The Latin Explosion

Dateline: 09/03/99

Visit Ricky Martin's official home page and the Enrique Iglesias International Fan Club. Latin Music artists, both traditional and contemporary, can be found in the Latin American Music set of resources.

Ricky Martin You see them every time you turn on your TV to any entertainment program or music channel. You hear them when you turn on the radio. You see their faces on the cover of every major celebrity magazine.

The verdict is in -- Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias have taken North America by storm. Both young performers are hot, sexy, and have voices that convey their considerable musical talent. And to top it off, they each have a stage presence that is captivating live and on video.

Enrique Iglesias Both performers had quite a following before making it big in the English language market in North America. Ricky Martin, for one, was an international superstar, first with Puerto Rican boy supergroup Menudo, then as a solo artist. And although Enrique Iglesias may have started out in the shadow of his famous father, he definitely has talent that is all his own.

So why now? Why is mainstream North America the last stop on the road to international superstardom for these Latin acts? Well, for one, 1999 marks the release of the first English language releases for Martin and Iglesias. Although there have been some one-hit wonders along the way ("99 Luftballons" by German pop act Nena immediately springs to mind), songs that are not in English rarely receive airplay -- as opposed to other parts of the world where English language songs are played back to back with songs in the language of the particular country.

But because both Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias use a lot of Latin beat to their music, and Martin even uses Spanish phrases in songs that are otherwise predominantly English, the current Latin music explosion may signal a new trend in North America, thatof being receptive to musical stylesand languages from other cultures. It is way too early to tell if this is just a passing fad or something that is here to stay, but right now is certainly seems that World Music is coming more and more out into the mainstream.

Photo of Ricky Martin © 1999 Sony Music
Photo of Enrique Iglesias © 1999 Enrique Iglesias International Fan Club

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