Colombian singer Carlos Vives started his music career in 1986. Although by that time he was already known in his homeland for his work in popular telenovelas, his first albums with a predominantly ballad slant saw no success. In 1991 Vives accepted an offer to play in a series about the life of Rafael Escalona, a famous Colombian composer who wrote vallenato music, which is a local folk genre. This was a life-changing decision for Carlos: the two soundtrack albums he recorded for the series skyrocketed his music career. Since then, he gained acclaim in Latin American countries and won a number of Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards.