La Oreja de Van Gogh (English: Van Gogh's Ear) is a Spanish band. The name of the band references the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh who allegedly cut off his own ear. It was formed in Spain in 1996, when guitarist Pablo Benegas, bassist Álvaro Fuentes, keyboardist Xabi San Martín and drummer Haritz Garde met at university.
San Martin was the vocalist until Amaia Montero joined the band by request from Benegas, just after he met her at a dinner party. Much later, the band played at El Concurso de Pop/Rock de San Sebastián, at which they were discovered and later signed by Sony Music.
Their first album, Dile al Sol (Tell The Sun), debuted in 1998; it went to the top of the Spanish music charts, and won the Premio Ondas to The very best Album of the Year. After numerous tours, the group released two more albums, El Viaje de Copperpot (Copperpot's Journey) and Lo que te Conté Mientras te Hacias la Dormida (What I Told You While You Pretended To Be Asleep) as well as two DVDs: La Oreja De Van Gogh with material from their first two records, and a live performance called Lo que te Conté Mientras te Hacias la Dormida Gira 2003'.
Their songs are written (both lyrics and music) mostly by Xabi San Martín and Amaia Montero in collaboration with Pablo Benegas, and the themes are usually love, friendship, or whatever comes up in a relationship between two people.
Their fourth album, Guapa, was released April 25th 2006. At the end of 2006, the re-edition of this album, called Más Guapa was released. It was met with wide critical success.
Since their debut, they have sold more than 6 million copies worldwide of their four albums. In November 2007, lead singer Amaia Montero announced that she would be leaving the group to begin a solo career. Her replacement, Leire Martínez, was announced in July 2008, along with the band's first single El Último Vals from their album titled A las cinco en el Astoria which was released on September 2, 2008. Leire was discovered on the Spanish reality show Factor X.