Livin' the life

For Draco Rosa, the cup of life may come this year in the shape of a Latin Grammy -- or three.

The Puerto Rican singer-songwriter scored three nominations last month for Vida ("Life"), a greatest hits album with collaborations from high-profile friends like Marc Anthony, Juanes, Ricky Martin and Shakira that Rosa produced as he was battling cancer.

"For me, that album was a privilege," he said in a phone interview from Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two sons. "The fact that it's nominated is fantastic."

Now, Rosa — an ex-Menudo who wrote Martin's hits "Livin' la Vida Loca" and "The Cup of Life," and who boasts a solid two-decade career as a solo artist — is bringing his "Vida" tour to South Florida, playing The Fillmore in Miami Beach next Saturday.


Photos: Miss Florida USA Pageant

Rosa, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2011, produced the 16-track album before he found out last December that he had beaten cancer.

"[Vida] was part of the healing process. I was working on the album while I was going through heavy treatments," he said. "We thought it would be a legacy album, and then suddenly that wasn't the case. I'm here, I'm alive."

The artist says he did not celebrate when doctors told him he was cancer-free.

"I simply had a moment of silence and I started thinking about where we come from, where we're going and all this stuff about remission," he said. "There are still doctor visits, blood tests, medicines, watching what I eat. Cancer brings this change in lifestyle that goes on forever."

But the moment was certainly life-changing: It brought him out of treatment and back on the road.

"I'm ecstatic," he said. "Touring is what I want to be doing and what I love to do."

Rosa's already planning his next album, which he hopes to release next year and will represent another aspect of his rebirth.

"The next album is very important in that sense. I'm still not clear on what direction I'm taking it in. I'm trying to focus and see where the production goes," he said.

For now, Rosa's got his mind on his next few shows. He says concert-goers shouldn't expect surprise appearances from guests on Vida like Martin or Shakira.

"With this tour, I'm not necessarily presenting the album itself. It'll be a Draco-nian and eclectic show. I'll do covers and we'll have a good time," he said.

mfelix@tribune.com or Twitter @mj_felix