Latin music is a form of popular music performed or recorded by Hispanic and Latinos. Most Latin music is recorded in Spanish, however, there have been many English language songs by Latin artists. Latin music was created by ancestors of Hispanics, who would sing traditional Spanish music. When recording music was available, many Hispanic artists recorded Spanish music their grandparents taught them while growing up. Mexican singer Lydia Mendoza became the first Hispanic person to record a Spanish song. Hispanics recording music was rare during the early 1900s. In 1960s, Tejano music (in Southern United States, Mexico), Spanish folk (in Spain), salsa (in Puerto Rico), cumbia (in South America), and bachata (in Dominican Republic) were the most popular forms of Latin music at the time.
In the 1970s, bolero became a popular music genre in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican singer Hector Lavoe became one of its important musicians. In the United States, speaking Spanish was not well liked and many Hispanics were discriminated for speaking Spanish. Because of this, many children and young adults favored English music such as rock and roll and tried not to speak Spanish outside of their home. In the 1980s, Latin music started becoming popular. American music magazine, Billboard added several Latin music-categories. These include Top Latin Albums, Regional Mexican Albums, Tropical Albums and the Latin Pop Albums chart. Because of this, younger generations became interested in recording Latin music. However, during the late 1980s, freestyle music became the most popular Latin music genre. Freestyle music was rarely recorded in Spanish. This was because of the unpopularity to speak Spanish at the time.
In the 1990s, artists including Selena, Gloria Estefan, Luis Miguel, and Thalía became popular in this decade. They helped Latin music and recording Latin music popular for young children and adults. Selena became the most popular Latin artist of the United States in 1995, when she was murdered at 23. She became the first and only Latin artist to peak an album that contained mostly Spanish music at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. At the time of her death, she was competing with Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson with her album Dreaming of You (1995) which sold 3,000,000 copies its first year. Enrique Iglesias, Shakira, Marc Anthony, Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez became popular in the mid and late 1990s.
In the 2000s, Latin music began to see a decrease of music sales. Tejano music began to become unpopular, though its "Queen of Tejano music", Selena became the "Top Latin Artist of the Decade" by Billboard magazine in 1999. Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez continued to become more popular and had number one singles and albums in the Billboard 200. Marc Anthony, Aventura, Don Omar, and Enrique Iglesias remained popular in the Latin scene. In the 2010s, Prince Royce, Pitbull, Romeo Santos, and Wisin & Yandel became popular during this decade. Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin, and Shakira crossover into English music with some Spanish releases. In the 2010s, bachata music became popular because of Prince Royce and Romeo Santos. While reggaeton continued to dominate Latin music radios since the mid 2000s. As of 2012, Selena remains the best-selling Latin artist with 60,000,000 copies sold worldwide. Jennifer Lopez is second with 55,000,000 copies sold worldwide.
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