Salsa, Merengue, Bomba, Plena, Latin Pop, and Reggaeton are just some of the music genres that embody the core of Puerto Rican music.
It could even be said that one of Puerto Rico’s most notable and significant exports to the world is Latin music from Puerto Rico are some of the most listened to.
The music in Puerto Rico is dynamic and is currently being appreciated worldwide thanks to the internet and modern technology.
Here, we will be talking about ten trailblazing artists that are some of the most popular Puerto Rican singers known worldwide, from the singer Ricky Martin who brought Latin pop to the forefront to the balladeer Jose Feliciano Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonzi, who are record-breaking.
Jennifer Lopez, who is also known as J.Lo, is a Puerto Rican of descent and a Bronx-bred singer and actress who is known to have helped propel Latin pop music to the American mainstream.
She was first known as an actor before she was a singer and had her first lead acting gig playing the Latin singer Selena Quintanilla.
Playing Selena made her a million dollars and made her the first Latin actress to do so.
She ventured into music in 2016 with the release of her studio album called On the 6, but her second album, the self-titled J.Lo, made it to the number one spot in the charts.
Jennifer Lopez is also a businesswoman, a philanthropist, a fashion designer and owns her own production company, Nuyorican Productions.
She is regarded today as a pop culture icon because of her ability to act, sing, and dance— and amazingly so.
Ricky Martin is a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter, also known as the King of Latin Pop, and is one of the catalysts that brought Latin pop music to the American mainstream with his performance in the Grammy Awards in 1999.
Martin started at the young age of six, appearing in commercials on the local Puerto Rican television; he had his breakthrough as a part of the boy group Menudo where he had to audition for three times before being recruited.
He left the group at 18 and started his solo career as a musician and an actor, voicing Hercules at the Latin adaptation of the Disney classic.
Ricky Martin would sell over 70 million records worldwide, bagging 2 Grammys on the way, and is considered one of the most influential Latin artists of all time by Billboard.
He is also a seasoned actor with a Golden Globe nomination under his belt with his portrayal of Antonio D’Amico in the short series about Gianni Versace’s assassination.
Like J.Lo, Marc Anthony is Puerto Rican by descent, although born and bred in New York City— Marc Anthony is known for his salsas and ballads in Spanish.
He started as a backup singer for acts such as the Puerto Rican boy band Menudo, gaining his breakthrough to the mainstream when he switched music styles and started singing Spanish music.
Marc Anthony has sold about 12 million records worldwide and is a recipient of 9 Grammy awards, six of which are Latin Grammy.
Marc Anthony also acts on the side both on films and onstage, most notably joining the cast of Paul Simon’s musical The Capeman.
He is a record holder with 31 number one songs in the Billboard Latin Tropical Airplay.
Bad Bunny is a multidisciplinary Puerto Rican talent known for his rapping that embodies Latin trap and Puerto Rican reggaeton mixing with other genres such as rock and soul.
Starting as an independent rapper uploading his music on Soundcloud before signing with a record label, Bad Bunny has collaborated with other notable Latin and American talents such as Rosalia, Cardi B, and Drake.
Bad Bunny won his first Latin Grammy in 2018 with his album X 100pre winning Best Urban Music Album, but 2021 was his year, winning two other Latin Grammy and Grammy awards for the Best Latin Pop or Urban Album category.
Performing alongside J.Lo and Shakira in the 2020 Super Bowl and being named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world this year are just some of the notable achievements in his resume.
This next artist is responsible for essentially coining the term Reggaeton thus gaining the nickname as the King of Reggaeton, and he is none other than Ramon Luis Ayala Rodriquez, who is most famously known as Daddy Yankee.
The release of his international hit Gasolina introduced the genre reggaeton in the world; this is the start of Daddy Yankee’s world domination with over 20 million records sold worldwide and making one of the top-selling Latin musicians.
Daddy Yankee became the most-streamed artist in the listening platform Spotify in 2017 because of his collaboration with another Puerto Rican musician Luis Fonsi titled Despacito— making him the first Latin musician to earn the top spot.
Despacito is the first Latin single to top the Billboard chart since 1996 with Los del Rio’s Macarena release.
Ozuna is a Latin chart-topping Puerto Rican Singer with reggaeton and Latin trap music as his primary genre.
His musical debut came in 2012 with the release of his hit song Imaginado that garnered the attention of countless recording labels and other artists like Daddy Yankee he immediately collaborated with.
Ozuna had various Latin and American collaborations, most notably his song Taki Taki with Selena Gomez, Cardi B, and DJ Snake, which is now certified as quadruple platinum.
Fifteen million records sold worldwide, various awards including two Latin Grammy under his belt, TIME 100 Person of the Year in 2018, and he also holds the world record for a musical artist with the most one-billion Youtube videos view dethroning Justin Bieber on his way there.
Ozuna also acts and has appeared in the ninth Fast & Furious movie; truly a multidisciplinary artist.
Luis Fonsi is a Puerto Rican singer widely known for his hit collaboration with Daddy Yankee in the track Despacito, which was the most-watched YouTube video of all time before November 2020.
Luis Fonsi has had a successful career since starting out with the release of his first album titled Comenzaré in 1998, which landed the 11th spot on the Latin Billboard chart.
He’s also a successful songwriter, with one of his songs for the Latin singer Ednita Nazario winning a Latin Grammy award in 2002.
He bagged his own Latin Grammy award in 2008 with Record of the Year and Song of the Year under his belt for his song Aquí Estoy Yo.
Despacito has been his biggest hit to date, with the song earning him 3 Grammy nominations in 2017.
Roselyn Sánchez is a singer-songwriter, model, dancer, actress, director, producer, and writer from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Her musical debut came with the recording of her first album titled Borinqueña, the opening track Amor Amor received critical acclaim and even earned her her first Latin Grammy Nomination.
Roselyn Sánchez is also known for her philanthropy as she is the spokesperson of an organization that assists sick children coming from low-income families called Fundación de Niños San Jorge.
Jose Feliciano is an international icon best known for composing and singing the Christmas staple Feliz Navidad and covering the song Light My Fire by The Doors in 1968, which is considered the most famous song cover.
Feliciano was born blind in 1945 but never stopped that from pursuing music when he taught himself the accordion at the young age of 7.
Jose Feliciano covers genres from Latin to blues to jazz to rock and soft rock, all while playing his acoustic guitar, his signature instrument.
He has released over fifty albums worldwide and broke through the American charts at number 2 with the release of his self-titled album in 1968.
His contribution to Latin music has earned him many accolades, including the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a spot at the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.
Dayanara Torres Delgado is a singer, actress, model, writer, and she also won the Miss Universe title in 1993.
Dayanara Torres is not only praised for her beauty but also her philanthropy as a UNICEF ambassador and her organization that awards scholarships to low-income students both in Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
Torres also spent most of her time in the Philippines as an actress both in film and in television before coming back to Puerto Rico to act and sing.
The release of her album Antifaz in 1998 topped the Billboard charts at home in Latin America and the Philippines.
The success that Puerto Rican singers and music have been gaining globally recently is just what it deserves and has been a long time coming.
Since music is one that every culture shares, studying cultures through listening to global music will encourage diversity and multiculturalism, and in the end, make a better world.