[EDITOR'S NOTE: Part of a series devoted to Mamiverse attending Festival People en Español Presented by Target in San Antonio on September 1-2. The inaugural festival promises to celebrate Latino contribution to art, music, lifestyle and culture. Join our Twitter parties for a chance to win fabulous prizes! RSVP here.]
The Latino artists appearing at the People en Español Music Festival in San Antonio didn’t just appear on the scene out of nowhere. Though some are up and coming stars and others are music legends, each of them worked their way to the top of the charts in their respective genres, and each enjoyed a breakout moment that secured their status as superstars.
It took a bullet in the hip to propel hip-hop and reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee to the top of the charts. The Puerto Rican-born singer was once set on a career in major league baseball, but a stray round from an AK-47 landed him in the hospital for more than a year, ending baseball aspirations. Yankee later credited the shooting with allowing him to focus solely on his music. His 2005 hit single, Gasolina, signaled his crossover appeal to non-Latino audiences, and cemented his standing as a leading and influential Latin original.
This Puerto Rican songstress began singing when she was a teenager, and helped the merengue group Chantelle score its biggest hit, Aunque tú no quieras. As a solo artist, she helped forge a path for female merengue singers in a genre traditionally dominated by men. Her 1993 album Mujer de fuego (Fire Woman) went double platinum, and earned her the same nickname. In 1995 the Puerto Rican Senate declared November 9 “Olga Tañón Day.” Now that’s when you know you’ve arrived!
Tito el Bambino
Puerto Rican Efraín David Fines Nevares, better known as Tito el Bambino, first rose to fame as half of the reggaeton act Héctor & Tito. The superstar duo is widely credited with propelling reggaeton—the urban mix of hip-hop, salsa and reggae that originated in Puerto Rico—to an international audience. Since parting ways with Hector, Tito has proved himself to be an independent talent to be reckoned with—his first solo album, Top of the Line (2004), quickly reached #1 in Puerto Rico. His four successive albums have been top sellers. He regularly collaborates with stars of hip-hop and reggaeton. His 2010 song, El Amor, was named Latin Song of the Year by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.
We love that the DJs who make up 3BallMTY (a play on “tribal Monterey”) are just in their teens and already making waves with hot tribal guarachero club music. Tribal borrows from Mexican folk songs, Afro-Cuban rhythms, electrónica and house, as characterized by their latest, infectiously danceable single, Inténtalo (Me Prende). Tribal guarachero is also synonymous with the “pointy boots” style of Northern Mexico—look for those extremely pointy cowboy boots when the boys take the stage in San Antonio!
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Things got loca loca loca for Dominican rapper El Cata in 2010, when Shakira covered his single, Loca. He was already a well-respected rapper, who frequently released his own EPs and collaborated with the likes of PitBull, Kat DeLuna, and a host of Latin American artists. El Cata rapped on the Columbian songstress’ version of Loca, which catapulted to #1 on international music charts.
Not many artists regardless of nationality or genre can boast hit singles, a Latin Grammy, an inspiring record of environmental and anti-drug activism, plus being named one of People en Español’s 50 Most Beautiful People of 2012. But David Rodríguez Labault, who goes by stage name Sie7e (Siete) is a winner on all fronts. Sie7e, who lives and records in his native Puerto Rico, melds traditional island rhythms with reggae, blues and flamenco for a sound that is smooth, upbeat and romantic. Though he’s been recording albums since 2005, his international hit, Tengo Tu Love, from his third album, Mucha Cosa Buena, propelled him to the worldwide stage and earned him a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist of 2011.
It’s difficult to identify a turning point in the career of Mexican crooner Luis Miguel. After all, he recorded his first album at age 12, and has been on an upward trajectory ever since—consistently selling more and more albums, singing to bigger concert audiences and selling out ever-larger venues. But maybe he knew he’d really made it to the top when, in 1993, Frank Sinatra personally invited him to sing on his Duets II album and perform on a nationally televised special to mark Sinatra’s 80th birthday. In the nearly two decades since, he’s released 18 albums, won countless international awards, and sold out tours around the world.
In just two short years of recording albums, 23 year-old, Bronx-born Prince Royce has had seven Top 20 singles on US Latin and US Tropical charts—four of them occupied the number one spot for a week or more. The young songwriter said he first knew he was born for the stage when he sang in an elementary school Christmas play. A career highlight? Singing his hit remake Stand By Me, at the 2010 Latin Grammys with none other than Ben E. King, who first recorded the much-loved classic in 1961.
By singing Mexican corridos, or folk songs, and updating their lyrics to reflect 21st century realities, U.S.-born, Mexico-raised Hernandez has reinvigorated an old musical style and kept it relevant. Though his first two albums were regional hits, with 16 Narco Corridos Hernandez achieved international stardom. The album, recorded in just 24 hours, depicts the violent world of Mexico’s narcos.
Banda los Recoditos
Most of the young men of Banda los Recoditos have been performing together since childhood. Their brand of updated mariachi music caught the attention of audiences in the Americas with the release of their first EP, Como la Primera Vez, which includes the hit singles, Dime qué and Vamos a Bailar. Their follow-up album, Vengo a decirte, is already enjoying plenty of airplay and climbing the US Latin and Tropical Top 100 charts.
You can catch all of these acts Saturday or Sunday evening of the festival. For more information, visit People en Español Music Festival.
Mamiverse is thrilled to attend Festival People en Español presented by Target, an event celebrating Hispanic entertainment, culture and community. We are hosting three Twitter parties this week and Tweeting Festival related content with the hashtag #TargetAtFestival. The participant who tweets and retweets the most using the hashtag #TargetAtFestival including a link to our Twitter party events on FB, or a link to one of our People en Español-related articles from today through the end of the Festival by midnight September 2 will receive a $100 giftcard. Join in our Twitter Extravaganza! Click here to RSVP.