Rodolfo "Fito" Páez Ávalos is an Argentine popular rock and roll pianist, lyricist, Spanish language singer and film director.
His real name is Rodolfo Páez, like his father. When he was a child people called him "Rodolfito" (in Spanish, an affectionate form of "Rodolfo") to distinguish him from his father. With the passage of time, this nickname became just "Fito", and that is where his stage name came from.
He formed Staff, his first band when he was 13. In 1977, he played in El Banquete with Rubén Goldín and Jorge Llonch. He began to appear solo in pubs the following year.
Straight out of high school, he began touring with several bands and soon after that produced his first solo album, "Del '63", which was released in 1984. It was promoted first in his home town, but later earned attention in Buenos Aires. The recording was put together with the help of some of Argentina's most prominent musicians, including Daniel Wirtz, Fabián Gallardo, Tweety González and Paul Dourge. The disc won him critical acclaim as a songwriter and helped lead to future projects, including a 1985 album, "Giros".
The demo of that album earned him the praise of Luis Alberto Spinetta, as well as a partnership - Paez's next album, 1986's "La La La" was a duet with Spinetta. The duo supported that album with a tour that reached all the way to Santiago, Chile. The same year, he participated in the Thousand Days of Democracy festival with Spinetta, Juan Carlos Baglietto, Silvina Garré and Antonio Tarragó Ros.
His 1987 recording, "Ciudad de Pobres Corazones", marked a dark, political turn for his work. It was dedicated to the memory of his aunt and grandmother, who were assassinated in Rosario. The album seethed with anger, but it was also more rhythmic and showed greater songwriting depth than his previous recordings. Páez got his first taste of production work with "Ey!", which was released in 1988. Recorded in New York and Havana, it also showcased many of the musicians that he had worked with previously, including Guillermo Vadalá, Daniel Colombres and Osvaldo Fattoruso. It also featured the trumpeters and saxophonists of the group, Afrocuba. Less harsh than his previous recording, it was one of his most balanced records.
"Tercer Mundo", released in 1990, explores Latin American cultural influences and showed the harsh world of poverty and exploitation. It, too was critically acclaimed, but it was Paez' 1992 album, "El Amor Después del Amor" that marked the pinnacle of his commercial success. The album sold more than 750,000 copies and when Paez toured to support it, he found himself playing to sold-out shows for 40,000 people. Shortly after its release, he played a benefit concert for UNICEF which raised more than $420,000.
The follow-up, "Circo Beat", had impossibly high expectations and though it had several hit songs, including "Mariposa Tecknicolor" and "Tema de Piluso," as well as a companion album, Circo Beat Brazil, which featured Brazilian remixes of its hits, it only sold around 350,000 copies.
Several other projects were completed in the late '90s, including a live album, Euforia and 1998's Sabina & Paez: Enemigos Intimos, with Joaquín Sabina. The year 1999 brought another balanced, superbly produced album, "Abre". He also took home two Grammys at the first annual Latin Grammy Award in fall 2000. He lived with Argentine actress Cecilia Roth for some years, with whom he adopted a child in 1999.
Paez' 2003 album "Naturaleza sangre" marks a return to his musical past, featuring appearances from Charly García, Luis Alberto Spinetta and Brazilian artist Rita Lee on the previously unreleased version of "Ojos Rojos". At 40 years old, Paez finds himself at his musical peak.
In 2006, Páez was given an escopetarra (a decommissioned AK-47 converted into a guitar) by Colombian musician and peace activist César López in honor of his music.
The album El mundo cabe en una canción won the Latin Grammy Award for Best Rock Solo Vocal Album at the Latin Grammy Awards of 2007.
In 2008 recorded, No se si es Baires o Madrid, in Madrid, Spain. He invited several important musicians, such as Pablo Milanés, Joaquín Sabina and Ariel Rot to participate. In 2010, presented the album Confiá.