Pérez Prado was bom in the province of Matanzas in Cuba on December 11, 1916. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father was a print journalist working for Cuban newspapers. As a child, he learned to play the piano and the organ. He developed a love for music and a series of musical skills that led to a musical career that lasted a lifetime. His brother, Pantaleón Pérez Prado, was also a prominent musician and bandleader who has a successful musical career in Europe.