The term “Latin Music” has always been murky (and is murkier than ever before). Despite initially existing as a catch-all term for music from the Spanish and Portugese-speaking world, “Latin Music” came to be defined by the general public as any song that had a “Latin” beat – osea, anything you could dance to that could most easily be defined as pop en español or reggaeton.
There’s something to be said for non-Spanish speakers enjoying our music with such fervor, and for the crossover mainstays like Shakira and Luis Fonsi, to emerging juggernauts like Bad Bunny and Becky G have proven to have. With the advent of Latin trap and the discussion about different genres now caught in this umbrella – corrido, Tejano, rock en español, dembow, and the list goes on – fans of the genre that may not have grown up with music in Spanish are discovering for themselves the intricacies of the genre, yet videos that fall under the “Latin music” umbrella term consistently rack up views in the billions.
Remezcla teamed up on an exclusive with VEVO to bring you the top ten Latin Music videos of the decade worldwide. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen at least one. Relive all of these monster hits you couldn’t stop bumping over the past ten years below.
Stream the best of Latin Music on YouTube exclusively on Somos VEVO.
Luis Fonsi "Despacito" feat. Daddy Yankee
The 2017 smash-hit by Boricua dream team Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee helped kick the year off and seemingly landed on every radio station, top-ten list and dance floor – arguably, it still does. The song helped introduce the Spanish word for “slowly” to the general English-speaking world and spawned a number of laugh-out-loud parodies. While its Justin Bieber-assisted English version played a huge role in the single’s crossover success, one can’t deny the key that allowed the world into this song: it’s ever-present beat and the elusive sexiness of Fonsi’s voice as he snarls about taking things slow. The video was shot in Old San Juan’s historic neighborhood of La Perla amid candy-colored houses and the sea and helped shed a positive light on an area that’s been historically neglected.
Enrique Iglesias - "Bailando" feat. Descender Bueno, Gente de Zona:
The first Spanish-language video to have hit a billion views, Enrique Iglesias’ hit defined the summer of 2014. With an undeniable hook and a four-on-the-floor beat made smokier by flamenco undertones and a Spanish guitar intro heard ‘round the world, this massive crossover collaboration with Cuban rappers Gente de Zona and Descender Bueno was recorded in Spanglish with Sean Pau and in Portuñol (i.e. Spanish and Portugese) with sertanejo-pop dreamboat Luan Santana. Shot in Santo Domingo, the video veers between the formality of Spain’s most iconic genre, with its dresses and handclaps, and modern dance in the streets of the Dominican capital.
J Balvin, Willy William "Mi Gente"
Preceding Vibras by a year, the J Balvin collaboration with French DJ and producer Willy William is a U.N. meeting of the discoteque and its global appeal is still evident. If you didn’t hear this on a night out in 2017, chances are you didn’t go out. This irresistible rework of Williams’ “Voodoo Song” is accompanied by a visual that was later remixed with Beyoncé swapping verses with the Colombian reggaetonero in English and Spanish.
Shakira - "Chantaje" feat. Maluma
In this sensuous reggaeton-pop collaboration between two of Colombia’s most prominent musicians, Shakira and Maluma craft a minimalistic bop with a club-ready beat. The video sees Shaki leads the Medellín “pretty boy” from a bodega to a bar in a pink wig she soon takes off to reveal the blonde mane of hair she’s become known for in the U.S. – although day-one fans continue to mourn a more rock-oriented Shakira’s signature cascade of black hair.
Shakira - "Waka Waka" (This Time For Africa)
Of all the titles rightfully bestowed on Shakira, “Queen of Crossover” is probably the most apt. The catchy reworking of Cameroonian band Golden Sound’s 1986 hit “Zangaléwa” sees the Colombian pop goddess team up with South African Afro-Fusion group Freshlyground. In the heartwarming video for the song that served as the official soundtrack of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Shakira showcases her signature dance moves alongside Freshlyground and cameos from fútbol stars Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Gerard Piqué. The video and song were recorded in multiple languages (including Spanish) and was the first video Sony Music ever released in 3D.
Luis Fonsi, Demi Lovato - "Échame La Culpa"
We were all shocked when Demi Lovato and Luis Fonsi dropped this absolute banger, and even more shocked that their chemistry is as scintillating as the track itself. Released in November 2017, the song was hailed as a respite from the global “Despacito” takeover bolstered by Demi Lovato’s soaring voice, with her belting the track in a Spanish that isn’t at all marked by her not being a native speaker. The colorful, joyful video sees the duo dancing the night away in an abandoned warehouse and hit 17M views in its first day.
Becky G, Bad Bunny "Mayores"
Emerging pop chameleon Becky G’s “Mayores” started started as a joke about her relationship with fútbol player Sebastian Lletget and their four-year age difference. The emerging diva’s chart-topping club hit, assisted with a slick verse from Puerto Rican trapero Bad Bunny, is tinged with the sound of a raspa and a club-ready reggaeton beat, led to collaborations with Daddy Yankee and David Guetta a few years later. The video sees Becky G play femme fatale, going home with an older man before tying him to the bed and scamming him for what he’s worth before taking off into the night in the passenger seat of Benito’s luxurious getaway car.
J Balvin - "Ay Vamos"
An exploration of relationship woes on the dance floor, this classic reggaeton bop by J Balvin is tinged with a playful melancholy reflected in the stylish video. “Peleamos, nos arreglamos /Nos mantenemos en esa pero nos amamos,” he croons as he fights the push-and-pull of a torrid love affair at home and at the club. One of his earlier hits on the from the B-Side of 2013’s La Familia, which features his breakout “6 AM,” the track was later remixed by French Montana and frequent collaborator Nicky Jam.
Pedro Capó, Farruko - "Calma" (Remix)
The downbeat pop ballad by Puerto Rican pop-rocker Pedro Capó invokes a Caribbean romance on the beach with its slow beat and romantic lyrics. The remix adds Boricua rapper and Daddy Yankee collaborator, with the video seeing both of them partying on a beach. Released in October of last year, this much-needed splash of summer in the depths of fall became a slow-burning summer anthem this year after the duo played a much-celebrated live version at this year’s Premio Juventud.
Ricky Martín - "Vente Pa’ Ca" feat. Maluma
Bolstered by a house beat and Ricky Martín’s iconic voice, this Maluma-assisted pop hit features a seductive house beat running through the track, which topped the charts all over Latin America. Shot in South Beach and featuring the candy-colored art deco aesthetic of Miami, the video for this celebrated collaboration starts with the duo taking a selfie before heading to the pool of a swanky hotel. Word spreads, and a party worthy of a summer day in Miami soon follows, with the duo singing the track on the rooftops and streets of South Beach as the sun goes down.