entertainment

These Spanish-Language Albums Changed The Face And Feel Of The Music Industry

Los de atras vienen conmigo / Sony Music Latin / Celia & Johnny / Vaya

Whenever anyone dares to write a list of the most influential albums of all time, there are generally detractors who come up in arms. We do not wish to upset anybody with this selection of amazing albums, though. We just want to show you the depth and breath of the music that has come out of Latin America and out of the Latino diaspora in the United States. It is pretty easy to listen to all of these, so fire up your Spotify, get your headphones on and just let yourself go.

Música maestro.

“Re” by Cafe Tacvba

Year released: 1994

Genre: rock mexicano

Credit: R-4391373-1363636582-9482.jpeg.jpg. Digital image. Discogs

Widely regarded as the best Mexican rock album ever released, this masterpiece has been appreciated by people like Madonna. The album borrows from genres such as danzon and Tex-Mex music and produces indelible sounds that will make you laugh, dance and cry.

“Dónde están los ladrones?” by Shakira

Year released: 1998

Genre: Rock en español

Credit: R-5843968-1439639530-5572.jpeg.jpg Discogs. Digital image.Discogs.

Before she told us that her hips don’t lie and became a world phenomenon, Shakira released this mellow album that revealed her talent as a songwriter. She was young, beautiful and intelligent, a true example of the power of Latina women.

“Siembra” by Willie Colón y Rubén Blades

Year released: 1978

Genre: Salsa

Credit: Siembra-Colón-Blades. Digital image. Revista Replicante

It is not often that true legends collaborate. The New York native Willia and Blades from Panama released this album, which includes the classic “Pedro Navajas,” a true masterpiece that is violent and joyful at once.

“Una década” by Rubén Blades

Year released: 2003

Genre: Salsa

Credit: Una-década-Blades. Digital image. Revista Replicante

This is an amazing collection with Blades’ recordings from the 1990s. What makes him special is the skillful combination of musical skill and social commentary in the poignant lyrics.

“Tijuana Sessions Vol. I” by Nortec Collective

Year released: 2001

Genre: Electronic

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This duo from the border city of Tijuana really got what it means to live in a liminal zone that is equally influenced by Anglo and Latino cultures. The result is as enigmatic as, say, Radiohead’s “OK Computer.” A real masterpiece that will make you fly.

“Leche” by Fobia

Year released: 1993

Genre: Latin Rock

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The intellectual offspring of the likes of Lou Reed and David Bowie. The front singer Leonardo de Lozane held an enigmatic, androgynous vibe. This album is like a shot of tequila: kitsch, yet punchy. 

“Mucho barato” by Control Machete

Year released: 1997

Genre: Hip Hop

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The precursors of hip hop south of the Border. This album was revolutionary: as angry as Rage Against the Machine, yet using Spanglish in newfound ways that touched the vulgar and poetic.

“Chavela Live at Carnegie Hall” by Chavela Vargas

Year released: 2003

Genre: Ranchera

Credit: MI0001307534. Digital image. All Music

Chavela Vargas was a revolutionary on many fronts. She was one of the first openly queer personalities in Latin American music, and she revived her career well into her golden years. This album is a live performance in the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York: it is the stuff legends and dreams are made of.

“Adios Nonino” by Astor Pizzolla

Year released: 1969

Genre: Tango

Credit: 50-latin-albums-46.-astor-piazolla-y-su-quinteto-adios-nonino-1969-billboard-500×500 (1). Digital image. Billboard

After Carlos Gardel, Astor Piazzolla is perhaps the most representative tango musician in history. He revolutionized tango by giving the classic Argentinian and Uruguayan genre a modern twist. His accordion is damn sexy, the stuff that makes the blood and passions pump.

“Buena Vista Social Club” by Ry Cooder, Compay Segundo, Ruben Gonzalez, Eliades Ochoa and Ibrahim Ferrer

Year released: 1997

Genre: Son cubano

Credit: 50-spanish-language-albums-18.buena-vista-social-club-buena-vista-social-club-billboard-500×500. Digital image. Billboard

This is the soundtrack for Wim Wenders now-legendary film that follows a group of Cuban musicians. The album smells of rum, cigars and sunset at Havana. The album is groundbreaking because it helped Western countries get acquainted with the complexity of Latin music.

“El circo” by La Maldita Vecindad

Year released: 1991

Genre: Urban rock / danzon

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One of the great ways in which Latin American culture has pushed back against foreign cultural influence is of course music. This album tells everyday sad, courageous and unbelievable stories from Mexico City. From kids who live in the sewers to a bar where the saddest souls in the city dance, this is a true joya that mixes traditional and modern genres. “Kumbala” is one of the best songs ever written, period.

“Mundo Colombia” by Celso Piña

Year released: 2002

Genre: Cumbia

Credit: 51OKb1oU4CL._SX466_. Digital image. Amazon.

The great Celso is a musician from Monterrey, Mexico, who has nevertheless become one of the leading cumbia musicians. The genre is originally from Colombia, so in this album Celso offers an homage to the ritmos sabrosos of Colombian lands.

“Nada personal” by Soda Stereo

Year released: 1985

Genre: Rock argentino

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We could argue that this band led by the late Gustavo Cerati was even better than Anglo groups like Duran Duran. This album is all energy and 1980s vibe. New Wave sounds that are still listed to by Latin American youth.

“Suavemente” by Elvis Crespo

Year released: 1998

Genre: Merengue

Credit: 50-spanish-language-albums-17.elvis-crespo-suavemente-billboard-500×500. Digital image. Billboard

Suavemente, besame…. we are sure you have listened to this song at a wedding or at unos quince. Crespo brought Merengue to the mainstream and that is something that will never be taken away from him.

“Cielo de tambores” by Grupo Niche

Year released: 1990

Genre: Cumbia/salsa

Credit: R-5071556-1454493188-1038.jpeg. Digital image. Discog.

Perhaps the most influential Colombian album of all time. This album is energetic and sounds like the dark roast of Colombian coffee. Con sangre y con sudor su historia escribio.

“Secretos” by José José

Year released: 1983

Genre: Ballad

Credit: 50-spanish-language-albums-27.-jose-jose-secretos-billboard-500×500. Digital image. Billboard.

The Mexican Frank Sinatra. This album is the epitome of his estilo llegador: songs like “El Amor Acaba” and “Lagrimas” will play in the late hours of the night while you sip a tequila and think of amores perdidos.

“En cico en la cárcel de Santa Martha” by El Tri

Year released: 1989

Genre: Rock mexicano

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Just like Johnny Cash did in Saint Quentin and other prisons, the legendary band El Tri (think of a Mexican version of The Ramones) played for the inmates, creating one of the most lively records in the history of Latin American rock.

“Celia & Johnny” by Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco

Year released: 1974

Genre: Salsa

Credit: 50-spanish-language-albums-14.celia-cruz-celia-johnny-billboard-500×50. Digital image. Billboard

Every legend has a beginning, and this was it for Celia Cruz, the absolute queen of salsa. Azuuuuuuucar!

“Bachata Rosa” by Juan Luis Guerra y sus 4.40

Year released: 1990

Genre: Bachata

Credit: 94756091. Digital image. Toda coleccion.

This Dominican legend took pop music by storm with songs like “Burbujas de amor”. Quisiera ser un pezzzzz.

“Los de atras vienen conmigo” by Calle 13

Year released: 2008

Genre: Raeggeton

Credit: 50-spanish-language-albums-5.-calle-13-los-de-atras-vienen-conmigo-billboard-500×500. Digital image. Billboard.

Residente and Visitante poured it all in this album, which is fun to listen to, but also contains some very punchy and politically incendiary lyrics.

“La espada y la pared” by Los Tres

Year released: 1995

Genre: Rock chileno

Credit: 56. Digital image. Lado B.

This Chilean band mixes rock, jazz, and cueca, a traditional genre of the indigenous peoples of Chile. This album was one of the first to be produced after Pinochet’s dictatorship and the energy is palpable: a new era of freedom was coming.


READ: Country Music Is Losing Steam As Latin Music Experienced Major Growth In Popularity Last Year

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Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

Entertainment

Selena Gomez Is Fighting To Make Sure That Everyone Can Speak Openly And Honestly About Getting Help For Their Mental Health

selenagomez / Instagram

Selena Marie Gomez (born in Texas in 1992) has been in the public eye for as long as she can remember. She has been a role model for young girls as a singer and an actress and now is involved in more risqué films such as Spring Breakers, a delirious film by indie filmmaker Harmony Korine. Besides having a strong onscreen persona, Gomez has been in relationships with the likes of Justin Bieber, which of course turned the paparazzi attention and cameras to her. Suddenly, when she was barely a teenager her every move was being followed. Her life was sort of predestined to be great when she was named after the great late Selena Quintanilla. However, she has had to deal with divorce (her parents separated when she was five-years-old) and with weak health, as she was diagnosed with lupus, an auto-immune disease, which ultimately forced her to get a kidney transplant. She found strength in her mom. Gomez has said that her mother “was really strong around me. Having me at 16 had to have been a big responsibility. She gave up everything for me, had three jobs, supported me, sacrificed her life for me.” That must provide so much strength for a woman of barely 26 but who has gone through more in her lifetime than many 50-year-olds.

This must not be easy for anyone, even more so for a Latino woman. Gomez knows that she has a microphone and that she can get to other girls and women. “The older I get, the prouder I am to be a woman in the industry. When I was younger and running around all the time on tour, I don’t think I took the time to notice how being a woman in my position is really a gift. I want to make sure I utilize all that power,” the young Latina star told Into the GlossShe has used this position of privilege to raise awareness on mental health issues, including suicide prevention, both as a celebrity and as a producer. She is also a supporter of associations such as Make A Wish (which grants children diagnosed with life-threatening conditions), the Alliance for Children’s Rights and the Ryan Seacrest Foundation. 

Selena Gomez fights for friendships above anything else: girl power.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez values friendship and spreads the word. She has such loyal friends that one even donated a kidney when Gomez needed a transplant. She says: “People are put into your life for seasons, for different reasons, and to teach you lessons”: Selena, we couldn’t agree more.

She gets politically enraged when it matters.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez knows that a lot of mental health issues concerning young women are related to the policing of their sexuality and reproductive rights. She gets political when she feels the need to, particularly with issues concerning the mental health and general wellbeing of young women like herself. 

She asks her fans to be strong, but to also look for help when needed.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Her advice: “I’ve learned there’s power deep down inside yourself, and you can find it when you don’t give up on yourself and when you ask for help.” This is so real it hurts: even someone like her, who in the eyes of her fans might seem to have it all, needs to be humble and honest in reaching out to others when the world seems bleak. There is always someone who cares if you are OK. 

She stands up for migrants.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez doesn’t get political often, but when she does she always stands up for the minority communities. She has been a vocal advocate for migrant rights and the rights of women. She even wore a 1973 necklace as one of very few Latina celebs speaking up for abortion rights.

She even takes a stand from DACA recipients and Dreamers.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

She has used her social media accounts, which have followers in the millions, to call her fans to action. She is clearly showing the world that she does care and she is paying attention. 

She delivers a message of self-acceptance, which led her to produce 13 Reasons Why.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez’s mother, Amanda, had her when she was just 16, and then raised her by herself. She was also the one that gave Gomez the book on which the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why is based. The show was controversial because it spoke about mental health issues and suicide, topics that are fundamental to discuss with young vulnerable populations but that remain a taboo. However, Gomez’s message is optimistic. She has said: “I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful.” Preach! 

13 Reasons Why put mental health issues at the forefront of public media debate.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“I get it all day, every day, that I’m not sexy enough, or I’m not cool enough, or if I did this I would be accepted… I promise you that each and every one of you is made to be who you are and that’s what’s so attractive and beautiful. Please don’t forget that, even when it gets hard,” she said in an interview for the Huffington PostAnd this is exactly the message that she conveys in her project. Taking on Jay Asher’s literary world, she and the series creative team were able to show mental health and suicide from all possible angles. 

She takes fame with a grain of salt.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

She has been famous for a big portion of her life, but she knows that todo es pasajero, and that at the end who you are does not depend merely on adulation: “You are not defined by an Instagram photo, by a ‘Like,’ by a comment. That does not define you.”

Body positivity is her mantra.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

“I feel very empowered and confident and comfortable with where I am. And I think it took me a long time to get there because, you know, the past year was so interesting because I’ve never been body-shamed before… I did gain weight, but I don’t care,” she said at On Air with Ryan SeacrestThis is a great, positive message for someone who is followed by millions of young women throughout the world, particularly in a day and age when standards of beauty are twisted and self-love is hard to achieve. 

She is an active advocate of girl power.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Perhaps following the example of her mother, who basically raised her alone while holding down as many jobs as necessary to make ends meet, Gomez says: “I don’t want to become little or hurt or a victim. I want to be strong for girls…I just want them to know that there is an option of standing up for yourself.” Additionally, she was named a United Nations Ambassador in 2009, and in this role, she has worked particularly in empowering vulnerable children by helping provide clean water, education, and medical services. 

You learn from your mistakes.

Credit: selenagomez / Instagram

Perhaps most importantly, she knows that many see her as a role model and that this brings a huge deal of responsibility. “I’m human, I’m not perfect. I make mistakes all the time, but I guess my job is to keep those mistakes to myself, which I’m already fine doing and just try to be the best I can be for those kids,” she told E! Online.

READ: “13 Reasons Why” Does Much More Than Glorify Suicide, Selena Gomez Explained

‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

Culture

‘Fuller House’ Actor And Certified Daddy Juan Pablo Di Pace Comes Out And Yasss

juanpablodipace / Instagram

Argentinian actor Juan Pablo Di Pace recently came out in a TEDx video recorded in March. The video was released in late June giving Di Pace’s coming out story a special place in the 2019 Pride Month calendar. Social media erupted in applause and praise for the actor living his truth after so much time hiding in the closet.

Juan Pablo Di Pace came out of the closet as a gay man and is already living it up.

That’s right. Di Pace was living it up in Madrid during pride not long after the video of his talk coming out of the closet was publish. Honestly, it is something everyone should be celebrating. Someone being able to live their life fully is something that some people will never be able to understand. There is an attitude of in the Latino community that tries to shun and silence the LGBTQ+ community. Seeing a prominent member of the Latino community sharing his coming out story is such a positive example for younger people struggling to come out.

Di Pace’s coming out via a TEDx is one of the greatest moments of Pride Month 2019.

Not only did Di Pace come out of the closet, but his story about coming out and learning who he is is also very relatable to most members of the LGBTQ+ community. It wasn’t like he figured out that he was different. It had to be told to him.

“My mother says that I came out of her womb with a paper and pencil in my hand and that I used to draw until I fell asleep, which is why I had very few friends. But, actually, the truth is that, unlike most of the boys in my class, I preferred to play with girls. I was more comfortable. They were more fun,” Di Pace told the audience at his TEDx talk. “So, I didn’t think anything of it, right? Until I heard a word that I had never heard before. It started like a thunder that got closer and louder to me as it exploded like egg in my face: marícon, faggot. Well, I didn’t really understand that word at first but the word was here to stay for years. A little know book, as you might know as the Bible, starts with, ‘In the beginning, was the word and the word was made flesh and it dwelt among us.’ So, after failed attempts to fight against this word and try to make friends, my only option was to make friends with white sheets of paper. Paper would not shout or kick me. Paper was kind and on paper everything and anything was possible, just like in the movies.”

The moment of being made to feel and know that you are different from everyone else is something most people deal with at the beginning of coming out. It is a harsh, and some times dangerous, moment that starts the process of coming out and learning who you are as a person.

Fans of the actor showered him with praise and love for coming out.

Credit: judygeitz / Instagram

Coming out, no matter how old you are or how successful you are, is a terrifying experience. You have to be prepared for people to shun you. You need to be ready for people to speak down to you. It is not an easy or fun process for a lot of people.

The emotional reception to Di Pace’s coming is filled with love and appreciation.

Credit: iamlibrado / Instagram

This is something the Di Pace should be so proud of. It is so important for people to come out of the closet. By coming out of the closet, you force others around you to confront their own ideas of the LGBTQ+ community. When people know someone personally who is LGBTQ+, they tend to become more accepting of the community allowing for more people to come out in a safer environment.

You are with your chosen family now, Juan.

Credit: stillwater1979 / Instagram

All people in the LGBTQ+ community understand the importance of a chosen family. Even if your family accepts you, it is important to have a chosen family. It is a way to learn what it means to be gay and how to live life open in a world that can sometimes be really cruel. Your family will want to help but it is hard for your mom and dad to teach about LGBTQ+ culture.

Congratulations on coming out Juan. Sending lots of love.

READ: Grab The Tissues! These Latinas Told Us Their Coming Out Stories And We Have Been Sobbing In Pride

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  2. John says:

    You forgot LUIS MIGUEL'S ROMANCE which was the first Spanish album to go gold in the USA. It sold more than 20 million copies and literally resurrected the bolero genre