Last month, an executive at the Fonovisa record label pleaded guilty to illegally paying U.S. radio stations to play songs by Fonovisa artists, in particular Spain's Enrique Iglesias and Mexico's Marco Antonio Solis.
How has the controversy affected Solis, who is less known than Iglesias to a mainstream U.S. audience, and who has stayed with the troubled Fonovisa?
Relaxing on a sofa at a Hollywood recording studio last week, Solis seemed just fine, and said he had no plans to leave the label, which is owned by Mexico's Grupo Televisa.
Casual in a baseball cap and jeans, Solis had just come from promoting Saturday's Universal Amphitheatre concert on a local radio station. In a rear studio, producers prepared for Solis to cut the vocals on a new song, which will be used as the theme to an upcoming telenovela in Mexico.
The Fonovisa scandal, which could land the label's promotions manager in jail for up to six months, "hasn't changed anything," Solis said in Spanish. He shrugged. "I think people blame the label, not the artists."
For his part, the prolific and beloved Solis--widely regarded as one of Mexico's leading songwriters, arrangers, producers and singers--continues to write music every day in his Los Angeles mansion in a wide variety of styles, from dance music to sweeping ballads, usually with poetic, romantic lyrics.
"Inspiration comes from hard work," he said, pretending to pluck notes from the air with his fingers. "You can't always wait for the muse. I think the notes and melodies are all around us."
Born in Ario de Rosales, Michoacan, Solis made his debut as a performer at age 12 with a family group called Los Hermanos Solis.
Several years later, he created a group called Los Bukis with his cousin Joel Solis. The band recorded its first album in 1975, when Solis was about 18, and is credited with forging the grupera genre of Mexican pop music.
One of the group's earliest hits, "Los Alambrados," was a corrido Solis wrote about the band's first U.S. tour, in which they had to sneak across the border illegally.
Los Bukis enjoyed success for more than a decade, and had one of the top albums of 1987 with "Tu Carcel." By the late '80s, the band had switched members many times, and Solis was established as the group's star.
Solis started to consider going solo in 1993 at the suggestion of Fonovisa, and in 1996 the official announcement was made that Los Bukis was splitting up for good and Solis would release a solo album.
Los Bukis regrouped without Solis as Los Mismos, and have enjoyed success. Solis' first solo album, "En Pleno Vuelo," came out in 1996. In all, Solis has recorded on 19 albums since 1975.
His most recent work, "Trozas de mi Alma," was released in February and features Solis singing songs he has written for many of Latin pop's top acts over the years, including Laura Flores, Ezequiel Pena, Ana Barbara, Rocio Durcal, Olga Tanon, Carmen Jara, Banda El Recodo and Enrique Iglesias.
Solis said he has been asked to star in a telenovela but has not made up his mind about it yet. "I like freedom," he said, "and I don't think I'd like being locked onto a small set all day every day."
More appealing is the idea of acting in a movie. Director Benny Corral, who has made some of Solis' music videos, has asked Solis to star in a bilingual feature film on the life of California outlaw Joaquin Murietta.
"I'm studying English right now," Solis said bashfully in English, then added in Spanish: "It's a really interesting project because they not only want me to act, but they want me to do the music for the film as well."
These days, Solis is also occupied with his newest project: 8-month-old daughter Allison Janine.
After a turbulent and highly publicized divorce from Mexican singer Adriana Beatriz, Solis says he has finally found "emotional and spiritual equilibrium" in his life, with his new marriage to a young Cuban American woman named Cristian. Solis also has a son, Marco, and another daughter, Beatriz, from his first marriage.
The new baby has inspired Solis to write songs aimed at children, and his next album likely will be a collection of kids' music.
Solis said he plans to perform songs from every era of his musical career at Saturday's concert, from the very old to the very new, and may include one of the children's songs.
Marco Antonio Solis, Saturday at the Universal Amphitheatre, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, 8:15 p.m. $30 to $43. (818) 622-4440.