Singers making the Latino crossover

Posted on April 17, 2007. Filed under: Book, Art, & Culture |

More English-speaking singers are recording in Spanish in order to tap the growing Hispanic market. The linguistic crossover started a few years ago, when many Spanish-speaking performers, such as Ricky Martin, Shakira, and Marc Anthony, started to sing in English. Now, many singers are rolling the Spanish “r” in order to reach the 32 million Spanish-speakers in the US and 400 million Spanish-speakers in Spain and Latin America. Here are a few examples:

  • · Wyclef Jean became well-known in the Latino market when he traded English and Spanish lyrics in “Hips Don’t Lie.” This duet boosted sales for Shakira’s “Oral Fixation Vol. 2
  • Dan Zanes, a performer who considers himself to be “such an Anglo” is currently working on an entirely Spanish CD
  • Beyonce included seven Spanish tracks in her album B’Day after many of her fans recommended that she do more Spanish songs, sang a duet with Shakira in “Beautiful Liar” and with Alejandro Fernandez for a telenovela version of “Zorro.”

In response to this Latino crossover on stage, many 2nd– and 3rd-generation Hispanics feel that these performers got their back as they sing in Spanish. They believe that their heritage is being approved and supported in the language of their parents and grandparents.

Rudy Perez, a Miami-based music producer and the go-to man for Spanish lyrics, explains that in order to facilitate the Spanish sounds for these performers and to keep the music familiar to the English audience, he uses certain words at the end of each line that sound similar to the English version of the song.


SOURCE: “Se habla español” by Laura Wides-Muñoz in The OC Herald


Below, you’ll find Beyonce’s song Irreplaceable in English and Spanish. Did Perez’s experiment work in this song?

You’ll also find Beyonce and Shakira’s “Beautiful Lier.” The video definitely shows how Hispanics and English-speakers are finally working together.



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