Gloria Vanderbilt listens to his tapes driving to the Hamptons. Diane Keaton listens to him on a Walkman. Nancy Reagan is a fan. Michael Jackson's mother owns an autographed poster of him. Tonight, Regine, the queen of the night, had him to dinner to meet some of his classy fans. It was sort of a homecoming for Julio Iglesias.
"I discovered Julio for this country," said Regine, standing inside the mirrored nightclub that bears her name. "Before I played his music no one had heard of him here. I got all my people to play his music at home" in France.
Perhaps, but CBS Inc. would doubtless like to take part of the credit for Iglesias' recording success. The international crooner has sold more than 100 million records in six languages, and his latest album, "1100 Bel Air Place," was released by CBS' Columbia Records two weeks ago. It's now a Top 10 album here.
As befits a superstar, Iglesias was late tonight. A grueling concert schedule has had him popping up everywhere from Saratoga Springs to Albuquerque.
He was expected for dinner at 9. By 9:40 he still had not arrived. Regine, dressed in a white sequined dress, glanced nervously at her watch.
Cornelia Guest, former debutante of the year, was also wondering where Iglesias could be. "I think he's wonderful. I find him very sexy, I have all his tapes," said Guest, although she couldn't remember the names of any of his songs.
CBS News' Harry Reasoner, also waiting, said, "I've never heard him sing or seen him, but that's not my fault."
Ballet dancer Alexander Godunov, who had also never met Iglesias, was less concerned about his tardiness. "I am as international as he is," said the star of the upcoming Peter Weir movie "Witness." I know how it can be when you're traveling, and I think it's fantastic that he can keep to this schedule."
Television crews for "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" took advantage of the extended cocktail hour to take shots of some of their upcoming subjects. Arthur Ashe and his wife Geanne Moutoussamy said they were both delighted with the opportunity to meet Iglesias. Their favorite song? "To All the Girls I've Loved," said Ashe. "That's a song a man can really appreciate."
At 9:50 the Art Deco double doors swung open, and Iglesias -- in a wing-collared tuxedo -- embraced Regine. As the last camera flashed, Iglesias was directed to a seat across from Cornelia Guest, by the banyan plants. Guest looked bored and stuck her finger into her bread.
By 11 p.m. the guest of honor had finished dinner and left for a CBS-sponsored party at Windows on the World restaurant. There he received a platinum plaque for "1100 Bel Air Place," which has sold a million copies since its August release.
His remarks were brief: "Thank you very much, CBS. Thank you very much. This is the first of many."
Earlier, while standing next to Regine, Iglesias confided that he wanted nothing more than to go home to Miami. "I am sold out across the country, but when I come home to my dog Hey Natali Me Va Me Va -- which I named after one of my songs -- my mother and my father, my people, my children are there to greet me, and I am in heaven."