Pop en Español Essentials
Latin pop—which embraces tropical dance music, romantic boleros, hard rock, and much more—became the dominant form of Latin music during the 1980's and '90s. Following the success of boy band Menudo, from whose ranks emerged Latin-pop king Ricky Martin, the field opened up both geographically and stylistically. And while Puerto Rico-born Luis Miguel never experienced Martin's crossover success, he did become Latin pop's most commercially successful performer, thanks to his impeccable and heartfelt boleros, tangos, and mariachi tracks. Some of Latin pop's most important voices have reinvented older styles for new audiences. Reggaeton stars Pitbull and Daddy Yankee poured gasoline on dancehall reggae, and Bronx-born former Aventura member Romeo Santos took the Dominican Republic's bachata sound mainstream. Female performers like Mexico's Gloria Trevi and Natalia Lafourcade, along with Shakira, oscillate between innovation and the tried-and-true, while the latter's fellow Colombians, Bomba Estéreo, are piloting their psychedelic cumbia dance music into the future.