Victor Manuelle was a leading voice among the generation of New York salsa performers who rose to prominence in the mid-'90s, along with Marc Anthony and India, who were his only rivals in terms of success and popularity. Mentored by Gilberto Santa Rosa and produced by Sergio George, Manuelle regularly topped the tropical charts during his mid-'90s peak, as his albums Victor Manuelle (1996) and A Pesar de Todo (1997) spun off a nonstop parade of number one hits. The esteemed sonero continued his hitmaking in the years that followed, as every single one of his studio albums in the successive decade spun off at least one tropical chart-topper of its own. However, his impact on the Latin scene seemed to dim a touch as tropical music, including the salsa romántica style championed by Manuelle, lost some of its popularity with the rise of Latin pop and reggaeton. Manuelle responded to the changing times most notably with Decisión Unámine (2006), which he executive-produced himself, his first time doing so on any of his albums; he also assumed the role of chief songwriter here as well. The album, his first released under Sony BMG's Norte banner, included nods to the concurrent reggaeton craze, and as a whole, it showcased Manuelle's ability to remain current with the changing tides of popular Latin music. Not that his relevance had ever been questioned, for El Sonero de la Juventud, as Manuelle was titled by his fans, remained among the top salsa performers year in and year out, and his legacy as one of the leading voices of his generation remained firmly cemented for posterity. After all, it was he who sang "La Vida Es un Carnaval" a cappella at Celia Cruz's funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York in 2003, a gesture that unquestionably affirmed his royalty among the time-honored salsa elite. Still, Manuelle is not without his critics, some of whom do not consider his music truly salsa. Such purists take issue with the romantic leanings of his music, preferring to classify his music as bolero, or at least salsa romántica (opposed to just plain salsa, or salsa gorda).