Blades' acting career began in 1982. It has continued with several-year breaks in between. His first acting role was The Last Fight. Other movies include Crossover Dreams (1985), The Milagro Beanfield War (1988) and Color of Night (1994).
Blades was given the Harry Chapin Humanitarian Award by ASCAP and WhyHunger in June 2011.
Blades' album Tangos won a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop Album in 2015.
Blades was born in Panama City, Panama.