The success of Latin Music in the United States
Some artists have taken Latin music to another level. They fell in love with the public on American borders and helped shape the market as we know it today. We will tell you more details!
Latino immigrants who made their way into the United States gave way to Hispanic music as it is known today.
The Argentine tango, for example, was a success in the US in 1930 and is considered the first Latin genre to have participation on American soil. As you can imagine, from then on a movement was born that is here to stay. At the end of the 90s, this musical boom finished exploding. The numbers were increasing and more and more artists were honoring their Latin roots.
Currently, the industry numbers give prominence to Latin artists, having a greater incidence when they present their songs in Spanish. Also, there are a large number of versions that have been translated into English and are heard in renowned venues. In fact, it is enough to go to a nightclub or a Latin concert in iconic venues such as Madison Square Garden, located in New York or American Airlines Arena in Miami to check acceptance by the public. How much ground have they gained to have a leading role in the most powerful country in the world?
The road has not been easy, it has been marked by countless artists who, little by little, were making known the rhythms of Caribbean countries. Salsa, for example, was one of the most popular rhythms at the time. Starting in 1960, it was catapulted into the United States, paving the way for Latina artists who are now considered legends of the genre. Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe, Rubén Blades, Johnny Pacheco, among others, marked a before and after in the industry.
Today we want to talk about some famous singers who set the tone and promoted the careers of other Hispanics.
6 Latino artists who paved the way for new generations
Emilio Estefan, Cuba
The Cuban was born in 1953 and arrived in the United States at the end of 1960, from Spain. Estefan always had musical interests. Although, in principle he had to work in other areas. He formed the band “Miami Latin Boys”, which would later be called “Miami Sound Machine”. Thanks to his different presentations, he met Gloria Fajardo, today known as Gloria Estefan, who accompanied them as vocal reinforcement. No one imagined that this singer would become their life partner. Despite the success of the group, it is other achievements of the artist that place him in this category. Emilio Estefan soon established himself as a producer for Latin American artists and contributed to Gloria Estefan’s success as a soloist. He quickly became known within the industry, working with artists such as Charliee Zaa, Cristian Castro, and Carlos Vives.
In 2002, Estefan became a producer for the Latin Grammy Awards, an annual event that awards artistic excellence for productions in Spanish, Portuguese or other languages of Hispanic countries.
Emilio Estefan and his wife have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the United States, the highest honor in the country, due to their work in the training of artists and projection of Latin music in the world.
Celia Cruz, Cuba
Celia Cruz, began her career in her native Cuba. She excelled in tropical music and was known as “The queen of salsa.” During her first years of career, she stood out in her country, and later ventured into Mexico and the United States. She moved to the US and at the end of the 70s she joined the Fania All-Stars, along with other artists, fully joining salsa. In 1987, her star was debuted on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Cruz is part of a legacy that will continue throughout history. Her songs remain current and are part of the heritage of Latin America. She was nominated for two Grammys and three Latin Grammys.
The Postal Service of the United States included it in a selected group of five stamps, destined to the greats of Latin music; together with Selena, Tito Puente, Carmen Miranda and Carlos Gardel.
The singer was born in the United States and was of Mexican descent. Her genre leaned toward ranchera, Mexican cumbia, and ballads. Selena is known as “the queen of Latin music” and has exceeded 70 million records worldwide.
In the 1990s, the US Billboard magazine named her “the most influential and best-selling Latin artist.” In addition, she is credited with catapulting Latin music in the United States and the world. Selena featured five albums ranked on the Billboard 200 at the same time. Her album Live (1993) won a Grammy for best Mexican-American music album, leaving behind the paradigms of those who considered the Tejano musical style as exclusive to men.
Selena was murdered in 1995. A great loss to show business. Her fans still regret her departure and imagine what she could achieve thanks to your talent. However, it leaves a very broad legacy for Latinos. After her death, she continues to be an example and inspiration for those who want to enter the market.
Juan Luis Guerra, Dominican Republic
Juan Luis Guerra is one of the most recognized Latin artists in the world. In the United States, he has been the recipient of 24 Latin Grammys, three Latin Billboard Awards and two American Grammys. He has recorded in Portuguese, English and, of course, in Spanish.
She trained at the largest private music college in the world, Berklee College of Music, in Boston. Earning a degree in jazz composition.
Guerra has made different tours of the US obtaining a box office record. He is a recognized exponent in the genre of merengue and bachata. In 2015, he collaborated with the financing of the Juan Luis Guerra Scholarship, presented by the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation for a low-income student.
The singer is of Dominican origin and today he works as a composer, arranger, musician and producer.
Héctor Lavoe, Puerto Rico
Considered one of the best salseros of all time. He is credited with helping to bring about the genre’s golden age in New York. In addition, to expand the popularity of salsa in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s.
In New York City, he takes his first steps as a bolero vocalist to make his way in what would be a great musical career. The Puerto Rican’s success kept on rising, he sang with the famous Willie Colón and together they toured different stages. Lavoe was also part of the Fania All Stars, a salsa and Latin music group. The Singer, as he was also baptized, died on June 29, 1993. He left an unforgettable musical legacy in the United States and the world; his songs and style are inspiration for many salsa performers today.
Marc Anthony, United States
For many, it could come as a great surprise that an American artist has such a marked and extraordinary Latin musical rhythm. However, his parents are Puerto Rican and he grew up with part of this culture. Marc Anthony is a singer of ballads, pop, salsa and bolero; ambassador of Latin music and culture.
When he began his career, many doubted whether he would be successful in Latin music.
“My career was not easy at first, because I neither looked nor sounded like the ‘typical salsero’. My sound was not considered usual for purists, ”he told The Associated Press.
The singer and actor has sponsored young talents such as Luis Figueroa, a Latino who was just beginning his career in the artistic medium. In addition, it has sold more than 30 million records around the world. Received 2 Grammys and 7 Latin Grammys. Marc Anthony has many fans worldwide. However, Latinos have a very special appreciation for him. In 2012, he started the Maestro Cares Foundation, to raise funds to build orphanages in Latin America.
If we wanted to mention those musicians to whom the expansion of Latin music is due, the list would be endless. Infinity of people who overcame cultural barriers to carry the name of their country, its rhythms and culture high. Currently, the city of Miami is considered as the starting point. The first contact of the young musicians, before venturing to the rest of the country. In addition, the same experts call it “the epicenter of the Latin industry.” This is due to the number of media, producers, multinationals and locals that are willing to open their doors to them and boost their talent.
Latin music represents an industry that does not stop, is profitable and is taking more and more space in the United States. Therefore, a decline is not expected in the coming years.