At the moment, there are more than 500 million Spanish speakers in the world, making it one of the most widely used languages. The fact that Spanish is so widespread is best seen in all the music sung in this language that has managed to cross linguistic barriers.
Today, there are dozens of famous Spanish songs most people in the world know even if they don’t speak the language.
If you are learning Spanish and need a hand or if you just need some Latin bangers for your playlist, keep reading. You will find the most famous Spanish songs below.
18 Famous Spanish Songs for Your Playlist
1. Amor Prohibido by Selena
It is only fitting to begin the list of the most famous Spanish songs with a song by the queen of Spanish music: Selena Quintanilla.
The tragically deceased singer-songwriter was one of the most celebrated and respected Mexican-American performers of the 20th century. Her legacy lives on even today through her music and all the lives that she has touched.
This song has a rather sweet backstory. Namely, Selena wrote it about her grandparents. They belonged to different social classes and couldn’t be together because of that. Still, love prevailed in the end, and Selena celebrated it with this cute tribute.
2. Despacito by Lusi Fonsi and Daddy Yankee
This banger was the most prominent part of 2017 when it comes to pop music. It broke every sales record for a Spanish song in the history of the Billboard charts and made Luis Fonsi a superstar all around the globe.
What captivated most people when it comes to this song are its irresistible beat and the raunchy lyrics. A lot of people really enjoyed the video as well, seeing as it is one of the most-watched videos in Youtube history.
3. Me Enamoré by Shakira
The Colombian superstar was one of the first artists to cross into the English-dominated pop field in the US and find great success. Today, her catalog contains some of the most famous Spanish songs in the world.
This song is a sweet love letter to the singer’s husband and her way of telling the world that she is head over heels in love. Still, the song is great to dance to as it combines pop elements with the Latin vibe perfectly.
4. La Camisa Negra by Juanes
Ever since it came out fifteen years ago, La Camisa Negra has been one of the biggest Spanish hits in the world. Juanes wrote this banger taking inspiration from classic rock and Colombian music.
However, there was a lot of controversy surrounding this song, especially in Italy. Namely, neo-fascists used it to promote their agenda in the country, as the song’s title translates to The Black Shirt.
Juanes strongly rejected this message and refused to acknowledge the efforts of the far-right group. Still, many people refused to play or listen to the song due to this situation.
5. Gasolina by Daddy Yankee
Gasolina is a reggaeton hit that is a staple of every party playlist in the world. This song is the first reggaeton song to receive a Latin Grammy nomination, and it popularized the genre immensely.
In 2015, Billboard named it as the ninth-best Latin song of all time. Gasolina remains one of the best-selling and most famous Spanish songs worldwide.
6. Obsesión by Aventura
Aventura is a Dominican-American bachata band, and Obsesión was its breakout hit in the US and Europe. Though the song was extremely popular in the US and UK, interestingly enough, it was most successful in France.
There, it is in the top twenty best-selling singles in the 21st century, selling more than 400,000 copies.
The band translated the song into English and subsequently released that version as well. However, people continued gravitating towards the original. The lyrics are quite straightforward, depicting a man’s love for a woman that borders on obsession.
7. De Música Ligera by Soda Stereo
The Argentinian rock band Soda Stereo released this song in 1990 as a part of its fifth studio album. The song became an instant hit, and people consider it to be the ultimate Spanish rock anthem.
The band revealed that their aim was to combine rock instrumentation with light but ambiguous lyrics. They certainly did something right, as this song is their biggest hit and the one that they closed their farewell tour with.
8. Bailando by Enrique Iglesias, Descemer Bueno & Gente De Zona
No list of Spanish hits is complete without at least one song by Enrique Iglesias. The song topped US Latin charts for a whopping number of 41 weeks and is one of the most streamed and best-selling Spanish songs of all time.
It is, without any doubt, Enrique’s biggest hit to date. That is saying a lot since he has been releasing hit after hit for almost two decades now.
9. Rebelde by RBD
Released in 2004, Rebelde is a pop-rock banger that launched the career of the Mexican band RBD. Many consider it to be the band’s signature song, as RBD is actually short for Rebelde (Rebel).
The song resonated with teenagers and the younger population in general, tackling subjects relevant for that demographic. It topped charts all around Latin America and saw big success in Europe as well.
10. La Tortura by Shakira and Alejandro Sanz
If you listened to the radio during the 2000s, you surely know this song as it was one of the biggest hits of the period. The song combines influences from classic pop and reggaeton, and it tells a story of a woman rejecting her cheating lover’s apologies and moving on.
La Tortura is one of the best-selling Spanish songs of all time, selling 2 million copies in the US alone. It won two Latin Grammy awards, and it topped charts all around the world, showing that language barriers mean nothing when people just enjoy the music.
11. La Maza by Silvio Rodriguez
Released in 1982, this song is one of Silvio Rodriguez’s biggest hits. He is one of the biggest artists Latin America has ever had, and his songwriting prowess remains unmatched even today. The song is a celebration of Cuban music, and it is most famous for its deep and symbolic lyrics.
12. Amigo by Roberto Carlos
In the music world, Roberto Carlos is famous as the King of Latin Music. He has sold more than 120 million records worldwide, which puts him right next to the music industry’s biggest legends.
Amigo is one of Carlos’ biggest hits, and it is one of the most famous Spanish songs ever. Its popularity was so high that the Mexican government used it to greet Pope John Paul II when he visited the country in the 1970s.
13. Bamboleo by Gypsy Kings
Bamboleo is the biggest hit of Gitano-Ffrench band Gypsy Kings. The word translates into sway or wobble, and the song itself is great to dance to. The hit samples the Venezuelan hit Caballo Viejo by Simón Díaz.
Bamboleo has been one of the most influential Spanish songs in terms of beat and music style. In addition, many famous musicians have covered the song, including Julio Iglesias and Celia Cruz.
14. Livin La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
Many see Ricky Martin’s music in general and this song in particular as the turning point in the Latin music crossover into the US pop scene. He, according to critics, paved the way for other artists, including Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, and Shakira to become as successful as they are.
This song has an English and Spanish version, and both are extremely popular and have hundreds of millions of youtube and Spotify streams. Across all versions, Livin La Vida Loca is one of the best-selling singles of all time worldwide.
15. Ahora Quien by Marc Anthony
This song is one of the most famous and heartbreaking breakup songs in Spanish. It topped the Billboard Latin charts for weeks and became a contemporary classic within a year of its release. Although it is not Anthony’s biggest hit, it remains a fan favorite to this day.
16. Corazon Partió by Alejandro Sanz
Flamenco and pop have always been a good combination. However, no one has capitalized on that as much as Alejandro Sanz. He took this mix to a whole new level with this soft banger that won the hearts of listeners all around the world.
17. Danza Kuduro by Don Omar and Lucenzo
This song is a delicious blend of reggaeton and African beats. It ruled charts all around the world for months in 2011. It mixes Spanish and bits of Portuguese. Subsequent versions in other languages by different artists came out as well, including Brazilian and English.
18. Un Buen Perdedor by Franco De Vita
Latin music proves that balladeers singing heartfelt lyrics can steal the hearts of everyone listening time and time again. No one proves that as well as Franco de Vita. His songs and voice dominated the 70s and 80s Latin music scene.
His songs delved deep into personal issues and explored relationships and love. He did so in a way younger audiences at the time could easily relate to. Un Buen Perdedor did that better than any other song of its time, and it is Franco’s biggest hit. Today, it is one of the most famous Spanish songs of all time.