Shakira, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Latin music is having a moment in 2024. With the success of various Hispanic and Latino artists such as Bad Bunny, Kali Uchis, Rosalia, and Peso Pluma it is clear the global market is undeniably obsessed. However, this widespread success isn’t unprompted, Latin music has been slowly making its way to the mainstream for a while. 

In Latin America, music is an integral part of the culture. Various genres of Latin music have overlapping origins and are popular in several regions and countries. For example, Puerto Rico is known for creating and popularizing Reggaton, yet Merengue is popular despite the main hubs for the genre being The Dominican Republic and Haiti.

In the Hispanic and Latino communities, there is a large sense of comradery, especially since there’s so much overlap within the culture such as Spanish being the dominant language, shared cuisine and rich history. There’s a sense of pride that Hispanic and Latino individuals hold for their heritage. They also uplift and support other Hispanics and Latinos from other regions.

It’s not a big surprise to see the sheer growth of Latin music as a whole. It started back in the 80s and 90s when Latin pop gained popularity in the United States. The New York and Miami club scene helped throw Gloria Estefan and a post-Menudo Ricky Martin into the spotlight. 

In 2000, the first Latin Grammys took place, which honored Latin artists for their musical prowess and talent. Following in the footsteps of Ricky Martin and Gloria Esteban both Latin and American-born artists such as Shakira, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez gained international recognition. Songs such as “Jenny From the Block,” “Hips Don’t Lie” and “Vivir Mi Vida” dominated the charts and further propelled Latin music into the mainstream.

Then in the 2010s, reggaeton, urbano, electropop, contemporary bachata and Latin trap began dominating the charts. One of the most notable examples is “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. It quickly became one of the most streamed tracks and videos of all time. The song also dominated the Billboard charts for 16 consecutive weeks. 

In the modern day, Latin music is more successful than ever. Bad Bunny became the first non-English language act to become Spotify’s most-streamed artist for three years in a row. Karol G appeared on the Barbie Soundtrack with the song “Watati” garnering over 115 million views and over 100 million streams. Pitbull has cemented himself as a pop culture icon. 

Latin music shows no signs of slowing down. This entire subsection has been rapidly gaining popularity all over the world and more and more Latin artists are gaining international success. The future will bring more Hispanic and Latino artists to the mainstream and cement Latin music as one of the most popular genres in the world. 


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