Latin music

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Latin music (Portuguese and Spanish : música latina) is a term used by the music industry as a catch-all term for music that comes from Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking areas of the world, namely Ibero-America and the Iberian Peninsula, as well as music sung in either language. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


Terminology and categorizations

Deborah Pacini Hernández noted that due to the majority of Latino immigrants living in New York City mostly being of Puerto Rican and Cuban descent and the area being dominant in the music industry during the 1950s, "Latin music" had been stereotyped as music simply originating from the Spanish Caribbean. She also observed that even the popularization of bossa nova and Herb Alpert's Mexican-influenced sounds in the 1960s did little to change the perceived image of Latin music. [4] Since then, the music industry classifies all music sung in Spanish or Portuguese as Latin music, including musics from Spain and Portugal. [4]

Following protests from Latinos in New York, a category for Latin music was created by National Recording Academy (NARAS) for the Grammy Awards titled Best Latin Recording in 1975. [8] Enrique Fernandez wrote on Billboard that the single category for Latin music meant that all Latin music genres had to compete with each other despite the distinct sounds of the genre. He also noted that the accolade was mostly given to performers of tropical music. Eight years later, the organization debuted three new categories for Latin music: Best Latin Pop Performance, Best Mexican/Mexican-American Performance, and Best Tropical Latin Performance. [9] Latin pop is a catch-all for any pop music sung in Spanish, while Mexican/Mexican-American (also to referred to as Regional Mexican) is based any musical style originating from Mexico or influences by its immigrants in the United States including Tejano, and tropical music focuses any music from the Spanish Caribbean. [10]

In 1997, NARAS established the Latin Recording Academy (LARAS) in an effort to expand its operations in both Latin America and Spain. [11] On September 2000, LARAS launched the Latin Grammy Awards, a separate award ceremony from the Grammy Awards, which organizers stated that the Latin music universe was too large to fit on the latter awards. Michael Greene, former head of NARAS, said that the process of creating the Latin Grammy Awards was complicated due to the diverse Latin musical styles, noting that the only thing they had in common was language. As a result, the Latin Grammy Awards are presented to records performed in Spanish or Portuguese, [12] while the organization focuses on music from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. [13]

Since the late 1990s, the United States has had a substantially rising population of "Latinos", [14] a term popularized since the 1960s due to the wrong and confusing use of the term "Spanish" and the more proper but less popular term "Hispanic". [15] The music industry in the United States started to refer to any kind of music featuring Spanish vocals as "Latin music". [16] [17] [18] Under this definition, Spanish sung in any genre is categorized as "Latin". [19] In turn, this has also led to artists from Spain being labelled as "Latin" as they sing in the same language. [20]

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Billboard magazine use this definition of Latin music to track sales of Spanish-language records in the United States. [21] [22] Billboard however considers an artist to be "Latin" if they perform in Spanish or Portuguese. [23] The RIAA initiated the "Los Premios de Oro y Platino" ("The Gold and Platinum Awards" in Spanish) in 2000 to certify sales of Latin music albums and singles under a different threshold than its standard certifications. [24] Billboard divides its Latin music charts into three subcategories: Latin pop, Regional Mexican, and tropical. [25] A fourth subcategory was eventually added in the mid 2000s to address the rise of Latin urban music genres such as Latin hip hop and reggaeton. [26]



The term "Latin music" originated from the US due to the growing influence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the American music market, with notable pioneers including Xavier Cugat (1940s) and Tito Puente (1950s) and then accelerating in later decades. [2] [3] As one author explained the rising popularity from the 1940s: "Latin America, the one part of the world not engulfed in World War II, became a favorite topic for songs and films for Americans who wanted momentarily to forget about the conflagration." [27] Wartime propaganda for America's "Good Neighbor Policy" further enhanced the cultural impact. [28] Pérez Prado is the composer of such famous pieces as "Mambo No. 5" and "Mambo No. 8". At the height of the mambo movement in 1955, Pérez hit the American charts at number one with a cha-cha-chá version of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White". [29] El manisero, known in English as The Peanut Vendor, is a Cuban son-pregón composed by Moisés Simons. Together with "Guantanamera", it is arguably the most famous piece of music created by a Cuban musician. [30] "The Peanut Vendor" has been recorded more than 160 times, [31] sold over a million copies of the sheet music, and was the first million-selling 78 rpm single of Cuban music.


The Brazilian bossa nova became widespread in Latin America and later became an international trend, led especially by Antônio Carlos Jobim. [32] Rock en español became popular with the younger generation of Latinos in Latin America, [33] notably including Argentine bands such as Almendra. [34] Mexican-American Latin rock guitarist Carlos Santana began his decades of popularity. [35]


Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2013 as the best-selling male Latin artist of all time. Julio Iglesias (Spanje), Bestanddeelnr 923-3697.jpg
Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was recognized by the Guinness World Records in 2013 as the best-selling male Latin artist of all time.

Salsa music became the dominant genre of tropical music in the 1970s. Fania Records was credited for popularizing salsa music, with acts such as Rubén Blades, Héctor Lavoe, and Celia Cruz expanding the audience. [37] In the late 1970s, an influx of balladeers from Spain such as Julio Iglesias, Camilo Sesto, and Raphael established their presence on the music charts both in Latin America and the US Latin market. [38] In 1972, OTI Festival was established by the Organización de Telecomunicaciones de Iberoamérica as a songwriting contest to connect the Ibero-American countries (Latin America, Spain, and Portugal) together. Ramiro Burr of Billboard noted that the contest was considered to be the "largest and most prestigious songwriting festival in the Latin music world". [39]


In the 1980s, the Latin ballad continued to be the main form of Latin pop music, with Juan Gabriel, José José, Julio Iglesias, Roberto Carlos, and José Luis Rodríguez dominating the charts. [40] Salsa music lost some traction, and its musical style changed to a slower rhythm with more emphasis on romantic lyrics. This became known as the salsa romantica era. [41]


Bolero music saw a resurgence of popularity with the younger audience. Mexican singer Luis Miguel was credited for the renewed interest due to the success of his album, Romance (1991), a collection of classics covered by the artist. [42] By the mid-1990s, Latin pop music was dominated by younger artists such as Menudo alumnus Ricky Martin, Colombian teen Shakira, and Julio's son Enrique Iglesias. [43] Around the same time, artists from Italy such as Eros Ramazzotti, Laura Pausini, and Nek successfully crossed over to the Latin music field by recording Spanish-language versions of their songs. [44] In the Regional Mexican field, Tejano became the most prominent genre. Selena helped push Tejano music into the mainstream market with her albums Entre a Mi Mundo (1992) and Amor Prohibido (1994), although the genre's popularity declined following her death in 1995. [45] In the tropical music field, merengue, which gained attention in the 1980s, rivaled salsa in popularity. [46]


In the mid-2000s, reggaeton became popular in the mainstream market, with Tego Calderon, Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, and Wisin & Yandel considered to be the frontiers of the genre. [47] In the tropical music scene, bachata music became popular in the field, with artists such as Monchy & Alexandra and Aventura finding success in the urban areas of Latin America. [48] Banda was the dominant genre in the Regional Mexican music field. [49]


By the turn of the decade, the Latin music field became dominated by up-tempo rhythms, including electropop, reggaeton, urbano, banda and contemporary bachata music, as Latin ballads and crooners fell out of favor among U.S. Latin radio programmers. [50] Streaming has become the dominant form of revenue in the Latin music industry in the United States, Latin America and Spain. [51] Latin trap gained mainstream attention in the mid-2010s with notable artists such as Ozuna, Bad Bunny, and Anuel AA. [52]

See also

Related Research Articles

Latin Grammy Award Accolade by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences of the United States

A Latin Grammy Award is an award by The Latin Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the Latin music industry. The Latin Grammy honors works produced anywhere around the world that were recorded in either Spanish or Portuguese and is awarded in the United States. Submissions of products recorded in regional languages from Latin America and Iberia of Hispanophone or Lusophone countries such as Catalan, Basque, Galician, Valencian, Nahuatl, Guarani, Quechua or Mayan may also be considered. Both the regular Grammy Award and the Latin Grammy Award have similar nominating and voting processes, in which the selections are decided by peers within the Latin music industry.

<i>Romance</i> (Luis Miguel album) 1991 studio album by Luis Miguel

Romance is the eighth studio album by Mexican singer Luis Miguel. It was released by WEA Latina on 19 November 1991. Although the production was originally intended as another collaboration with Juan Carlos Calderón, that plan was scrapped when Calderón was unable to compose songs for the album. Facing a new-material deadline in his recording contract, at his manager's suggestion Miguel chose bolero music for his next project. Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero was hired by WEA Latina to co-produce the album with Miguel. Recording began in August 1991 at Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, California, with Bebu Silvetti the arranger.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards grew out of the Billboard Music Awards program from Billboard magazine, an industry publication charting the sales and radio airplay success of musical recordings. The Billboard awards are the Latin music industry’s longest running award. The award ceremonies are held during the same week as Latinfest+. The first award ceremony began in 1994. In addition to awards given on the basis of success on the Billboard charts, the ceremony includes the Spirit of Hope award for humanitarian achievements and the Lifetime Achievement award, as well as awards by the broadcasting partner. Musician Enrique Iglesias has won 47 awards, the colombian Shakira has won 41 awards. The Billboard Latin Music includes entrants from the United States, Latin America, and Spain, although other countries are eligible if an artist performs Latin music.

The Latin Grammy Award for Album of the Year is an honor presented annually at the Latin Grammy Awards, a ceremony that recognizes excellence and creates a wider awareness of cultural diversity and contributions of Latin recording artists in the United States and internationally. The award is given to the performers, producers, audio engineers and mastering engineers for vocal or instrumental albums with 51% of new recorded songs. Albums of previously released recordings, such as reissues, compilations of old recordings and greatest hits albums packages are not eligible. Due to the increasing musical changes in the industry, from 2012 the category includes 10 nominees, according to a restructuration made by the academy for the four general categories: Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best New Artist and Album of the Year. Beginning in 2018, songwriters are eligible for the accolade if 33% of the playing time are composed by them.

<i>Vivo</i> (Luis Miguel album) 2000 live album and Video by Luis Miguel

Vivo is the third live album by Mexican singer Luis Miguel. It was filmed at the Auditorio Coca-Cola concert hall in Monterrey, Mexico, where Miguel performed from 13 to 17 April 2000, as part of the second leg of his Amarte Es Un Placer Tour. Vivo was released in a live audio CD, DVD and VHS format. Vivo is the first Spanish-language live album to be released on NTSC, PAL, and DVD formats. The audio version was produced by Miguel while David Mallet directed the video album. The audio disc was released on 3 October 2000, while the video album was released on 24 October. Miguel's renditions of "Y" and "La Bikina", which he specifically performed during the concert shows in Mexico where he was joined by Cutberto Pérez's band Mariachi 2000, made available as singles for the album.

<i>Bachata Rosa</i> 1990 studio album by Juan Luis Guerra

Bachata Rosa is the fifth studio album by Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luis Guerra and his group 4.40. It was released on December 11, 1990, by Karen Records. Written and produced by Guerra, the record sold over five million copies worldwide. It brought bachata music into the mainstream in the Dominican Republic and gave the genre an international audience. A Portuguese version of the record was released in 1992 under the title Romance Rosa; it was certified gold in Brazil. The album received a Grammy Award for Best Tropical Latin Album and two Lo Nuestro Awards for Tropical Album of the Year and Tropical Group of the Year.

Universal Music Latin Entertainment American record label; record company, division of Universal Music Group

Universal Music Latin Entertainment, a division of Universal Music Group (Vivendi), is a record company specialized in producing and distributing Latin music in Mexico, the United States, and Puerto Rico. UMLE includes famous Latin music labels such as Universal Music Latino, Fonovisa Records, Universal Music Mexico, Capitol Latin, Machete Music and Disa Records.

The 13th Lo Nuestro Awards ceremony, presented by Univision honoring the best Latin music of 2000 and 2001 took place on February 8, 2001, at a live presentation held at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida. The ceremony was broadcast in the United States and Latin America by Univision.

The Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame is a rarely presented honor presented by American magazine Billboard at the Billboard Latin Music Awards. The accolade was established in 1994 to recognize musical personalities who have commercially and critically impacted the Latin music industry. This includes artists who laid the "artistic foundation" for contemporary Latin music. Potential recipients are nominated by Billboard's editorial committee, which decides the merit of each nominee with regards to their contribution to Latin music. Artists chosen to be inducted into the Latin Music Hall of Fame include individuals who exemplify Latin music, are pivotal or iconic pioneers, and whose works are a developmental milestone in the Latin music industry.

The Billboard Latin Music Award for Latin Rhythm Airplay Song of the Year is an honor that is presented annually at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, a ceremony which honors "the most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin music, as determined by the actual sales, radio airplay, streaming and social data that informs Billboard's weekly charts."

2016 in Latin music Overview of the events of 2016 in Latin music

This is a list of notable events in Latin music that took place in 2016.

This is a list of notable events in Latin music that took place in 1993.

Ríe y Llora song by Celia Cruz

"Ríe y Llora" (English: "Laugh and Cry") is a song performed by Cuban recording artist Celia Cruz. The song was written by Sergio George and Fernando Osorio, produced by George and released as the lead single from Cruz's final studio album Regalo del Alma (2003) on 12 July 2003. It was the final song recorded by Cruz, following being sidelined by a brain trumor and before her death on 16 July 2003.

Ella Tiene Fuego song by Celia Cruz

"Ella Tiene Fuego" (English: "She Has Fire") is a song performed by Cuban recording artist Celia Cruz. It features Panamanian recording artist El General. The song was written by Sergio George and Fernando Osorio, produced by George and released as the second single from Cruz's final studio album Regalo del Alma (2003) on 20 December 2003.

This is a list of notable events in Latin music that took place in 1991.

This is a list of notable events in Latin music that took place in 1990.

2017 in Latin music Overview of the events of 2017 in Latin music

This is a list of notable events in Latin music that took place in 2017.

The Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award is an honor that is presented by Billboard magazine to an artist or a group "for an exceptional career that has taken Latin music to another level globally". From 1993 to 2001, the accolade was presented as "El Premio Billboard". The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award is decided by the Billboard editorial committee. The Lifetime Achievement Award was first given to Morton Gould, the president of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), during the 4th Annual Billboard Latin Music Conference in 1993. Gould was given the accolade for his "contribution to the growth of Latin music in the U.S".

The Billboard Latin Music Award for Latin Jazz Album of the Year was an honor that was presented annually at the Billboard Latin Music Awards, a ceremony which honors "the most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin music, as determined by the actual sales, radio airplay, streaming and social data that shapes Billboard's weekly charts". Latin jazz is a form of jazz music which incorporates various sounds from Latin America.


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