000 copies of her album Suigeneris
Award "Galardón a los Grandes" from TV show Siempre en Domingo
.Confesiones de Amor
, another compilation album released by EMI reaches 100,000 sold copies.ERES
magazine chose the album Suigeneris
as one of the ten most important albums in Spanish of 1990.
Gold and platinum records for selling 300,000 copies of her album Soy Libre
Two "Gaviotas de Plata" (Silver Seagulls) at the Viña del Mar Festival.Títle of "Miss Simpatía" (Miss Congeniality) and the "Artista más popular" (Most Popular Artist) at the Viña del Mar Festival.Queen Of The Viña del Mar Festival.Special recognition from TVyNovelas
as "Best International Singer"ERES
award for Best Performance.Award "Galardón a los Grandes" from TV show Siempre en Domingo
"Aplauso" Award as Best Female.Queen Of The Veracruz Canival.ERES
Award for Best Performance.TvyNovelas Award For "Proyección en el extranjero" (International projection)Award "Galardón a los Grandes" from TV show Siempre en Domingo
for the song "El Apagón"Platinum record for over 260,000 sales of her album ObsesionesERES
magazine chose the album Obsesiones
as one of the 10 most important albums in Spanish of 1992.
Award as Best Female Singer.ERES
Award for Best performance.Double gold record for selling over 250,000 copies in México of her album Nueva Era
Gold record In United States for selling over 200,000 copies.Award "Galardón a los Grandes" from TV show Siempre en Domingo
magazine chose the Album Nueva Era
as one of the 10 most important albums in Spanish of 1993.
Award for Best Soap Opera Song "Volver a empezar"ERES
Award For Best Female performance.TvyNovelas
Award for the highest rating in a TV soap opera in the United States with Volver a empezar
Gold record for selling 100,000 copies of the album Reencuentros
Award For Best Female performance.Gold record for her album Espejos del Alma
Homage for her 25 years of artistic career on the TV show Siempre en Domingo
.Award "Galardón a los Grandes" from the TV show Siempre en Domingo
Gold record for her album Huellas
for selling over 150,000 copies.Gold record in Puerto Rico ofor her album Huellas
for selling 50,000 copies.2006
Platinum record for 100,000 sales of her album Acompañame
in duet with Mijares.
for 30 years of artistic career.Homage in Premios oye for her long and successful career.
Wax statue in the Veracruz Museum recognizing her important legacy as a Veracruzan in music.Gold and platinum records for her live album Yuri, Vive La Historia
for selling over 100,000 copies.