Shakira, Enrique, Ricky Martin & More: Which Latin Icon Pulled Off the Best Crossover? Vote!
There are some artists who vow never to sing in a language other than their own. To others, the word crossover simply means experimenting with other genres -- a smart move in today’s market.
Prince Royce is the latest Latin idol to venture into English-language terrain after establishing himself as a bachata superstar. Judging by the buzz on his upcoming pop album Double Vision, out July 24, it will be a smooth transition. The move is hardly a stretch for Royce, who grew up in the Bronx, N.Y. as a proud Dominican-American.
Over the years, everyone from Shakira to Thalia has attempted this feat, most of them around the turn of the century during the period known as the “Latin pop explosion.” And while some had better results than others, they were all commendable efforts.
But who pulled it off best? Vote in our poll below!
The Spanish heartthrob may have crossed over at the height of the Latin pop explosion with 1999’s “Bailamos,” but he certainly transcended any musical limitations and proved his staying power. Just last year, Enrique made history when the bilingual version of “Bailando” was the first non-English song to infiltrate the top 10 at Top 40 radio since Los del Rio’s “Macarena” in 1996. The fact that the Spanish version of “Bailando” spent a record-smashing 41 weeks at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs proves he’s still loyal to his Latin fanbase.
You have to admit, the Colombian superstar’s poetry is best served in Spanish, especially with English lines like “Lucky that my lips not only mumble/ They spill kisses like a fountain/ Lucky that my breasts are small and humble/ So you don’t confuse them with mountains.”
But then the power of her hips trumped everything.
The Golden Girl's English-language singing career was short-lived, but we still enjoyed her seductive dance single “Don’t Say Goodbye.”
J.Lo, is that you? Thalia’s crossover single and video for “I Want You,” featuring Fat Joe, was a not-so-subtle borrowing of Jennifer Lopez’s sound and style. There’s even a New York City subway in the background. Could it be the 6 train?
This gifted Nuyorican technically started singing in English. His first, house-flavored album is a collaboration with Little Louie Vega called When the Night Is Over. But he built a career as a salsa icon, so we’re sliding him in anyway. The truth is, he sounds great in any language.
If you look up “crossover” in the dictionary, there should be a photo of Ricky shaking his bon bon and/or “Livin’ la Vida Loca.”
Now cast your vote!