Since the Latin Explosion of the late ’90s, the genre has been a hot commodity wherever we go. From coast to coast, these songs have reminded us of Latinx excellence in rhythm, soul, and of course, our grind.
Check out the songs that have made it big throughout the past 20 years, topping the charts and paving the way for the Latin artists we know and love today.
1997: “Enamorando Por Primera Vez” -Enrique Iglesias
This first single from the Latinx legend’s second album, Vivir, would set him up for astronomical success.
1998: “No Se Olvidar”- Alejandro Fernandez
This heartbreaking ballad put Fernández on the map.
1999: “Livin’ La Vida Loca” – Ricky Martin
“Livin’ La Vida Loca” is the song that would skyrocket this Puerto Rican mega star into the mainstream eye internationally. As one of the artists that would help launch the Latin Explosion of 1999, this song was inescapable.
2000: “A Puro Dolor” – Son By Four
The Puerto Rican pop Latino and Salsa band went on to win three Billboard Music Awards with this hit single. To this day, any person who’s going through a break up feels the need to belt this classic song out.
2001: “Azul” – Cristian Castro
This Mexican smooth talker caught the hearts of hundreds of thousands with this single.
2002: “Asereje” – Las Ketchup
The Spanish pop group caught international attention with this song (with the hilarious dance moves to match).
2003: “Tal Vez” – Ricky Martin
Another hit single, the Puerto Rican singer was nominated for a Latin Grammy and won two Latin Billboard awards with this ballad.
2004: “Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor” – Juanes
This Colombian rocker song won a Latin Grammy for this song and the album Mi Sangre eventually went on to become an international best seller in 2004.
2005: “La Tortura” – Shakira feat. Alejandro Sanz
Another fire Colombian songstress takes the charts by storm with the sultry pop hit, “La Tortura.” This steamy song was one of the best selling singles of all time, selling more than five million copies to date.
2006: “Down”- R.K.M y Ken-Y
This song marked the beginnings of Reggaeton’s rise into mainstream, along with the likes of Daddy Yankee’s “Rompe,” Don Omar’s “Salio el Sol,” and more.
2007: “Mi Corazoncito” – Aventura
This single by the iconic bachata boy band that made everyone fall a bit harder in love, with lead singer Romeo Santos solidifying his throne as King of Bachata for years to come.
2008: “Te Quiero” – Flex
The Panamanian singer landed his most successful Reggaeton hit to date with this soulful song.
2009: “Te Presumo” – Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizarraga
The Mexican traditional banda ensemble demonstrates how bold love can be with this beautiful track.
2010: “Cuando Me Enamoro” – Enrique Iglesias feat. Juan Luis Guerra
The King of Latin Pop did it again with this single, winning three Latin Billboard awards.
2011: “Corazon Sin Cara” – Prince Royce
The Prince of Bachata made his mark with his first hit single back in 2011, breaking the hearts of millions with his sweet smile and earnest lyrics.
2012:” Llamada de Mi Ex” – La Arrollada Banda El Limón de Rene Camacho
This banda hit says everything and anything that you’ve ever wanted to say to an evil ex — which is probably why it rose its way to the top in 2012.
2013: “Vivir Mi Vida” – Marc Anthony
The Nuyorican salsero goes back to his roots in Spanish Harlem with this inspiring, uplifting single.
2014: “Bailando” – Enrique Iglesias feat. Desember Bueno & Gente de Zona
The well seasoned Iglesias helped the Cuban Reggaeton duo skyrocket to international success with this single, earning three Latin Grammy Awards along the way.
2015: “El Perdón”- Nicky Jam and Enrique Iglesias
What originally started off as a hot solo track for Nicky Jam became twice as nice with Iglesias on the track. It quickly rose to the top of the charts in over 40 countries all over the world.
2016: “Hasta el Amanecer” – Nicky Jam
The Puerto Rican Reggeaton artist did it again—this hit could be heard in any dance club around the world for the majority of 2016.
2017: “Despacito” – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee
While the top song hasn’t “officially” been announced for this year, with all of the records the track has broken (most streamed song in history, most streamed video on YouTube, etc.) this track is a no-brainer for top song of 2017.