Carlos Santana could play the violin by the age of 5 and mastered the guitar by the age of 8, while other children were still struggling with the recorder. His mariachi father taught him music while growing up in Mexico. Santana admitted that he only learned the violin to please his father, but playing the guitar made his heart beat faster. “[It’s like] flying saucers, seeing the first great white whale like Moby Dick while discovering the SO, the spiritual orgasm,” Santana told Guitar World. He said hearing the electric guitar for the first time was “an assault on the senses” and “Shut up [his] Eternity.”
He moved to San Francisco and formed the Santana Blues Band in 1966. Per Traveller, Santana lived in Haight-Ashbury, he was inspired by the hippie utopia with its psychedelics, free love, peace, art and music. Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix lived in the Hood – as did The Manson Family and Hell’s Angels.
Santana’s ever-evolving and globally expansive music has earned him 10 Grammys, 3 Latin Grammys, and many other accolades. He has sold over 100 million records and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2002, Santana released The Game of Love, starring 19-year-old Michelle Branch. Born in 1983, she had been a wink to her father at the height of Santana’s career. So how did the unlikely pair collide? The truth about Carlos Santana and Michelle Branch’s iconic collab is deep, man, really deep.
The heavenly collaboration of Carlos Santana and Michelle Branch
Carlos Santana and Michelle Branch’s iconic collaboration resulted in a dreamy mix. When The Game of Love was released in 2002, Branch was a fresh-faced 19-year-old with an album under her belt, while Santana, at 18, was a grizzly 55-year-old. Despite his pride in constantly evolving, it was still an unexpected pairing.
Declaring that the collaboration of “inner invisibles, angels and archangels” was decided upon, Santana proved that you can get the hippie out of the hashbury, but not the hashbury out of the hippie. “The songs just create crystal slippers that would look like Cinderella or Cinderfella. The songs scream what kind of person we should be looking for,” he told MTV, fully clarifying any remaining questions.
Meanwhile, fans are hoping angels will watch over their idol as they worry about Santana’s health after he collapsed onstage during a performance in Detroit. Luckily, as of the deadline, it was just a bad case of heat exhaustion. The iconic musician is alive and well, resting in his crystal slippers. However, Branch is unlikely to have the luxury of relaxing much these days as it’s been a wild few years. Branch got engaged to her longtime boyfriend, Black Eyed Peas drummer Patrick Carney, in 2017. A year later, the couple announced that Branch was expecting their first child together. They married in a romantic New Orleans ceremony in 2019. She also released two albums – 2017’s Hopeless Romantic and 2021’s The Spirit Room, 20th Anniversary Edition.