He was born in Sants, which is in neighborhood of Barcelona, Catalonia. His family moved to Argentina when he was very young. He started singing at the age of 6, and his first public performance happened when he was 8 years old.
Many years later, when he was in Paris, it turned out that he has leukemia. The long-term medications where successful and he survived from the disease. He established José Carreras International Leukaemia Foundation in Barcelona on July 14, 1988.
Carreras has received many awards both because of his musical and humanitarian work.