Latin music wasn’t always saturated of reggaeton. Back in the days when music used to be about feelings and not sex, and singers use to have great voices singing meaningful stuff, the Spanish speaking world gave us many remarkable voices.
Below, few of the singers whose immortal songs still playing today.
My top 5 of legendary Latin crooners:
#1 NINO BRAVO:
Nino Bravo is the LEGEND of LEGENDS despite his short life, career and repertoire… Nino died in a car crash at the age of 28, having just signed a major record deal.
Once upon a time, back in 1958, a shy Valencian 14-year-old called Luis Ferri Llopis, with a tendency to befriend older people found himself on a trip with two well-known musicians, bassist Vicente Lopez and Paco Ramón. The story goes that upon waking from a nap, and hearing the boy sing for the first time, Lopez predicted that Llopis (subsequently to be renamed Niño Bravo,) would become a superstar.
Bravo refused to move permanently to Madrid despite the pressures this placed on his career, but soon became a hit in Spain and Latin America.
The Hispanic world was deprived of Nino’s powerful voice when his life was cut short, but his legacy lives on!
#2 ROBERTO CARLOS:
Nicknamed the “King of Latin Music” Roberto Carlos career crossed Brazil’s borders in the 1970s as he won a following for pop tunes, often ballads about love, that he sung in Spanish, English, French and Italian, along with his native Portuguese.
He has sold more than 120 million records in Latin America, topping The Beatles and Elvis Presley in the region. Class act, charismatic, humble, legendary, his songs are covered by new Latin artists all of genres.
For decades Brazilian Roberto Carlos made the soundtrack for many hearts, and you cannot not fall in love with his charm.
Undoubtedly South America’s beloved king!
#3 JULIO IGLESIAS:
What to say about Julio Iglesias, he’s a legend who has won two Guiness Records: Best selling world artist in more than dozen language and Best selling Latin artist in the world!
Julio was born and raised in Madrid. After high school he went on to study law and at the same time he played on the junior reserve squad of the popular Real Madrid professional football (soccer) club. However, his aspirations of becoming a professional football player ended when he became partially paralysed in his early twenties because of a benign spinal tumour. During his lengthy recovery, he was given a guitar by one of his nurses, and he taught himself to play by accompanying songs on the radio.
After he had sufficiently recovered mobility, Iglesias was sent to study English in the United Kingdom. During that time he penned his first single, with which he won a Spanish song competition in 1968.
In 1970 he won the honour of representing Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest with his song “Gwendolyne.” Though he did not win that competition, his song became a major hit in Europe and rocketed him to stardom.
Julio’s magnetism, stage presence, and expressive music made him one of the best-selling artists of all time. A real icon and indisputable LEGEND!
#4 JOSÉ JOSÉ
This is a tragic story ’cause alcoholism destroyed this Mexican legend.
José José nickenamed “The Prince” began his musical career in his early teens playing guitar and singing in serenades. He later joined a jazz and bossa nova trio where he sang and played bass and double bass.
José found success as a solo artist in the early 1970s. Demonstrating his vocal ability with a stunning performance of the song “El Triste” (The Sad One) at a Latin music festival held in Mexico City in 1970, he climbed the Latin charts during that decade. In the 1980s, after signing with Ariola Records, José rose to international prominence as one of the most popular and talented Latin performers.
With a large number of international hits, he received several Grammy nominations and recognition worldwide. He sold out in venues such as Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall. His music reached non-Spanish-speaking countries like Japan, Israel and Russia.
Because of his vocals and popularity, José José is considered an icon of Latin pop music and one of the most emblematic Mexican singers of all time.
#5 JOSÉ LUIS PERALES
Spanish singer/songwriter José Luis Perales started getting involved in music at a very young age, playing lute and composing for the first time at the age of 16. While living in Sevilla, attending electronic classes at Universidad Laboral, José Luis Perales was captivated by songwriting, getting a record deal in 1970 .
A song called “Por Qué Te Vas,” performed by English singer Jeanette, became his first hit. Later, debuting as a singer he found major local success, soon climbing on the most important charts throughout Latin America with romantic ballads.
Jose Luis Perales is a poet, and his compositions have been recorded by the most popular and also legendary Latin singers such as Vikki Carr, Bertín Osborne, Raphael, Rocío Jurado, Miguel Bosé, Isabel Pantoja, Julio Iglesias, Paloma San Basilio, Mocedades, Ricardo Montaner and Marc Anthony, among others.
Five icons that made us, Latinos, very proud!