The Most Popular Song From Latin America The Year You Were Born
There’s a reason that Latin music is so big in the US, Mexico and Central and South America. Latinos simply make some of the greatest bops in the world. Whether it’s cumbia, reggaeton, bachata or pop, Latin songs are as varied and lively as the audience that popularizes them.
Latin music has been around since the 16th century saw colonizers from Spain and Portugal arrive in the Americas. However, it didn’t become popular in the United States until the 1930s. With that in mind, there’s a long list of Latin jams to discover and rediscover. What better way to do so than by seeing what was popular the year we were born.
Here are the most popular Latin songs from your birth year.
1. 1988 — “Ay Amor” Ana Gabriel
In 1988, everyone was singing Ana Gabriel’s “Ay Amor.” Describing the longings of love, the ballad was #1 on the charts and for 14 consecutive weeks. Gabriel first performed this song in 1987 at the OTI Festival. There, it won awards for Best Song, Best Singer and Best Composer. The song’s success earned Gabriel the honor of representing Mexico at Festival OTI International. Mexico tied for third place with Spain and “Ay Amor” became one of Gabriel’s signature songs.
2. 1989 — “Como Tu Mujer” Rocío Dúrcal
It may be 30 years old but “Como Tu Mujer” is still essential post-break up listening. Written and produced by Marco Antonio Solís, the ballad is from Rocío Dúrcal’s ablum of the same name. Full of heart break and betrayal, the song includes memorable lines like “Pero vez que al engañarme te engañas tu mismo.” One of Dúrcal’s most successful singles, “Como Tu Mujer” spent 10 weeks at #1.
3. 1990 — “El Carñio Es Como Una Flor” Rudy La Scala
This song reminds novios everywhere to treat their girlfriends right because there’s always someone else who will. Written, produced and performed by Venezuelan singer Rudy La Scala, “El Carñio Es Una Flor” was the artist’s first #1 single. The song has since been covered by numerous artists. Alex Matos released a salsa version as well as a bachata version with Dominican musician Andy Andy.
4. 1991 — “Es Demasiado Tarde” Ana Gabriel
Though she’s queen of the Mexican love ballads, Ana Gabriel also has songs about moving on from love. In “Es Demasiado Tarde,” the singer tells the story of a woman who refuses to take her man back after the death of their relationship. The song was originally part of a compilation album called “México, Vox, y Sentimiento.” “Es Demasiado Tarde” sat at #1 for 10 weeks and was Gabriel’s fourth number one single.
5. 1992 — “Evidencias” Ana Gabriel
We certainly think everyone can relate to this “Evidencias” and that’s probably why it stayed #1 for 10 consecutive weeks. In 1992, Ana Gabriel wrote a song about being so in love that she was kind of afraid of it. The single was the best received one of Gabriel’s album, “Silueta,” and her 6th overall number one song.
6. 1993 — “Me Estoy Enamorando” La Mafia
Tejano group La Mafia earned a spot at #1 with their single “Me Estoy Enamorado.” A song about the feelings we have when we fall in love, the single is from their seventeenth studio album. With lyrics like “No puedo consolarme si no tengo tus besos,” we can especially feel the devotion that made this song the most popular of ’93.
7. 1994 — “Amor Prohibido” Selena
With a storyline often compared to Romeo and Juliet, “Amor Prohibido” is Selena’s 1994 hit about love in the face of society’s disapproval. The Queen of Tejano Music originally wrote the single because she wanted to honor her grandparents’ love story. The two were from different social classes but nevertheless fell in love with each other . “Amor Prohibido” spent 9 consecutive weeks at #1 and has since gone 7x platinum. The iconic song has since been covered by everyone from Shakira and Thalia to actress Keke Palmer and Broadway star Shoshana Bean.
8. 1995 — “No Me Queda Más” Selena
The third single from her album “Amor Prohibido,” “No Me Queda Más” mixed mariachi and pop in a story of unrequited love. The ballad was written by Los Dinos keyboardist, Ricky Vela. Vela was secretly in love with Selena’s sister Suzzette but never told her. After her 1993 wedding, Vela wrote “No Me Queda Más” as a tribute to his unrequited love. As a result of his emotional honestly, the ballad spent 7 consecutive weeks at #1. Unfortunately, due to her untimely death, this is the last song of Selena’s to have the honor of year’s most popular.
9. 1996 — “Un Millón De Rosas” La Mafia
From their nineteenth studio album, La Mafia’s “Un Millón De Rosas” is a song about the yearning that comes with true love. Lyrics like “No existen las tardes lluviosas porque llegaste borré cicatrices de mi corazón” make this a truly poetic ballad. Besides the single being a huge hit, the album, “Un Millón De Rosas,” additionally earned a Grammy for Best Mexican/Mexican-American Album.
10. 1997 — “Te Sigo Amando” Juan Gabriel
Seventeen years after the release of “Te Sigo Amando,” this Juan Gabriel single became the #1 song of the year for 1997. The emotional ballad is about the pining and pain of a long lost love. The reason “Te Sigo Amando” became is popular because it was used for a telenovela of the same name which aired that year.
11. 1998 — “Así Fue” Juan Gabriel
Another Juan Gabriel classic, “Así Fue” was actually first released back in 1988. Written by Gabriel, the artist didn’t sing it himself until he recorded his live album “Celebrando 25 Años de Juan Gabriel: En Concierto en el Palacio de Bellas Artes.” The ballad is about someone torn between their current and former lovers. “Así Fue” would win the honor of ASCAP Latin Award for Super Song of the Year. Since it’s original release, the song has been covered by artists like Jenni Rivera and Toño Rosario. Still, none have been as popular as Gabriel’s version.
12. 1999 — “Necesito Decirte” Conjunto Primavera
The same year that the United States had its Latin Explosion, “Necesito Decirte” by Conjunto Primavera was 1999’s most popular song. The perfect bittersweet breakup song, the heartbreaking ballad tells the story of love and lost. Lyrics like “Desde que tú te has ido amor ya no sé vivir” make this single feel relatable af.
13. 2000 — “A Puro Dolor” Son by Four
Puerto Rico’s Son by Four made history with their single “A Puro Dolor.” Released as a salsa version and a ballad, the song spent 20 weeks in the #1 spot. “A Puro Dolor” tells the story of a man explaining to his former lover how agonizing it is to live without her. The single was additionally released in English and became a radio favorite in the US. The song would later win a Latin Grammy, a Billboard Music Award and a Lo Nuestro Award.
14. 2001 — “Abrázame Muy Fuerte” Juan Gabriel
Juan Gabriel again had the year’s most popular song in 2001. Released in 2000, “Abrázame Muy Fuerte” is a love ballad that was used in a telenovela of the same name. The popularity of the series is what encouraged love of this touching song the following year. After spending 9 consecutive weeks at #1, the song earned Pop Song of the Year at the Lo Nuestro Awards. Nine years later, Marc Anthony also covered “Abrázame Muy Fuerte” for his album “Iconos.”
15. 2002 — “Y Tú Te Vas” Chatanne
Bust this one out next time you want to add some emotion to your karaoke. A single off of Chayanne’s first album to reach #1, it’s natural that “Y Tú Te Vas” would be a hit as well. The song was one of only three new tracks on his album “Grandes Éxitos” but it has now become one of his classics. Lyrics like “Eres como una llama que arde en el fondo de mi corazón” tell the story of a love so painfully departed.
16. 2003 — “Tal Vez” Ricky Martin
In 2003, Ricky Martin’s story of a dying romance became Latin America’s most popular song. “Tal Vez” was the first single from the artist’s Spanish language album “Almos del Silencio.” Also released as a promo single in Latin America, the song stayed at #1 for eleven weeks. The ballad was so well received that it won two Latin Billboard Awards and an ASCAP Latin Award in addition to being nominated for a Latin Grammy.
17. 2004 — “Más Que Tu Amigo” Marco Antonio Solís
A romantic anthem for those in the “friendzone,” 2004’s song further proves that telenovela’s are way influential in the Latinidad. Marco Antonio Solís’ “Más Que Tu Amigo” is the opening theme for Mexican series “Velo de Novia.” The single is from the pov of a totally enamored man who longs to be more than friends with their lady love. Trust us, it’s more romantic than it sounds.
18. 2005 — “La Tortura” Shakira ft. Alejandro Sanz
Shakira’s “La Tortura” is not only 2005’s most popular song, but is also one of the best selling Spanish songs worldwide of all time. A story of a woman tortured by her boyfriend’s cheating, “La Tortura” spent 25 weeks in the #1 spot. The single is a mix of reggaeton with pop and went on to win two Latin Grammys. Lyrics like “Sólo de errores se aprendeY hoy sé que es tuyo” remind us just how fierce Shakira is and has always been.
19. 2006 — “Down” R.K.M & Ken-Y
Latin America’s most popular song of 2006 wasn’t even meant to be a single. Reggaeton duo R.K.M & Ken-Y’s song “Down” was only released as a single because it recieved massive radio play and was incredibly popular with listeners. Honestly, we’ve got to respect that level of radio clout. Produced by Mambo Kingz, the single tells the story of a heartbroken guy feeling down because of the loss of his novia.
20. 2007 — “Mi Corazoncito” Aventura
A bop that is widely recognized in many Latin American countries, Aventura’s bachata single “Mi Corazoncito” was 2007’s most popular song. Group member Romeo Santos wrote the song about a lovesick fool who eventually gets his girl. “Mi Corazoncito” was so well recieved that it won two Billboard Music Awards and a Premio Lo Nuestro Award.
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