Check out our Spotify editors’ picks for the best Latin songs of the decade!


It’s so exciting to finally reveal our editors’ picks for the best Latin songs of the decade. A special shout out goes to Carl Chery for championing this initiative across all genres at Spotify and of course to the best team ever: Antonio Vásquez, Monica Damashek and Marylu Ramos. We had so much fun co-curating this. It was far from easy, but we hope you enjoy reminiscing on an incredible journey of music. As you listen, it’s hard not to feel proud of our culture, and the myriad textures and sounds that compose it. Gracias a los artistas por llevar por lo más alto nuestra cultura. Here’s to the next decade…it’s going to be good! Sound off in the comments: which songs do you agree with, which songs do you wish were there? We’re not afraid of a healthy debate.

I just want to share a few thoughts as I reflect on the past decade. This might get a little lengthy, but I’m a music nerd at heart and it’s fun to think as a journalist once again. Thank you for indulging me:

  • Without question, “Despacito” is the juggernaut. It transcended language and borders as Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi (later assisted by Justin Bieber for the remix) led the entire world in singing the same 4 syllables while proudly waving the Puerto Rican flag. The “Conga” and “Livin La Vida Loca” of our generation but amplified by streaming into a musical revolution of epic proportions. There is simply no turning back. 
  • J Balvin’s “Mi Gente” featuring Willy William. The France-Colombia collab became an anthem for all people, everywhere, and elevated reggaeton to unprecedented heights. 
  • The most remarkably rapid ascent into superstardom goes to Bad Bunny, who went from bagging groceries to one of the hottest artists in the world seemingly overnight. Even Drake couldn’t resist jumping on a Bad Bunny track (“MIA,” 2018), proving why the Puerto Rican superstar’s appeal is “the new religion.”
  • “I Like It” coined the “Latino Gang” movement. The trifecta of Cardi B, J Balvin, and Bad Bunny came together for a party vibe that was at once refreshing and familiar thanks to its clever sampling of boogaloo king Pete Rodriguez’s iconic 1967 song. 
  • The above examples are notable because the concept of collaboration ruled the Latin scene in the past decade, the bridging and blurring of styles, language, and cultures always amplifying the impact of a single song with a larger message of unification. Within the context of our politics, this is the most urgent and important message of our time. 
  • Much credit is due to “Danza Kuduro,” from one of the OGs of reggaeton, Puerto Rico’s own Don Omar, and featuring Portuguese-French artist Lucenzo. Released in 2010, it was way ahead of the curve in terms of collaborations amongst artists of different global cultures — a trend that shows no signs of slowing down in the next decade. 
  • The urban pop sounds of Puerto Rico and Colombia were ubiquitous in this decade (personified by the king of reggaeton, Daddy Yankee, and an artist who diligently studied the latter’s career, J Balvin). Both reached the milestone of becoming the #1 artist on Spotify —Daddy Yankee in 2017, making history as the first Latin artist to hold that title, and then Balvin in 2018. 
  • “Malamente” (2018) was the dose of futuristic flamenco fusion the world didn’t know it needed. With this track, an artist from across the pond, Rosalía, disrupted the music scene and let us know we can count on her to do exactly that for years to come. We predict she will own the next decade. 
  • Marc Anthony’s “Vivir Mi Vida,” released in 2013, is more than a song about resilience; it’s a way of life and proves why salsa is possibly Latin music’s most timeless genre. 
  • The emergence of prominent female voices in the Latin urban space. Becky G, Natti Natasha, and Karol G are some of the women who rose to prominence this past decade and joined reggaeton pioneer Ivy Queen, once alone in the male dominated field of reggaeton.
  • The story of Danny Ocean. He left his politically torn home country of Venezuela and relocated to Miami in search of a better life. It was in Miami that he wrote a song about a long distance relationship with a girl back home. That song was “Me Rehúso” (almost 900 million streams to date). Thanks to his success on Spotify, the once completely unknown artist was signed by Warner and keeps releasing great music today. He is the best example in the Latin world from this past decade of how anyone can find a massive global audience thanks to the right song and unified editorial support on the right platform. In 2017, after we discovered his single on the Central American viral charts, editors began programming the song locally in different markets. The success of the song at a local level allowed it to graduate to relevant genre playlists and top local hits playlists with a larger reach, eventually making it to Spotify’s top regional and global hits playlists, including Viva Latino. At the time Ocean said: “Spotify has changed my life and career, no doubt. I say this because of the reach my song has achieved, getting to the ears of people all over the world. Every artist wants their songs to be heard, that’s the most important thing to us, and Spotify has given me that great opportunity.” 

Enjoy our Best Latin Songs of the 2010s playlist here. And when you’re done with that, check out our picks for the Best Latin Songs of 2019!

It’s all about #LatinosOnSpotify!

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So proud of our Hispanic Heritage Month campaign on Spotify! It was a true team effort and the first of many big things to come on the platform as we seek to give Latin music lovers the best experience. 

About #LatinosOnSpotify:

Data shows that Latin music is now one of the most popular genres globally on Spotify. To mark this milestone and to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, on September 15, Spotify launched #LatinosOnSpotify, a month-long campaign featuring, for the first time in a category’s history, Latino-centric video, podcasts and specially curated playlists all in one place.

Debuting just in time for Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrates the diversity and nuances within the culture, offering music for every taste and catering to different Hispanic audiences within the United States.

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Fans of Regional Mexican, Tropical, Latin Urban, Pop, Rock, Alternative, Jazz, and more, will have a chance to experience the music they love like never before and connect with their favorite artists in a unique way. Enrique Iglesias, Prince Royce, Marc Anthony, Los Tigres del Norte, Maluma, Daddy Yankee, Becky G, Yandel, Gloria Estefan and many other superstars have all come together with Spotify to bring you an unforgettable musical experience.


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Artist interviews with the biggest Latin stars in the world are available for streaming in the new Latino hub alongside Spotify’s most popular and beautifully redesigned genre-specific playlists and special one-off playlists such as “Latinos, Let’s Vote!”, our collaboration with Voto Latino to mobilize the vote among Latino millennials in this upcoming election. Also, for the first time ever inside the Latin category on Spotify mobile, people are able to enjoy some of the best podcasts on a range of topics of interest to Latinos!

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The first thing you see when you visit the new Latino hub is “La Familia, With Marc Anthony & his Father Felipe Muñiz,” Spotify’s first ever Latin music documentary. The 3-episode short doc profiles legendary recording artist Marc Anthony as he delves into the story and process behind one of the most exciting passion projects of his career: recording the new bolero-flavored track ‘Dejé de Amar’ with his father, Felipe Muñiz, who makes his recording debut at 81. Joining them is multiple Grammy Award winning producer Sergio George. In this intimate session, Marc and his father come together to discuss family, play music, and to celebrate the sound that was passed down from father to son, a gift that ultimately produced one of the biggest Latin stars in the world.

Press play now for Hispanic Heritage Month and join the conversation using #LatinosOnSpotify.


A new era begins!


When I started my career as an entertainment journalist (and resident reggaeton queen) at VIBE magazine in 2003, I never would have imagined I’d end up here. My dream was to one day be an editor-in-chief (of a print magazine, obviously). Eventually, I’d earn that title, but in the digital era, where instead of worrying about selling newsstand copies and upping subscriptions I would obsess over site analytics. And what I do now simply didn’t exist back then, so I couldn’t have possibly known that it would be the culmination of everything I’ve worked for. But here I am, feeling incredibly blessed to have joined Spotify’s global content programming team as a Senior Editor. In this role, I curate playlists across a wide range of genres and moods & moments for a US Latin audience — from pop to Regional Mexican; from party anthems to children’s music. I also create playlist brands with a global reach and with the goal of amplifying the streaming service’s role as the undisputed choice for Latin music lovers. One of the most exciting parts of the job is breaking new artists via a collaborative programming approach across a global team of editors. What could be more exciting than helping the world discover new voices who have something powerful to say?

Here’s to the dreams you can imagine — and to the ones you can’t even picture yet, but are waiting in the wings.

Jesse & Joy reveal new album title, release date & heartfelt Juan Luis Guerra duet (exclusive)


Mexican brother and sister duo Jesse & Joy are well aware that when you listen to their music, you almost need to have a box of tissues nearby. This is not because their music is depressing (although if you’re going through a breakup it can certainly seem that way), but because it’s so visceral. This in itself is a gift. But then you factor in the powerful instrument that is Joy’s voice, Jesse’s production savvy and their unique bond, and you’ve got something extra special.

The same holds true for their upcoming fourth album, Un Besito Más (One Last Kiss), due Dec. 4 via Warner, for which they expanded their production roster to include Fraser T. Smith (Adele, Sam Smith), Grammy winner Martin Terefe (who handled production on their previous album, ¿Con Quién Se Queda el Perro?), and Dominican legend Juan Luis Guerra, alongside Jesse.

Vocally, there’s a newfound confidence. The first single “Ecos de Amor” (Echoes of Love) positions Joy as a soulful songstress in her prime. The visuals are equally stunning, thanks to Samuel Bayer (Michael Jackson, Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake) who directed the single’s video.

That Jesse & Joy are doing it big is no coincidence. It’s been 10 years since their Esta es mi Vida debut, and, as Jesse will humbly tell you, “we know there’s something we do that connects.” So the trick this time around was staying true to their sound while exhibiting growth. “It’s a challenge we were totally up for and we put everything we have into this,” says the elder Huerta (he’s 32; Joy is 29).

Billboard spoke via phone to the two siblings, who were at home in Mexico City and offered exclusive details on the album.

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Remembering Jenni Rivera, the Music Icon and Mother

I Love Jenni - Season 3

The world lost one of its brightest stars on December 9, 2012. But for all her success, Jenni Rivera was also unapologetically real, vulnerable and accessible. In this exclusive interview, Rivera’s eldest daughter Chiquis reflects on the loss and honors the legacy of banda music’s reigning queen.

Read my exclusive interview with Chiquis on the new MySpace.


Latin Grammy winner Sergio George on success, loyalty and the rebirth of Salsa


Once upon a time, salsa reigned supreme. Great singers from Cuba, Venezuela, Panama, Puerto Rico, Colombia and Dominican Republic introduced this vibrant genre to the world and we collectively moved to the clave, connecting with its universal message. As legendary BMI-affiliated salsa producer Sergio George puts it, “Not only was salsa the dance of dances, but it gave people hope, something to relate to, something to dream of, the possibility of romanticism during the toughest of times, a respite for the poor.” Somewhere along the way, though, the movement lost momentum and was overshadowed by other genres.

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Calle 13 & Julian Assange: A love story

You gotta admire how Calle 13 stay true to their hasta la victoria siempre M.O. Their newest act of rebellion? A collabo with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, their buddy Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and Palestinian musician Kamilya Jubran. Apparently Rene Perez, one half of C13, visited Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London this past summer. Their #JulianAssangeCalle13 campaign has been mounting since then, when they engaged their loyal Twitter followers on various themes and received thousands of responses, which they plan to incorporate into this new song. “We’re going to take their voice, what they’re saying, their idea, and we’re going to manipulate their idea and construct a song about the media…to talk against the bad media but using their voices,” says Perez in the teaser. Watch below:

The full “Multi_Viral” single will be released November 13. As for their next album, C13 has opted not to renew their contract with Sony and will be releasing their next album independently in March 2014. “We’re looking at different platforms,” C13’s Eduardo Cabra told Billboard last week. “Maybe we will give it away for free.”

That’s a cause I can get behind.

Happy birthday to the queen, Celia Cruz!

Google and the Celia Cruz estate have collaborated to honor the Queen of Salsa on what would have been her 88th birthday. Ten years after her passing, she continues to bring so much joy into our lives through her music and the Google Doodle is a symbol of how far-reaching her impact is.

Gloria Estefan (the other queen, in my book) once told me a great anecdote of a time when she played a show with Celia and how, even though her knees were killing her from arthritis, she never once showed it during her performance. She never once complained about it backstage. Instead, she got up onstage and gave the crowd everything she had.

The new iBook, Celia Cruz: The Lady, The Legend, Her Legacy, will be available tomorrow from Sony Music.

Celia, que en paz descanses….y gracias por el regalo de tu musica!


Exclusive: behind the scenes with Juanes at his ‘Loud & Unplugged’ tour


There was only one good reason to trek it from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, CA this past Friday night: I got a backstage VIP pass to the kick-off concert to Juanes’ highly anticipated 2013 “Loud and Unplugged” summer tour.

Without exaggerating, I can say that Juanes and his bandmates – Rafael Sandoval on the sax, Edilberto Lievano on the trombone, Orlando Barreda on the trumpet, Juan Pablo Daza and Fernando Tobon on guitar, Felipe Navia on bass, Felipe Alzate and Richard Bravo on percussion, Waldo Madera on drums, and Emmanuel Briceño on the keyboard – have never sounded tighter.

For one, Juanes has never toured with a full horn section. Then again, if you’ve listened to Juanes’ MTV Unplugged album you know that he has strived for (and undoubtedly reached) a new level of musicianship. El maestro Juan Luis Guerra (who executive produced the Unplugged album) had a little something to do with that.

Whatever you do, don’t miss the chance to check Juanes out when he comes your way (peep the tour dates here).

And if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to experience a Juanes show from the inside, this should give you an idea …

Check out the photos on Fusion (ABC/Univision), where this story was originally published. 

A look at Jenni Rivera and Selena, side-by-side


There are great performers, and then there are game-changers. Jenni Rivera, who died at age 43 in a plane crash outside of Monterrey, Mexico early Sunday morning, was that rare breed of artist who will be remembered not only for her success, but for all the rules she re-wrote.

As the undisputed queen of banda music, her professional achievements within a male-dominated genre run deep – among her many feats, La Diva de la Banda sold some 1.2 million albums in the United States alone and sold out arenas like the Staples Center in Los Angeles, something no other female regional Mexican artist had done before. But make no mistake: nothing was ever handed to this woman.

Rivera was born in Long Beach, California on July 2, 1969, one of six siblings. The daughter of bartender-turned-music mogul Pedro Rivera, who launched his own record label, Cintas Acuario, in 1987 to produce the music of narcocorrido legend Chalino Sanchez, among others, and launch the career of his own son Lupillo, Jenni was a straight A student in high school. When she got pregnant with her first child as a sophomore, instead of dropping out, she earned her GED at a continuation school in 1987 – as the class valedictorian, no less – before going on to earn a college business degree in 1991.

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