For many, music is associated with memories and is a nice way to take a stroll down memory lane. Listening to hits by Selena can transport us to the ’90s whilst a collection of Ana Gabriel’s greatest hits can send you to the ’80s. Music is also a great way for people from across the globe to connect with each other.
Often each period is characterized by its own respective hit. This article will explore that and tell you what the most popular song from Latin America was the year you were born.
The Year 1988
In 1988, people all over the Americas were mad for the soulful vocals featured in Ana Gabriel’s “Ay Amor”. The ballad written and sung by the Mexican singer-songwriter reached number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart and marked Latin’s increasing popularity abroad.
The Year 1989
“Como Tu Mujer” by Rocío Dúrcal topped the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart in 1989. The song lyrically portrays a woman’s deep passion and devotion towards her beloved. The Latin promotional single was written and produced by Mexican singer-songwriter Marco Antonio Solis for the Spanish performer. It instantly became a hit and stayed as number one for ten consecutive weeks in the United States.
The Year 1990
Rudy La Scala’s “El Cariño Es Como Una Flor” proved to be very popular in 1990. Amidst a backdrop of growing experimentation in the Latin music genre, the Italian-Venezuelan performer released the single which has since become one of his most well-known songs to date.
The Year 1991
In 1991, Ana Gabriel’s name returned to the very top of the charts when she released her single “Es Demasiado Tarde”. Aside from closing up the year as the best performing Latin single of the year in the United States, the single left us all singing: ‘Lo debes de entender, es demasiado tarde.’
The Year 1992
Ana Gabriel’s 1992 hit song left everyone wanting to profess their love when it was released. “Evidencias” debuted at number one on the Billboard Latin Songs chart and enraptured us all again with Ana Gabriel’s sweet voice.
The Year 1993
The classic ‘Me has hecho tanta falta’ heard at the beginning of La Mafia’s 1993 single “Me Estoy Enamorando” remains a signal to start crying. La Mafia has their roots in Houston, Texas and to date the Latin band has four Grammys to their name.
The Year 1994
“Amor Prohibido” is one of Selena’s signature songs alongside classics like “Como La Flor”. Showcasing the Queen of Tejano’s vocal flair, the track left a lasting impression on people around the world. The 1994 hit is so iconic that even your abuela should remember the ‘el dinero no importa en ti y en mí, ni en el corazóóóón. Baby!’ that had everyone swaying their hips.
The Year 1995
Selena returned to the top of the charts again with her fourth studio album, “No Me Queda Más”. This highly evocative song captured the hearts of many and its portrayal of heartbreak and unrequited love continues to be the subject of praise. In 2011, it was ranked as the best Tejano song by the Billboard magazine.
The Year 1996
Love has never been the same since La Mafia released “Un Millón de Rosas” in 1996. The song caused hearts to tremble everywhere in North America with its amorous lines. The entire album peaked at number one on the Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart and earned the group a Grammy Award for best Mexican/ Mexican-American album.
The Year 1997
Juan Gabriel released the sensational “Te Sigo Amando” in 1997. Those of you who watched ’90s telenovelas may remember “Te Sigo Amando” as the opening theme song of Televisa’s telenovela of the same name.
The Year 1998
“Así Fue” was written and produced by the singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel and was performed by the Spanish songstress Isabel Pantoja in 1988. The hit featured the stunning voice of Isabel Pantoja and imbued every girl with a desire to cry over their non-existent ex-lover.
The Year 1999
Conjunto Primavera’s 1991 romantic ballad “Necesito Decirte” became a hit in North America. As well as reaching number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, the song popularized the conjunto song genre in many non-Latin American countries.
The Year 2000
In 2000, the Puerto Rican former quartet Son by Four released “A Puro Dolor”. The Latin pop single spent 20 weeks at number one on the Billboard Top Latin Songs chart and also managed to reach the Billboard 100. It even won over English-speaking audiences which led to an English-language version of the track; this too charted in the United States.
The Year 2001
Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel reminded everyone of the dangers of love with his 2001 “Abrázame muy fuerte”. Juan Gabriel received a nomination for Best Latin Pop Album at the 44th Grammy Awards for its release. The song was also the opening theme of a Mexican telenovela of the same name.
The Year 2002
Chayanne’s classic “Y Tú Te Vas” propelled the Puerto Rican singer to even greater stardom in 2002. It was the number one track of the summer and forever remains a bop.
The Year 2003
Ricky Martin warned listeners everywhere about neglecting the one you love with his 2003 song “Tal Vez”. Reaching number 74 on the Billboard Hot 100, it is safe to say that the release was a hit. The Puerto Rican artist is widely regarded as the King of Latin Pop and he’s recognized for bringing the genre to the forefront of the United States’ music scene.
The Year 2004
“Más Que Tu Amigo” by Marco Antonio Solís reached number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart. The song’s catchy beat makes it easy to understand why.
The Year 2005
“La Tortura” is a Latin pop song by the Colombian singer Shakira and Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz. Featuring reggaeton influences and beautiful storytelling, it was received positively by critics. The song topped the charts in Spain, Venezuela and Hungary.
The Year 2006
R.K.M & Ken-Y’s “Down” quickly became number one on the charts and in the hearts of dancing fanatics everywhere. The song released by reggaeton duo achieved the top spot on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart and received a massive amount of airplay.
The Year 2007
“Mi Corazoncito” by the Bachata kings, Aventura, certainly left an impression on people in 2007. Aside from topping numerous US charts, the song gained lots of attention in Spanish-speaking countries and reached number 84 on the Schweizer Hitparade. The single also earned two awards at the 2008 Latin Billboard Music Awards and one at the 2008 Premio Lo Nuestro.
The Year 2008
The Panamanian singer, Flex, left us wanting more when he dropped “Te Quiero”. The song was a huge commercial success and topped numerous charts including the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks. It even charted at number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is also known for being the main theme of a Mexican telenovela.
Enjoy the throwback!
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