In today’s market Latinos are the No. 1 purchasing consumers and by 2015 they will have the buying power of $1.5 trillion according to a 2012 Nielsen report. In music, artists need to strategize how they will attract this bilingual group, and of course for some it might be easier than others. The following six musicians have branded themselves as American artists, but have a Latin ancestry which makes them the representation of the new generations who speak both Spanish and English. Like Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, and the late Selena these six artists have the power to successfully play both sides – American and Latin – even if they don’t speak Spanish well, or at all.
In 2000 without knowing Spanish, Aguilera recorded her second studio album, “Mi Reflejo,”which was a huge commercial success and solidified her as a bicultural artist. The following six artists have never done a professional studio album in Spanish, some of them have merely played with the notion of reverse-crossing over, but frankly it is time that they give their Latin side some loving and record one.
Howie Dorough – Puerto Rican Mother
Dorough is a member of the Backstreet Boys, one of the biggest boy bands in the world. In 2011 he told Billboard that although he thought about exploring his Latin roots in his first solo album “Back to Me”, he ended up going back to the same Backstreet Boys sound. “Backstreet Boys have an international fan base, and fans love what we do,” he told the publication. “I didn’t want to be one of those artists that does something totally different so people would ask, ‘Why did he do that?’”
He can still achieve that same pop sound we’ve known him for in Spanish. And after the following clip his Latin fans will be asking, “Why didn’t he do that?” instead.
Demi Lovato – Mexican Father
Demi Lovato came out as a singer in 2008. In 2011 she told Jimmy Fallon that she could not speak Spanish but that she had “memorized songs in Spanish before.” Although Lovato is not really in tune with the language she embraces the culture. “I feel so much love and comfort when I’m with [the Latino] side of my family,” she told Latina Magazine in 2012. “It makes me proud of my culture and my ethnicity.”
After “Lo Que Soy,” her Spanish version of “This is Me,” fans have been waiting for an all Spanish album, especially since in 2011 Billboard stated that the starlet would release a full Spanish language record in 2012. Still waiting Demi!
Maxwell – Puerto Rican Father
The R&B singer has captured audiences with his soulful voice since 1996 and although his father died when he was only three, the singer has sang Spanish on two occasions – the intro to “I’m You, You are Me, and We are You” and the translation of “Whenever, Wherever, Whatever.” He has demonstrated that he not only has the voice, but the chops to carry a Spanish tune and a full Spanish album would be the perfect comeback from his hiatus.
Victoria Justice – Puerto Rican Mother
The starlet has released four records since 2009 and although her career has been focused on being an American singer and actress, Justice doesn’t forget her roots. “My parents got divorced when I was young, but I grew up around the Puerto Rican side of the family, so I’m definitely immersed in that culture,” she told Latina Magazine in 2012.
According to Perez Hilton, last year she was awarded the Nickelodeon trophy for Favorite International TV Show during the second annual Kids’ Choice Awards in Argentina and Brazil, demonstrating that Latin audiences love her and support her.
Bruno Mars – Puerto Rican Father
At the start of his career, the singer changed his named from Peter Gene Hernandez to Bruno Mars in order to make it in the American scene. But after two successful albums perhaps it’s not such a bad idea for the singer to pay tribute to his roots. During a concert the singer sang “Besame mucho, te quiero mucho” (kiss me a lot, I love you so much) and the crowd went wild. That is definitely a testament of the positive reaction that fans, especially Latino fans, would have to a Spanish Album by the singer.
Selena Gomez – Mexican Father
Ever since her Disney Days the starlet has celebrated her Mexican heritage. “When I have moms … say, ‘It’s so wonderful to see a Latina that my kids can look up to.’ I think that makes me feel so proud of where I come from,” she told MTV Tr3s in 2008. The young singer has released four albums and done a few Spanish singles – “Un Ano Sin Lluvia” (“A Year Without Rain”) – since 2009. In 2012 she told Hollywood Life that she was working on a Spanish album. “I have a few other songs to do and it will come out, I promise,” she told the publication. Hopefully she will release it soon because she might be the push that the artists above need to take the risk.
What do you think about these artists coming out with an all Spanish album, do you think it will work for them like it did for Christina. We look forward to your comments!