Thalia Sings Through Hard Times

— Mexican-born Thalia reigns over the music charts in Latin America, Europe and Asia. Now she's poised to become the next big thing in the United States.

While the 31-year-old may be a newcomer to the mainstream U.S. market, Thalia is an established international superstar, gracing the covers of numerous magazines, including People En Espanol's best dressed issue and creating her own line of clothing and home accessories for Kmart.

Thalia's legions of fans follow her every move, most notably her fairy tale wedding to record executive Tommy Mottola, Mariah Carey's ex-husband.

"She [Thalia] was so excited about being the princess of her wedding. I think that was very endearing to some people," said Betty Cortina of Latina magazine.

As Thalia's last album climbed to No. 1 on the Latin charts, she was preparing her first English album.

Thalia learned the English language from scratch just five years ago, but she's already released her first self-titled English album this summer.

Thalia's career was launched at the tender age of 9, when she began singing in kid bands. But the world got to know Thalia when she appeared in Mexican soap operas called Telanovellas that were broadcast internationally.

"If Thalia got out of her limo in Moscow, she'd be immediately recognized and people would recognize her and always remember her as being part of that Tellanovella," said Lisa Quiroz of People en Espanol.

Since the soaps, her rise to fame has been meteoric. But Thalia has had some painful moments along her journey to stardom. In 1989, her first love died of liver disease. And last year, two of Thalia's sisters were kidnapped in Mexico by alleged gang members. They were eventually safely released, but Thalia went into seclusion for months afterwards.

"All these years that I've been doing this — the experience is good and bad. The bad experiences makes you stronger and makes you focus on the next project," Thalia said.

Thalia says a difficult life has prepared her to work hard and to embrace the good times.

"I'm a very strong woman," Thalia said. "When my father died, when I was 5 years old, my mother said to us, 'girls, you're in a man's world, so you have to fight against the current and you have to be strong, you have to pursue your dreams, go get your dreams, but you have to always be who you are.' And that's me."

This story was reported by Good Morning America's Tony Perkins and produced by ABCNEWS' Karen Leo.

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