Shakira, Celia Cruz, and Daddy Yankee: Latin Icons Missing from Apple Music’s Best Albums

Shakira, Celia Cruz, and Daddy Yankee: Latin Icons Missing from Apple Music’s Best Albums

Apple Music has just unveiled its selection of the Best Albums of All Time, and while the list has gotten a lot of traction, it has also highlighted a significant underrepresentation of Latin music.  

Titled “Apple Music’s 100 Best Albums,” according to Apple Music, this list is a modern, 21st-century ranking of the greatest records ever made, crafted by Apple Music’s team of experts alongside a select group of artists, songwriters, producers, and industry professionals.  

Within the top 10, icons like Beyoncé, Prince, Nirvana, and Amy Winehouse shine brightly, reflecting a diverse array of musical brilliance. However, as we take a deeper look into the list, a glaring oversight becomes evident: the scant representation of Latin music. Among the 100 albums, only one Latino album made the cut – Bad Bunny’s “Un Verano Sin Ti.” While Bad Bunny’s inclusion is well-deserved, it’s surprising and somewhat disappointing that Latin music, which has significantly shaped the global music landscape, is not more prominently featured. 

Latin music has been a transformative force in the music industry, influencing genres, trends, and societal norms worldwide. From rhythmic reggaetón to soulful ballads, Latin artists have continually pushed the boundaries of music.  

BELatina would like to offer a few suggestions for future lists, highlighting five of the most iconic albums in Latin music history that undoubtedly deserve recognition.

Shakira’s ‘Laundry Service’

Shakira’s “Laundry Service,” released in 2001, was a groundbreaking album that propelled the Colombian singer to international stardom. Blending Latin pop, rock, and dance music, the album featured hits like “Whenever, Wherever” and “Underneath Your Clothes.” One of the most noteworthy things about this album is that she released it in both Spanish and English.  Shakira’s unique voice and distinctive style broke cultural barriers and showcased the richness of Latin music to a global audience. The album’s success solidified her position as one of the most influential Latin artists of her generation.

Ricky Martin’s ‘Vuelve’

Ricky Martin’s “Vuelve,” released in 1998, is another seminal album that had a massive impact on the music industry. The album’s lead single, “La Copa de la Vida” (The Cup of Life), became the anthem of the 1998 FIFA World Cup and introduced Latin pop to mainstream audiences. Martin’s talent solidified his status as a global superstar and opened doors for future Latin artists, making Latin pop a permanent fixture in the global music scene.

Daddy Yankee’s ‘Barrio Fino’

Daddy Yankee’s “Barrio Fino,” released in 2004, is widely regarded as one of the most influential reggaetón albums of all time. Featuring the smash hit “Gasolina,” the album brought reggaetón to the forefront of the music industry and introduced the genre to a global audience. Daddy Yankee’s innovative sound have had a lasting impact on Latin music and beyond, establishing reggaetón as a dominant genre in contemporary music.

Celia Cruz’s ‘Carnaval de Éxitos’

Celia Cruz’s “Carnaval de Éxitos” is a compilation of some of the Cuban singer’s most beloved songs. Known as the “Queen of Salsa,” Cruz’s vibrant personality and extraordinary voice made her an international icon. Her music celebrated Latin culture and brought salsa to audiences around the world. Cruz’s contributions to music have been immortalized, making her a legendary figure whose influence is still felt today. 

Jenni Rivera’s ‘La Misma Gran Señora’

Jenni Rivera’s “La Misma Gran Señora,” released in 2012, is a powerful album that showcases the Mexican-American singer’s raw talent and emotional depth. Rivera, known as the “Diva of Banda,” used her music to address themes of love, heartbreak, and women empowerment. Her legacy continues to inspire countless artists and fans, making her a pivotal figure in Latin music history. 

Latin music has undeniably shaped the world, influencing countless artists and genres. While Bad Bunny’s success is a testament to the genre’s growing prominence, it’s essential to acknowledge the trailblazers who paved the way.  

Let’s hope that future lists by Apple Music will better reflect the rich and diverse history of Latin music, recognizing the artists who have made an enduring impact on the global music landscape. 

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