30 Best Spanish Songs Of All Time

You are currently viewing 30 Best Spanish Songs Of All Time

Many of the most popular songs in the world today are Spanish songs.

With an estimated 500 million Spanish speakers worldwide, it’s no surprise that there as an enormous market for Spanish music.

Songs in the Spanish language span across genres. This runs from the legends of Spanish pop like Ricky Martin, all the way to the reggaeton greats of today like Bad Bunny. RIAA figures suggest that the Latin music market generates over a $1 billion globally each year.

This list looks at classic Spanish songs that have proven their cultural impact over the decade, as well as viral sensations of the internet age, many of which have attracted billions of streams.

Let’s dive in and discover some of the best Spanish songs of all time.

30. ‘Samba Pa Ti’ – Carlos Santana (1970)

Spanish music legend Carlos Santana‘s “Samba Pa Ti'” is a Latin rock ‎instrumental classic. In English its title translates to ‘Samba for you.’ Whilst the song didn’t appear in the Billboard Hot 100, it was Santana’s first work to feature within the top 20 of various charts across Europe and his first successful single released in the United Kingdom. 

The Spanish song has been covered multiple times including by Bruno Battisti D’Amario with Edda Dell’Orso for their 1974 album Samba Para Ti and José Feliciano who added lyrics to create the version found on his 1982 album Escenas de Amor.

29. ‘Malamente’ – Rosalia (2018)

“Malamente” features on Rosalia’s second studio album El mal querer and is written in a New Flamenco style. Billboard named the song ‘32nd best Latin song of all time’ and praised it for its innovative, contemporary twist on the traditional Flamenco style – labelled as one of the ‘songs that defined the 2010s.’

The track was nominated for five Latin Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year and Record of the Year, winning both Best Alternative Song and Best Urban Fusion Performance.

“Malamente” was also certified double platinum and even reached number two in the Spanish Song Charts.

28. ‘De Musica Ligera’ – Soda Stereo (1990)

“De Música Ligera,” translated to mean ‘of easy listening,’ is taken from Argentine rock band Soda Stereo’s fifth studio album Cancion Animal. The track is from the ‘Rock En Espanol’ genre (referring to any rock song primarily written in Spanish) and is one of this music niche’s most symbolic anthems.

It was commercially a relative success and certified gold in Mexico following over 30,000 copies sold. In 2017, British supergroup Coldplay covered “De Música Ligera” during a concert as part of their A Head Full of Dreams Tour in Argentina. The group went on to release this version as a track on their live album Live in Buenos Aires a year later.

27. ‘Somos Novios’ – Armando Manzanero (1968)

This old Spanish song was originally a French song called “J’ai le mal de toi.” It was reworked and recorded by Mexican songwriter Armando Manzanero in 1968 as “Somos Novios” which is Spanish for ‘We Are Lovers.’ It was also covered by Perry Como who penned original English words and renamed the song “It’s Impossible.”

“Somos Novios” is from the Bolero genre, a style that originated in late 19th century Eastern Cuban culture. It peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching the summit of their US Adult Contemporary chart and was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.

26. ‘Oye Como Va’ – Santana (1970)

Originally released by Tito Puente in 1962, this cha-cha-cha inspired classic went on to achieve global fame when it was recorded by American Latin rock legend Carlos Santana.

“Oye Como Va” peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the classic Spanish song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. It has been covered by various Latin music artists including Joe Cuba, Gerardo Mejia and Julio Iglesias. A remix of Tito Puente Jr & The Latin Rhythm’s 1996 version also reached number 36 in the UK charts.

25. ‘La Camisa Negra’ – Juanes (2005)

Written by Spanish Rock singer Juanes, “La Camisa Negra” or ‘The Black Shirt’ was highly successful in Europe and was the summer hit of 2005. This Cumbia alternative rock tune performed well in the US and reached number 89 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song did even better in the Latin charts, peaking at number 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Tracks, remaining there for a total of eight weeks. “La Camisa Negra” achieved fantastic success in Europe too, topping the charts in countries including Germany, Italy and Spain. 

24. ‘Baila Baila Baila’ – Ozuna (2019)

Puerto Rican singer Ozuna released this lead single “Baila Baila Baila” in 2019 from his third studio album Nibiru. The song’s title translates into English as ‘Dance Dance Dance.’

It was soon remixed by Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Furruko and Anuel AA. This version brought the Spanish song significant success, performing well in several countries and reaching number 69 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The track went on to sell over one million copies in the US alone.

23. ‘Ciega, Sordomuda’ – Shakira (1998)

Shakira released this pop rock number back in 1998 as the lead to her fourth studio album Dónde Están los Ladrones?

“Ciega Sordomuda” was a huge success, climbing up to number one on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart and Latin Pop Airplay lists. The Spanish song was nominated in the category of Pop Song of the Year at the 1999 Lo Nuestro Awards and also won the Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) Latin Award in 2000.

The track became a number-one hit in Panama, Costa Rica and Shakira’s homeland of Colombia, also charting in the top-ten of five other countries. It was covered by Croatian singer Vesna Pisarović under the title “Da je meni (oko moje).”

22. ‘Amor Prohibido’ – Selena (1994)

“Amor Prohibido,” or, in English, ‘Forbidden Love,’ is the title song from Selena’s fourth studio album of the same name. The dance-pop tejano cumbia hit was widely acclaimed and topped the US Billboard Hot Latin Songs for nine weeks in a row. It also marked the singer’s first number-one as a solo artist and became the most successful US Latin single of 1994.

Since then, the Spanish song has been certified seven times platinum by the RIAA and has reportedly sold over 420,000 copies. Many other artists have covered “Amor Prohibido,” including Mexican pop singer Thalía, Finnish singer Meiju Suvas and also Jennifer Lopez.

21. ‘Matador’ – Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (1994)

“Matador” is a song written by the bass player of Argentine rock band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs Flavio Cianciarulo. The song was first released as part of their 1993 album Vasos Vacíos and has since topped the charts in many Hispanic American regions.

The Spanish song is influenced by the Candombe genre, originating in Uruguay specifically among the descendants of liberated African slaves. It is a distinctive blend of music and dance – fused together with elements of Latin rock. 

There are aspects of ska, Afro-Uruguayan and an Afro-Argentine vibe to the track which also incorporates Buenos Aires-style murga. British pop duo Pet Shop Boys sampled parts of Matador to use on their song “Single-Bilingual.”

20. ‘Secreto De Amor’ – Joan Sebastian (2000)

Released as part of his 2002 album Secreto, “Secreto de Amor” is a Mexican folk ballad by singer-songwriter Joan Sebastian. The track fuses contemporary pop and rock elements together, and is emotionally charged with its narrative based around a love affair and the pleasures that surround it.

The song was chosen by Billboard Magazine on its list of “50 Essential Latin Albums of the Last 50 Years” and won a Lo Nuestro Award for Regional ‘Mexican Album of the Year’ in 2001. “Secreto de Amor” went four times platinum in the US charts and became the theme song for telenovela “Secreto de amor.”

19. ‘El Cantante’ – Hector Lavoe (1978) 

Salsa classic “El Cantante” is an innovative work by Puerto Rican star Hector Lavoe. This classic Spanish song has evolved into an integral part of Latin American music, known for its catchy rhythm and wonderfully crafted chorus structure. Hector Lavoe is widely thought of as one of the greatest salsa singers ever and “El Cantante” perhaps his most iconic song.

The track peaked at number one on Billboard’s US Tropical Airplay chart. Celebrated for its upbeat tempo, energy and passion of the salsa genre, Lavoe gives a thunderous vocal performance. In 2004, Son By Four’s Ángel López covered the song as a solo artist.

18. ‘Mariposa Traicionera’ – Maná (2003)

Translated into English as ‘Treacherous Butterfly’, “Mariposa Traicionera” made its debut at number 39 on the US Billboard Hot Latin Tracks. Within thirteen weeks, the Spanish song had shot up to the top spot and in the process became Mana’s first number one record.

From the Latin and Rock en Espanol sub-genres, the track is a mixture of both rock and traditional Spanish music. “Mariposa Traicionera” remained in the US Billboard Hot Latin Tracks for twenty-six weeks, also reaching the summit of the US Billboard Latin Pop Airplay chart.

17. ‘El Dia Que Me Quieras’ – Luis Miguel (1994)

“El Día Que Me Quieras” is widely regarded of as one of the most popular Spanish songs of the twentieth century, and amongst the best Latin songs ever. Originally featured in the 1935 film of the same name and sung by Carlos Gardel, it was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001. 

Covered by Luis Miguel in 1994, the track became deep rooted within the pop genre and soon gained huge notoriety. The track went on to reach number-one in the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart. 

The legendary old Spanish song hit the top spot in many global charts from Mexico to Argentina, Panama and Peru. It was also named as one of the best Latin songs of the year at the 1996 BMI Latin Awards. 

The song was covered by a number of artists including Julio Iglesias, Michael Bolton and Roberto Carlos.

16. ‘Un Buen Perdedor’ – Franco De Vita (1984)

Best described as a pop ballad, “Un Buen Perdedor” was recorded and released by Venezuelan singer-songwriter Franco De Vita in 1984.

The track is one of Franco De Vita’s most recognisable and popular songs, often praised for its treatment of the themes of love and loss. In particular, “Un Buen Perdedor” is a fantastic spectacle when performed live. It is widely regarded as a timeless classic in the world of Latin music.

15. ‘Obsesion’ – Aventura  (2002)

“Obsesión” is a song by Dominican-American Bachata band Aventura. The genre is a fusion of southwestern European influences, mainly Spanish guitar music, with indigenous Taino and Sub-Saharan African musical elements. It also features Judy Santos on vocals. 

The Spanish song was a commercial success across the globe and reached the summit of numerous international charts. The song performed especially well In France, where it was number one for seven weeks and certified Diamond having sold over 500,000 copies. 

In 2005, Mexican-American singer Frankie J recorded a soulful version of the song in English featuring Baby Bash called “Obsession (No Es Amor)”

14. ‘Con Calma’ – Daddy Yankee & Snow (2019)

One of the best-selling Spanish songs ever, “Con Calma ” by Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee is a classic within the reggaeton and dancehall subgenres. The song’s title in English is ‘Calmly’ and is a reimagination of Snow’s hit single “Informer.” 

Featuring the Canadian rapper Snow, this upbeat electronic dancehall track was a big commercial success and topped the charts in twenty countries. In the US, it was number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart for an impressive fourteen weeks. 

“Con Calma” was once the fourth most-streamed Spanish language song in the US, certified eleven times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. One of the most famous remixes of this track is the version featuring American vocalist Katy Perry.

13. ‘Amigo’ – Roberto Carlos (1979)

“Amigo” is one of the most famous songs by the legendary Brazilian singer and songwriter Roberto Carlos. It was released in 1979, quickly becoming a huge hit in both Brazil and other regions of Latin America, cementing Carlos’ status as one of the most popular and successful musicians across these nations.

The track is widely known for its touching lyrics, which tell the story of a man who writes a letter to a close friend, expressing his feelings of love and gratitude for their friendship. 

In addition to its commercial success, “Amigo” has also received critical acclaim, with many music journalists and fans praising its themes and memorable melody. Overall, the song has been a significant part of Roberto Carlos’ long and successful career, one of his most beloved and enduring works.

12. ‘Taki Taki’ – DJ Snake ft. Selena Gomez, Ozuna And Cardi B (2018)

This English-Spanish record by French DJ and producer DJ Snake, “Taki Taki” is a powerhouse hit of the moombahton and reggaeton genres. With vocals by American artists Cardi B and Selena Gomez alongside Puerto Rican singer Ozuna, the track climbed to number one in sixteen different countries including Spain, Argentina and Portugal. 

In the US, “Taki Taki” went straight to number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart and even reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its music video received over two billion views on the platform and made Cardi B the first female rapper to top the Spotify Global chart. 

The track also gave Gomez her 16th consecutive top 40 entry on the Billboard Hot 100 which is the longest current run of any active artist.

11. ‘Bamboleo’ – Gipsy Kings (1987)

Written in the Rumba Flamenca style, Gitano-French band Gipsy Kings’ “Bamboléo” remains one of the most famous Spanish language songs, translated into English the track’s title means ‘wobble’ or ‘swing.’

The song found great success around the world and in particular in the UK where it went on to sell over 200,000 copies. It quickly developed into a truly iconic number and became a worldwide hit for the Gipsy Kings. 

Over the decades “Bamboléo” has been covered in multiple other languages by numerous artists such as Julio Iglesias, Celia Cruz and even Spanish teen band Gypsy Teens who released a ‘revamped’ version back in 2001.

10. ‘Livin La Vida Loca’ – Ricky Martin (1999)

“Livin’ la Vida Loca” or “Livin’ the Crazy Life” is undoubtedly Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin’s most famous work, featuring on his fifth studio album and English-language debut LP Ricky Martin. This Latin pop classic hit top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained there for five weeks. 

It was incredibly successful commercially, reaching number one in more than twenty countries and was Martin’s first number-one single. “Livin’ la Vida Loca” was one of the best-selling Latin singles of all time. In the United States it sold over 1.2 million copies and was even named best 1990s pop song by Elle magazine.

9. ‘El Perdon’ – Nicky Jam And Enrique Iglesias  (2015)

American singer Nicky Jam and Spanish artist Enrique Iglesias release of “El Perdón,” Spanish for ‘Forgiveness,’ quickly became an international hit with the song hitting top spot on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs and spending thirty weeks at number one.

From the Latin pop and Reggaeton genre, “El Perdón” also peaked at number one in multiple Billboard charts including Latin Airplay and Latin Digital Sales. The track displayed real longevity, remaining in the Billboard Hot 100 for thirty weeks and strangely became the longest-charting entry to never enter the top 50. It also sold a monumental four million copies worldwide.

8. ‘Gasolina’ – Daddy Yankee (2003)

Released as the lead single from his 2004 album Barrio Fino, Daddy Yankee’s “Gasolina” was the first reggaeton song to be nominated for the Latin Grammy Award for Record of the Year. The song was position at number nine on Billboard’s “50 Greatest Latin Songs of All Time.”

The iconic reggaeton hit peaked at number 32 on Billboard Hot 100. The song also ranked at number 50 on Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and gained top spot on their 2022 “100 Greatest Reggaeton Songs of All Time” list. 

In 2005, Salvadoran singer Papa A.P. recorded a cover version of “Gasolina.” It was controversially released in Europe before Daddy Yankee’s original version.

7. ‘Mambo No.5’ – Perez Prado (1950)

1950’s original and less well-known version of “Mambo No. 5” is a jazz dance and instrumental mambo, composed and recorded by Cuban musician Dámaso Pérez Prado. The song gained huge notoriety when German singer Lou Bega sampled the original, reworking its structure and then releasing it under the same name as part of his 1999 debut album, A Little Bit of Mambo.

Bega’s version was one of 1999’s big summer hits and caused a sensation across Europe. He found huge success in the United Kingdom, North America and in France set a record by remaining at number one for a total of twenty weeks. “Mambo No. 5” would peak at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 with Bega registering his only top-40 hit in the US.

6. ‘Chantaje’ – Shakira ft. Maluma  (2016)

Colombian singer and songwriter Shakira released her killer single “Chantaje” in 2016 ahead of eleventh studio album El Dorado. Its lyrics were co-written by Maluma who features as a vocalist on the record. This pop and reggaeton track peaked at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Spanish song reached number one in five countries including Brazil, Spain and Ecuador, topping the US Billboard Latin Songs charts. It was also certified Platinum in ten other countries with Diamond certifications in Brazil, United States, France and Mexico. 

“Chantaje” became the most successful Latin single of the decade by a female artist in the US. It also reached one billion views on YouTube, making it the fastest video to hit the landmark and was also the second most viewed video on Vivo behind only “Despacito.”

5. ‘Macarena’ – Los Del Rio – Bayside Boys Mix (1995)

Flamenco dance song “Macarena” by Spanish pop duo Los del Río originally featured on their 1993 album A Mí Me Gusta. Yet it was the remix by producers The Bayside Boys that transformed the track into an international phenomenon and ultimately inspired a dance craze by the same name.

The song sold over eleven million copies worldwide and peaked at number one the Billboard Hot 100. In 2012, Billboard listed it at number 7 on their ‘All Time Top 100’ and topped Billboard’s All Time Latin Songs. Music broadcaster VH1 even ranked the track as “Greatest One-Hit Wonder of All Time” in 2002.

The “Macarena” stands undoubtedly as one of the best Spanish songs of all time.

4. ‘Danzo Kuduro’ – Don Omar ft. Lucenzo (2010)

Inspired by reggaeton and kuduro (a style of Angolan dance music) “Danza Kuduro” or ‘Dance Kuduro’ is a Spanish/Portuguese track written by the Puerto Rican Don Omar and featuring Portuguese–French singer Lucenzo. It is one of the highest-selling Spanish songs of all time, selling over five million copies globally.

The song was a hit in numerous Latin American regions and eventually gained notoriety across Europe too. “Danza Kuduro” was number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, only Don Omar’s second ever US Billboard Hot Latin Songs number-one hit and a first for Lucenzo. 

The song also peaked at number 52 on the Billboard Hot 100 and ranked 43rd on Rolling Stone`s Greatest Latin Pop Songs. Brazilian born rapper Daddy Kall and singer Latino recorded a Brazilian version of the song called “Dança Kuduro” with adapted Portuguese lyrics.

3. ‘Bailando’ – Enrique Iglesias (2014)

“Bailando,” which translates to English as simply “Dancing,” was written by Enrique Iglesias in collaboration with Descemer Bueno. 

The flamenco-influenced Latin-pop song debuted at number 81 on the US Billboard Hot 100 before the Spanish version of the song climbed up to number 12. “Bailando” became Iglesias’ highest-charting Spanish song of his entire career.

The song remained at number one on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart for an incredible forty-one weeks, was the tenth best-selling song of 2014, and sold a staggering eight million copies worldwide. 

Three other versions of the song have been released including The ‘Spanglish’ mix featuring Jamaican singer Sean Paul. The original Spanish recording of “Bailando” became the theme song to soap opera Reina de Corazones. 

2. ‘La Bamba’ – Ritchie Valens (1958)

Originally a Mexican folk song, “La Bamba” was adapted by Ritchie Valens in 1958 to include a rock and roll flavour and was released as the B-side of his song “Donna.” It became a Top 40 hit in the U.S. charts and was ranked number 354 in the ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ by Rolling Stone magazine.

The legendary old Spanish song reached number 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100, was ranked number 98 in VH1’s ‘100 Greatest Songs of Rock and Roll’ and 59th on a list of their ‘100 Greatest Dance Songs. 

“La Bamba” was inducted into the Latin Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000. It has been covered by a number of different artists including Los Lobos and Belgian Electronic band Telex.

1. ‘Despacito’ – Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee (2017)

“Despacito,” which translates into English as ‘Slowly,’ was originally recorded by Luis Fonsi and featuring rapper Daddy Yankee with a remix version featuring Canadian singer Justin Bieber making it a worldwide sensation. It has been widely praised for revitalising Spanish-language pop music in the mainstream charts.

The iconic Spanish song sold 13 million copies in the US alone and topped the charts in an incredible forty-seven countries. It became the first Spanish song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 since Los del Río’s “Macarena” nearly two decades earlier. At the time “Despacito” spent the most time at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 remaining in top spot for sixteen weeks.

The track received numerous Latin Grammy Awards including ‘Record of the Year’, ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Best Urban Fusion Performance.’ The track also became one of the first Latin songs awarded a diamond certification by the RIAA. 

“Despacito” was the most-viewed YouTube video of all time up until the end of 2020 and today has accumulated over eight billion views.

Leave a Reply