Latin Music Week

Rewinding the Latin Charts: In 2004, Paulina Rubio Stormed to the Top

Universal Music Latino/ UMLE
Paulina Rubio

“Te Quise Tanto” gave La Chica Dorada her first U.S. No. 1 single.

Mexican singer Paulina Rubio, who earned the moniker La Chica Dorada (The Golden Girl), became a recognizable face of the Latin pop scene of the ‘90s as she claimed the solo spotlight with her debut single “Mio” in 1993, two years after she had left her childhood pop group Timbiriche.   

It was years later, though, when she broke into Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart penthouse with one of her strongest commercial hits, “Te Quise Tanto” notching her first No. 1 on the Feb. 21, 2004-dated Hot Latin Songs chart after scoring seven top 10s on the list.

“The idea was conceived through a mutual friend of us,” Argentinian singer-songwriter Coti Soronkin tells Billboard. “Pelo Aprile, a great producer and A&R who was working at Universal at the time, called me and proposed I write a song for Paulina. Back then I was in Spain recording my second album.”  

Soronkin, known for his stage name Coti, didn’t know Rubio back then, there was no musical intimacy, so he wrote the song -with the help of Andahí (wife Valeria Larrarte) and Adrain Schinoff, the song’s demo arranger- based on a universal language and emotional spectrum, abounding of collective experiences and perceptions. “I was in transit to Malaga when the lyrics of the song came to be almost in its entirety,” he adds about a song that solidified his standing among the most coveted songwriters of the moment.

As Rubio made it hers with her inquisitive sense of self and gleaming persona, “Te Quise Tanto” became an entrancing song, a pop-rock tinged tune about a lost, hopeless love with a welter of sounds, opening with a delineated rock instrumentation layered with a solid percussion, nylon guitars with flamenco air which opened space for Rubio’s trademark hoarse and cheery vocals.

“Te Quise Tanto” became Rubio’s longest-ruling No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart as it crowned the tally for six weeks. Likewise, she earned her longest reign on the Latin Pop Songs airplay chart as it went to reign for 13 weeks. That’s the second-most weeks at No. 1 on the list for a song by a woman, trailing only Shakira’s “Suerte” which ruled the list for 14 weeks (Sept. 29-Dec. 1, 2001, Dec. 15, 2001-Jan. 5, 2002).

“Te Quise Tanto” was produced by Emilio Estefan and became the lead single of Rubio’s seventh studio album, Pau-Latina, which was nominated for a 2004 Latin GRAMMY Award (best pop female vocal album) and a 2005 GRAMMY Award (best Latin pop album). Rubio, concurrently, garnered her second No. 1 on the Latin Pop Albums chart, leading for six weeks, and debuted and peaked at No. 105 on the Billboard 200 chart. The set was the follow up to her second studio album Paulina which became the top selling Latin album of 2001 in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music, (it sold 255,000 copies that year and debuted at No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart.)

Rubio performed “Te Quise” at the 2004 Billboard Latin Music Awards. As the song turned into a hit, her relationship with Coti became a friendship, opening the doors for collaborations as he later invited her to Madrid to sing “Nada Fue Un Error” alongside Julieta Venegas. 

Coti later covered the song in 2012. “Te Quise Tanto” returned to its essence: a tango-infused tune, flanked by the violin, bandoneon, violoncello, with striking background vocals, closing with the symbolic Argentinian strident guitar riffs. The song now lives as the No. 10 track of his 23-song album Coti Sorokin Y Los Brillantes En El Teatro Colón which was recorded live at the legendary opera house, Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires.