Which artist sang the song Cherry Kiss

The 40 Most Famous Songs in Latin Music

"Aqua de Beber"

ofAntonio Carlos Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes

The elegantly swinging bossa nova from 1963 is now a jazz standard, although Jobim didn't necessarily feel influenced by jazz. The constant rhythm, the reduced line-up and in the vocal versions a cool spoken chant, quiet and without extreme accentuation, as well as modern harmonies differed greatly from the samba styles that previously existed in Brazil and also offered something really unique compared to the emerging rock music. In Brazil, however, the bossa nova was more popular with the intellectual middle class than with the people and was basically over with the military coup of 1964. The bossa nova owes its nimbus as typical Brazilian music to its reincarnation in American jazz.

Aquarela do Brasil "

ofAry Barroso

Written in 1939, the piece developed into an international hit in 1942 with Walt Disney's cartoon “Saludos Amigos”. Everyone should have heard the samba before, especially in the version of Ray Conniff's orchestra from 1960 as "Brazil", which made it easy to hum along, and it reappeared in Terry Gilliam's 1985 film of the same name. A song about the beauty of a downpour, which has long been conveyed as a reflection of the Brazilian happy mood, although it could not establish itself as a carnival song in the year of its creation.

Asa Branca

of Luiz Gonzaga & Humberto Teixeira

The hymn of the Brazilian northeast from 1947. Baiao King Luiz Gonzago, played the Brazilian accordion Sanfona and dressed like the robber chief Lampiao, a kind of Robin Hood of the northeast, with a Napoleonic tricorn and the herdsman's leather jacket. The driving rhythm of the triangle, a smooth melody to sing along to and the lively Sanfona are typical features of this Baiao, a happy, danceable style that competed with samba after World War II. Call and answer practice in singing and the influence of European dances can be felt here.

Bésame Mucho

of Consuelo Velazquez

Consuelo Velazquez, pianist and singer from Mexico wrote this romantic bolero in 1940. It has been interpreted countless times from the Beatles to Dean Martin and especially in jazz, which is probably due to its cozy and noble atmosphere. While the original is relatively rhythmic, the Schmachtfetzen is mostly played today as in the version by Diana Krall.

Cerezo Rosa

of Perez Prado/ Louiguy

This song, written by the French Louiguy, became popular as an instrumental in 1955, especially through Mambo King Perez Prado. Billy Regis' trumpet slides up and down here before the melody starts. An immortal hit that was often covered and is also known as "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White", which means that it has become part of the English-language song stock.

Chan Chan

of Compay Segundo

Compay Segundo composed this son back in 1989, but it was not until the Buena Vista Social Club that the piece became a classic in 1997. Has a swaying melody. Incidentally, Segundo invented the Armónico, an instrument made from tres and guitar: a guitar tuned to an octave, to which he added a seventh string in the middle.

Chega De Saudade

of Antonio Carlos Jobim / Vinícius de Moraes

For many, this is the first recorded bossa nova. Composed in 1958, it is one of the great masterpieces of the Jobim (music) and de Moraes (text) team, especially in the version by João Gilberto. With this melancholy piece, the most common Brazilian word in song lyrics came on the agenda: “Saudade” (longing, homesickness).


of Enrique E. Garcia / Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

One of the great Latin pop hits from 1985 and the breakthrough for Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan with her band Miami Sound Machine. Basically a kind of salsa-funk mix with a lot of percussion and very rhythmic vocals. The song was the start of one of the most successful Latin music careers of all time.

Cucurrucucú Paloma

of Tomás Méndez / Caetano Veloso

Heartbreaking Mexican Huapango from 1954 about a dove carrying messages of love. Became particularly well known in Mexican films. The best (and most artistic) version is from Caetano Veloso on the album "Fina Estampa Ao Vivo". The strings only play two notes equally spaced, back and forth, high and low, like slow steps. The result is a solemn, gloomy atmosphere. He sings so longingly that the handkerchiefs simply have to get wet. Beware, risk of fainting.

Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)

ofHarry BelafonteTraditional

The biggest hit from Calypso King Harry Belafonte from 1956, although this is actually a Jamaican Mento or a work song. Today the piece seems a bit archaic. No wonder, as the work songs were one of the first songs in black music. By the way, it is also a good example to explain the call-answer practice. The reduced form - whispering choir, singers, soft drums - would hardly be accepted in this way today. But that's what makes the song so appealing at the same time. The beginning is indestructible: "Day-o, day-o, Me say day, me say day-o ..."

Drume Negrita

of Ernesto Grenet / Bola de Nieve

Extremely soulful Cuban children's or lullaby, performed especially beautifully by the Cuban singer legend Bola de Nieve. There are countless versions of it, such as by Celia Cruz, Caetano Veloso, Joao Bosco or Omara Portuondo. The text tries to imitate the slang of African slaves in Spanish.

El Choclo

of Ángel Villoldo

"Der Maiskolben" - One of the great tango classics, published as early as 1903, but only made a worldwide evergreen in 1952 as "Kiss Of Fire" by Georgia Gibbs. The English title does it, as the kiss from Georgis Gibbs almost makes your heart stop. Indispensable for the tango collection.

El Condor Pasa

of Daniel Alomía Robles / Simon & Garfunkel

If you unpack the pan flute, the flute plays this piece almost by itself. This Peruvian number from 1913 is the incarnation of the music of the Andes, for which, richly enriched with flute magic, was provided by Simon & Garfunkel in 1970. The duo used a version of the Los Incas group, but issued it as a separate composition. Later an agreement was reached with the right composer Daniel Alomía Robles about the royalties.

El Manisero

of Moises Simons

The Cuban Son-Pregón comes from the thirties and describes the passing of a peanut seller who offers his goods. Therefore the song is heading for a dramatic climax and slowly fades out again. An immortal melody that many performers such as B. Antonio Machín found.

El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido

of Sergio Ortega & Quilapayún / Inti Illimani

But now raise your fists and with this song on to the demo. That's how it used to be in the 1970s. Yes, there was a time when Latin American songs were very popular and even helped to establish the trend towards world music. “El Pueblo Unido Jamás Será Vencido” (The united people will never be defeated) is the Latin American protest song par excellence and has become an international anthem against oppression in many countries. Hannes Wader made it known in Germany. It is perhaps the most famous song of the Chilean Nueva Cancion movement and was composed by Sergio Ortega and the group Quilapayún in 1973. It was intended to support the left government of President Salvador Allende. After his overthrow with the help of the Americans, the song remained popular and became world-famous in the version of Inti-Illimani.

Garota De Ipanema

of Antonio Carlos Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes

"The Girl From Ipanema", the English name of the song, is probably the best known and most recorded Brazilian and Latin song at all. Played by Antonio Carlos Jobim (p), Stan Getz (ts), Joao Gilberto (voc, ac-g) and with the voice of Astrud Gilberto, the English version as a single received the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. Great performance for a jazz recording. The girl from Ipanema actually existed. Helô Pinheiro was the girl who attracted the looks of Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes on Ipanema Beach. After all, her fame gave her a career as a photo model. Musically the epitome of relaxation to this day.

Gracias A La Vida

of Violeta Parra / Mercedes Sosa / Joan Baez

Composed in 1966 by the Chilean Violeta Parra, the song was made very popular in 1974 by Joan Baez, but it is also one of the great numbers by the Argentine Mercedes Sosa. It is one of the most interpreted songs in Latin America, probably because it has a timeless theme (thanks to life), which does not exclude cheesy versions (Richard Clayderman, Roberto Blanco). Interestingly, Violeta Parra committed suicide a year after she wrote the song for life.


of José Fernández Diaz / José Marti

If there's one Cuban song you need to know, it's this one. Pete Seeger in 1963 and the Sandpipers in 1966 made it a world hit. The Cuban radio DJ José Fernández used the melody long before in his radio show to make political comments on current affairs. The now well-known text by José Marti ensured that the song seems like a secret hymn from Cuba today. In the meantime some dust has gathered.

Hasta Siempre, Comandante

of Carlos Puebla

The “Comandante” here refers to the revolutionary Che Guevara. The song was written in 1965 by the Cuban Carlos Puebla as a greeting to him when he set out for the Congo. Logically, the song made the rounds in the left scene. There is also an interpretation by Wolf Biermann. The text is quite pathetic and is usually sung with great fervor.

La Bamba


Perhaps the most famous Mexican song of all and a well-known party hit to shout along with. In 1958, the first Hispano star in the USA, Ritchie Valens, made it a world hit (sung in Spanish), and Trini Lopez (1966) and Los Lobos (1987) made it a kind of hymn for Americans of Mexican origin. The Mexican Lila Downs later created the most interesting version. The singer found out that the term "bamba" refers to a Congolese city in the 16th century, when Africans were brought as slaves to Veracruz, Mexico, where the origin of the song can be determined. She put together the traditional text of "La Bamba" she used on her album "One Blood" from various documented sound recordings of the song, which was written in the late 16th century. Lila Downs also gives the song a different rhythmic accentuation. Her version is much more percussion-oriented and therefore more African; on the other hand, playing the harp at the same time refers to indigenous origins. A recurring drumbox beat also cites the nimbus as a party hit. Lila Downs calls these arrangements "mestication" as a reflection of the intermingling in the Mexican people.

La Cucaracha


Originally this funny corrido played a big role in the Mexican Revolution (from 1910) because it was full of hidden political messages. It was not until Lila Down's version reveals that "The Cockroach" has always been about how American soldiers were made compliant with marijuana in order to fight the Mexican revolutionaries.

La Cumparsita

of Gerardo Matos Rodríguez / Carlos Gardel

If you want to sing to someone what tango sounds like, then the melody of “La Cumparsita” is most likely to come to mind. This tango from 1916 is the most played and best known of all. Still, he's not from Argentina, as you might think, but from Uruguay. When a milonga comes to an end, it is usually played as the closing song. There are famous versions by tango icon Carlos Gardel (vocal) and as a really classic instrumental recording by Francisco Canaro.

Lambada / “Llorando Se Fue

of Kaoma / Los Kjarkas

In 1989 the lambada went as a dance and the song as a summer hit across the globe. Both served in a certain way to make the thong known as a textile-technically interesting piece of clothing. Actually the piece has a nice, flattering melody and the dance is something that makes an impression on party stallions. The song became known through the band Kaoma and because they had a Brazilian singer and the music video for it was shot in Brazil, everyone believed that there would actually be a world hit from Brazil. But far from it. Kaoma was a French test-tube band whose core came from Brazil, but was actually called Touré Kunda. The song is copied from the Bolivian group Los Kjarkas. The original composers, the Hermosa brothers, did not have the underlying composition “Llorando Se Fue” legally protected. The French producers of Kaoma came across the song while looking for new, unspent melodies in Latin America, passed it off as theirs, even though it was already a hit with Los Kjarkas in Bolivia, and combined it with the Brazilian lambada dance . At some point the Bolivians found out and with the help of the German GEMA, the French producers were successfully sued for plagiarism. It was also about the self-service mentality of the French. Despite a comparison that was profitable for the Hermosa brothers, the war of nerves hit both of them enormously. Playing Kaomas Lambada in Bolivia today is considered dishonorable. In 1990 the Bocholt District Court found that the sexually provocative dance was not dishonorable.


of Astor Piazzolla

The Argentine bandoneon player Astor Piazzolla invented the Nuevo Tango in the mid-1950s, allowing his tango to be influenced by jazz and classical music. "Libertango" from 1974 actually acted as a liberation of tango and is still a musical monument to this day. The piece thrives on the tension of a riff that seems to increase more and more.

Livin 'La Vida Loca

of Desmond Child & Draco Rosa / Ricky Martin

If you listen to this piece, it doesn't seem that Latin at all. It's sung in English and the guitar has a country twist. The Puerto Rican Ricky Martin succeeded in 1999 with one of the best-selling singles of all time and he conquered the English-speaking music market as a Spanish-singing Latin pop star. In doing so, he laid the foundation for breaking out of the Latin genre and becoming internationally successful for later stars like Shakira, who comes from Colombia. In 2010, Martin came out as homosexual, which is not necessarily "Latin-like", but did not detract from his success.

Mama Africa

of Chico César

The little singer from the Brazilian state of Paraíba had a huge hit in 1996 with “Mama Africa”, which quickly became a Brazilian standard. The springy reggae with subtle sambareggae drums, an enchanting melody and the art break in the middle is the perfect song to hum along. As cheerful as the song sounds, it is about an Afro-Brazilian woman from Bahia and her difficult everyday life between children and work. As a result, César established himself as a sought-after songwriter for other stars such as Daniela Mercury and Maria Bethania.

Malambo No. 1

of Yma Sumac

My face, if it’s going to go really well in Latin, this mambo is still played today. But everything is there too. No wonder, Yma Sumac is at work here and she just cuts. This man-eating vamp can do it. Incredible how she sings in unison with the crashing trumpets. This mambo is on the verge of a parody, but so dynamic and energetic that it is perhaps the best Latin piece of all.

Mambo No. 5

ofPerez Prado / Lou Bega

Some hits happen twice, even if there are 50 years in between. The "Mambo No. 5 "is a really classic Mambo with flavors from the Mambo King Pérez Prado from Cuba from 1949. In Germany of all places, Lou Bega covered the piece in 1999 as" Mambo No. 5 ". 5 (A Little Bit Of…) “cleverly with electronica sounds and samples of the original as a vocal version. The music video shows the famous Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Lou Bega in the outfit of Cab Calloway, who had his song "Minnie The Moocher" filmed as a cartoon in 1932 and made a disco version of it in 1980 (48 years later!) wanted to leave.

Manhã De Carnaval

of Luiz Bonfá

This heartfelt song is the leitmotif from the Brazilian film "Orfeu Negro" (Black Orpheus) from 1959, whose global success brought the Bossa Nova movement into international awareness for the first time in the late 1950s. Composer and guitarist Luiz Bonfá later recorded a particularly beautiful version with the singer Elizeth Cardoso.The beguiling melody cannot get out of your head and has inspired many musicians. We also recommend Dalida's version in France under the title “La Chanson d’Orphée”. A song with goosebumps guarantee.

Mas Que Nada

ofJorge Ben / Sergio Mendes

For those who grew up in the sixties, “Mas Que Nada” is perhaps the first Brazilian piece that one could become aware of. In 1966 Sérgio Mendes had an international hit with it. The song was not composed by him at all, but composed in 1963 by Jorge Ben, who is much better known in Brazil. Its version sounds comparatively jazzy. But Mendes managed to get “Mas Que Nada” back in the charts or at least anew over the decades. As early as 1966 he had his first version with the Tamba Trio and a choir in the style of MPB 4. With the Black Eyed Peas he made the classic a hit again, especially in 2006 with rap interludes, and in 2011 again successfully in a version for the animated film "Rio" and in 1989 he had already re-recorded it. The piece just can't be killed. No wonder, the great choir, a soulful piano, a little snap of the fingers and this "Ooooh, ariyaa ayoooh". A timeless piece and who knows how often Sérgio Mendes will rearrange it. But the virtuoso vocal jazz version by Al Jarreau or the very danceable version by Salomé de Bahia are also highly recommended.

No woman, no cry

of Bob Marley,Vincent Tata Ford

Whether reggae stands on its own or is part of Latin music, there are different opinions. But to leave it out would be inappropriate. In this respect, his greatest interpreter, Bob Marley, should not be missing here. It is noticeable again and again what a brilliant composer Bob Marley was. To this day, his ballads are also unmatched and “No Woman, No Cry” from 1975 is one of his best. There is even something hymn-like about it. By the way, the title is Creole English and means “No, woman, don't cry”. It was a comfort song to a woman Marley had heard crying after a marriage argument.

Oye Como Va

of Tito Puente / Santana

This song was a big hit twice, in 1963 for composer Tito Puente and in 1970 for Carlos Santana, who thus created another milestone for the integration of Latin music and rock music. The organ riff is a piece that you will recognize after seconds and will not be forgotten. Puente's version sounds a bit lighter and is carried by the winds. The song "Chanchullo", written in 1937 by the Cuban bassist Cachao López (including Buena Vista Social Club), served as inspiration for the song.

País Tropical

of Jorge Ben

This is one of the flagship titles from Jorge Ben Jor from the time when he was still called Jorge Ben. “País Tropical” has a bit of soul, samba and calypso, but in the original it sounds almost like a twist. In 1969 the Brazilian took on the Trio Mocotó, which is still successful today. Ben later recorded the piece again and again. Especially together with the pieces “Taj Mahal” and “Filho Maravilha” as a medley, it has gained enormously in power.

Quizás, quizás, quizás

of Osvaldo Farrés

“Maybe, maybe, maybe.” Well, women are sometimes like that, but so are men. Especially when it comes to wooing. The Cuban Osvaldo Farrés wrote this classic and in 1947 it became a hit for Bobby Capó. Nat King Cole's 1958 version was sung again by his daughter Natalie Cole in 2014. But the English version "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" with the charming Doris Day is also very well known. The Spanish Sara Montiel interpreted the song in a really vampy way. It couldn't be better. She whispers, breathes, then there are greasy violins and slowly the percussion, finally Montiel breaks loose. Caution, they say. Women who sing like that bite too.

Soul Bossa Nova

of Quincy Jones

In 1998, at the soccer world championship (and also at later cups) this song could be heard all the time. The title, composed in 1962 by the American jazz musician Quincy Jones, is only partially a Latin piece, but it made the Cuíca world famous. This rubbing drum has a rod in the membrane, which is rubbed with a wet cloth while the other hand is pressed on the skin. The result is a "squeaky" sound that sometimes sounds like a hiccup. At the beginning of “Soul Bossa Nova”, deep scratching trombones alternate with the cuica, then the flutes blow a happy melody, repeatedly answered by the wind instruments, plus a swinging Latin beat. Sometimes it increases dynamically and then starts all over again. Indestructible and quite funny piece.

Soy Loco Por Ti America

of Gilberto Gil, Torquato Neto, José Carlos Capinan / Caetano Veloso

“I'm crazy about you, America” - Gilberto Gil wrote this declaration of love for Latin America (together with Torquato Neto and José Carlos Capinan) in 1967 for his colleague Caetano Veloso. It is one of the most representative songs of trópicalismo and the text is written in Spanish and Portuguese as well as in the mixed language Portuñol. Veloso brings a great version of it on his album "Fina Estampa Ao Vivo".

Tico, Tico No Fubá

of Zequinha de Abreu

Of all the Latin classics, “Tico Tico No Fubá” is the one with the most breathtaking pace. The best example is the 1944 version of the Hammond organ player Ethel Smith that makes you dizzy. The lively Brazilian choro was composed by Zequinha de Abreu as early as 1917 and is about a sparrow who tends to frenzy in the flour out of sheer hunger for food. Carmen Miranda made him world famous in her film "Copacabana" in 1947, and many orchestras like Ray Conniff then added him to their repertoire.

Toda Menina Baiana

ofGilberto Gil

This hymn to the beautiful girls of Bahia from 1979 comes from Gilberto Gil's disco-oriented album "Realce" and is a mixture of Bahia samba and disco. To date, it is one of Gil's most successful titles that is most likely to have hit character.


of Alfredo Le Pera / Carlos Gardel

Carlos Gardel made “Volver” (Return) one of the tango classics and Alfredo Le Pera composed it in 1934. The piece appears again and again, for example in Pedro Almodovar's film of the same name, where Estrella Morente sings it in a flamenco version while Penélope Cruz moved her lips in sync.

Volver Volver "

of Vicente Fernandez

The heartbreaker par excellence. At first the piece sounds quite normal, then towards the title, there is an artificial break and then the feelings explode: "Y volveeeer volveeeer– volveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer." All right? The Mexican ranchero king Vicente Fernandez is already half sobbing and we collapse with compassion. Not to beat.