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Honour for veteran crooner Iglesias

Julio Iglesias has picked up a special award in recognition of his multi-million selling career ahead of two gigs at the Royal Albert Hall.

The Spanish singer, whose son Enrique has also enjoyed a string of hits, has sold more than 300 million records and duetted with stars including Willie Nelson, Diana Ross and Frank Sinatra.

He was presented with his award by record label bosses during a press conference at central London's Dorchester Hotel.

He said: "I'm so glad to be receiving this award, and especially in London, a place that has so many memories for me, where I'm surrounded by so many friends. I would like to take this opportunity and say a big thank you to all the people who have bought my albums over the years, as well as to all those who have come to see me in concert. They made this award possible. Although I admit that the most important prize I've ever got is people's love."

Iglesias, who has sung in 14 different languages, is the best-selling Latin male artist in the world and represented Spain in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest. He had his first big UK hit in 1981 with a cover version of the Cole Porter song Begin The Beguine.

The Latin crooner praised "bearded lady" Conchita Wurst saying the latest Eurovision winner was "a super singer".

Conchita, who won the title for Austria, is a drag act whose real name is Tom Neuwirth and was criticised in the run-up to the show, with some Russian politicians calling for his performance to be edited out.

Iglesias said: "I think she is a super singer, she is an amazing girl, she is very sensitive and I'm very happy for her. You know artists take different situations in life and she is in a very different situation, so I think it's great."

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