For those still reluctant to accept that reggaeton is the new pop, let me tell you that you couldn’t be more mistaken, since this Latin genre has been dominating the charts in the past years and the entire market. Though reggaeton has been king in Latin America and Spain for over a decade, there’s no doubt this sexy rhythm has taken the world by storm in the past years with hits that are danced to and sung in every corner of the planet.
Since Daddy Yankee’s 2004 global hit “Gasolina,” musicians from every corner of Latin America have emerged with new proposals and sounds that have enriched the genre and turned it into the phenomenon it is today. The reggaeton craze is such a big deal that even artists whose style is far from these Latin rhythms haven’t resisted the urge to contribute to this beloved and popular genre. If you don’t believe it, here are fourteen artists.
“Gangsta Zone” – Daddy Yankee Ft. Snoop Dogg
One of the first visionaries to see the future of reggaeton was the rapper Snoop Dogg, who, in 2005, collaborated with the man we all consider the father of contemporary reggaeton: Daddy Yankee. It was just one year after the success of “Gasolina,” and he was breaking all moulds of Latin music. Then, with this collab, his fan base grew even more and gave us one of the genre’s classics.
“Impacto” – Daddy Yankee Ft. Fergie
Daddy Yankee’s goal to keep bringing reggaeton to every corner of the world led him to Fergie, who along with The Black Eyed Peas, had been making us all dance to their hip hop pop tunes. The video was shot in different cities of the world, including London, Tokyo, New York, San Juan, and Tegucigalpa, making it the first highly-produced reggaeton video.
“Despacito” – Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber
Years passed and the genre kept evolving and growing in Hispanic countries, but it wasn’t until “Despacito” that it got the attention it had in the times of “Gasolina” and, of course, it’s no surprise Daddy Yankee was behind what’s still the most viewed music video in YouTube history. Justin had previously collaborated with a reggaeton artist (J Balvin) in his Latin version of “Sorry,” but it didn’t make that much noise in terms of popularity.
“Safari” – J Balvin, BIA, and Sky Ft. Pharrell Williams
J Balvin is the leading reggaeton artist right now after becoming the most streamed artist on Spotify on a global level. Once he got more attention in the music industry, he started looking for international collaborations to bring his music to English-speaking industries, and Pharrell Williams was one of the first of Balvin’s collaborations to really make it big.
“Mi Gente” – J Balvin and Willy William Ft. Beyoncé
“Mi Gente” had already won the hearts of many when Beyoncé joined the equation for a good cause. In order to raise funds to help the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, Beyoncé made a new version adding her unique style. Definitely a collab no one ever imagined and one that will live long in history for being featured in Beyoncé’s Homecoming live album.
“Échame la culpa” – Luis Fonsi Ft. Demi Lovato
After the huge success of “Despacito,” Luis Fonsi released a new hit in the newly-found gold mine that reggaeton meant for him (he was a pop ballad singer before). This collab with Demi Lovato was everywhere, from ads on TV, to radio stations, to clubs around the world.
“La Modelo” – Ozuna Ft. Cardi B
This collaboration came at a time when Latinx music, culture, and folklore were already a trend all over the world. Cardi B, with strong Latinx heritage, smartly embraced these roots in her music through collaborations and in her own music and lyrics. This song with Ozuna, an artist who’s growing fast, reached really good spots in the most important charts.
“Taki Taki” – DJ Snake and Ozuna Ft. Cardi B and Selena Gomez
“Taki Taki” was perhaps one of last year’s most popular reggaeton songs, and it’s really not surprising. The equation with Cardi B and Selena Gomez showed reggaeton is really taking over the industry.
“Hey Ma” – Pitbull and J Balvin Ft. Camila Cabello
This song was one of Camila Cabello’s first songs in Spanish (though a version entirely in English was recorded simultaneously). The video is an homage to Cuba and its traditions, which is quite fitting given Pitbull and Camila Cabello’s Cuban heritage.
“MIA” – Bad Bunny Ft. Drake
Bad Bunny’s collaboration with Drake gave the Canadian musician his 12th single to appear in the Top 10 at the Billboard Hot 100, thus breaking the record set by The Beatles in 1964. Bad Bunny’s unique style, along with Drake’s voice, made of the song an instant success (and let’s be honest, a 2010s classic).
“Medellín” – Maluma Ft. Madonna
We could expect any of the new, contemporary artists to jump aboard the reggaeton train, but Madonna’s collab with Colombian star Maluma really took us by surprise. Though it’s had some mixed reviews, we can’t deny that the Queen of Pop is looking for new ways to renew herself and her career.
“Contra la Pared” – J Balvin Ft. Sean Paul
Sean Paul’s music definitely has some things in common with reggaeton, which makes us wonder what took him so long to make this natural transition. The song with J Balvin, which was recently released, has that perfect balance between his characteristic dancehall style and the beats the urban Colombian artist has revolutionized.
“Con Calma” – Daddy Yankee and Snow Ft. Katy Perry
We could safely say that Daddy Yankee is a bonafide reggaeton legend who keeps changing the game with each of his songs. After breaking records with “Con Calma,” he released another version of the song with none other than Katy Perry, whose Spanish isn’t that bad at all!
“Calma” – Pedro Capó and Farruko Ft. Alicia Keys
Last but not least, the latest release on this list (though there will probably be a lot to come in a not-so-distant future). “Calma” by Pedro Capó is that perfect song that makes you want to leave everything and head to the beach. Its catchy beat and slow flow made of the song an instant hit all over Latin America, but this version with Alicia Keys aims to conquer the world.
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