Bay Area Latin Pop Radio Crib Sheet for Newbies

When we talk about Latin music, most people think of salsa music, ranchero singers, and mariachi bands.  Yes, the late Celia Cruz had a big salsa hit in 2003, and regional Mexican is the most popular Latin format in the U.S.  Or they remember novelty dance hits like “Macarena” and “The Ketchup Song (Hey Hah).”  But then there’s Latin top 40 music.  If you listen to Latin pop radio stations, you’ll realize the music doesn’t sound that foreign because you’re already familiar with such crossover artists as Ricky Martin, Elvis Crespo, Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony, Son by Four/Angel Lopez, Shakira, Paulina Rubio, and Thalia.  They all happened to score Spanish-language hits in 2003, when 105.7 KVVF switched frequency and format to Latin top 40.  Daddy Yankee became the latest crossover artist in 2005.

As one of the featured guests on Santana’s 1999 smash album “Supernatural,” the Mexican rock band Mana had its share of crossover exposure as well.  Veteran American singer India, who was the vocalist on dance hits by Masters at Work, Nuyorican Soul, River Ocean, and Jellybean, released her latest Spanish album in December 2002.  Gloria Estefan is another 1980s singer who had a Latin hit in 2003.

There’s another reason why Latin pop radio may be more familiar than one would think.  Artists from other Romance-language countries have also recorded albums in Spanish.  For example, Italian singers such as Eros Ramazzotti, Laura Pausini, Gianluca Grignani, Nek, and newcomer Tiziano Ferro have sung in Spanish; Brazil’s Alexandre Pires has done the same.  Even Nelly Furtado, the Canadian singer of Portuguese descent, recorded a Spanish duet with Colombian pop-rocker Juanes.

Next to English-language pop music, which is as ubiquitous as Hollywood movies all over the world, Latin music likewise crosses national borders, including Latin America, Spain, and parts of North America.  It’s still ironic the Basque band La Oreja de Van Gogh would be today’s quintessential Latin top 40 artist, considering that region’s political climate.  It may be tempting to compare this woman-fronted group to Sixpence None the Richer, but LODVG has more originality and depth.  In Spain, LODVG probably reminds home fans of defunct trio Mecano.

Benny’s “Cielo 2002” (Sky 2002), Ricardo Arjona’s “El Problema” (The Problem), and Aleks Syntek’s “Por Volverte a Ver” (Come Back and See) are but a few examples of the type of pop songs you don’t hear on English-language top 40 radio anymore.  Compared to American rock music, Latin rock appears to be in a time warp as most of it has that 1980s feel.  The harder-rocking sound that has dominated U.S. rock radio since the 1990s is not reflected on Latin rock records.  So don’t expect to hear anything sounding remotely like Godsmack or Creed en espanol.

U.S. Latin top 40 stations don’t play much Latin hip-hop or Latin jazz (we hear hip-hop is big in Puerto Rico); they are starting to add some reggaeton records (reggae with a Latin twist).  Indeed, KVVF shifted its focus to reggaeton in 2005.

When KVVF was a mainstream top 40 station, it had a slight preference for pop/rock music.  Even though it played pop crooners like Luis Miguel, Chayanne, and Cristian, they yielded plenty of airtime to Latin rock tracks from Mana, Juanes, Jaguares/Caifanes, Café Tacuba, and lesser-known groups including Argentina’s La Mosca Tse-Tse and Enanitos Verdes, Chile’s La Ley, and Mexico’s Elefante and Inspector, whose sound is like new wave meets mariachi with a dash of ska.  If you love Los Lobos, you’ll probably like Inspector.

KVVF also played a substantial amount of dance records.  Moenia’s synth-laden “Dejame Entrar” (Let Me In) is a throwback to 1980s synth-pop (imagine if Depeche Mode or New Order had collaborated with Eurythmics).  One of its recurrents was a track by Axe Bahia, a coed group that recalls the Vengaboys; another frequent recurrent was a dance number by Davide, an Eiffel 65 sound-alike.  Remarkably, KVVF made room for such genre-bending acts as Manu Chao and King Chango.

For the adventurous radio listeners, we recommend that you take the list below and find an audio sample on the Internet for each song.  Fourteen months after KVVF became a Latin rhythm station, 104.9 KCNL evolved into the Bay Area’s sole Latin top 40 outlet.  You might also start with the weekly music video show “Pepsi Musica” ( on KFSF (Channel 66) on Saturdays at 11 am (or 11:30 pm), Sundays at 5 am and 11 am, and Mondays at 5 am.  It’s a good introduction to Latin pop music.  And if you have more time, check out MTV tr3s ( on KMMC (Channel 40).

Feel free to correct our translated titles—it’s the best we can do with translation software and a dictionary.


2000-2006 Latin Pop Tracks
Artist Track(s)
Pepe Aguilar “El Autobus” (The Bus), “Miedo” (Fear [Remix]), “Me Falta Valor” (I Lack Value), “Me Vas a Extranar” (You’re Gonna Miss Me), “Que Sepan Todos” (That They Know All)
Akwid “Jamas Imagine” (Never Imagine), “No Hay Manera” (There’s No Way)
Alberto y Roberto “Tu Forma de Ser” (The Way You Are [Remix])
Amaral “El Universo Sobre Mi” (The Universe Above Me)
Amaral y Beto Cuevas “Te Necesito” (I Need You)
Andy & Lucas “Son de Amores” (They Are Love [Remix]), “Tanto la Queria” (He Wanted Her so Much)
Marc Anthony “Ahora Quien” (Now Who), “Barco a la Deriva” (Ship Drifting Away), “Celos” (Jealousy), “Viviendo” (Living), “Hasta Que Vuelvas Conmigo” (Until You Return With Me), “Muy Dentro de Mi/You Sang to Me,” “Da la Vuelta” (To Go Around)
Ricardo Arjona “Porque Es tan Cruel el Amor” (Because Love Is so Cruel), “El Problema” (The Problem), “Dame” (Give Me), “Minutos” (Minutes), “Desnuda” (Naked), “Cuando” (When)
Aventura (Adventure) “La Boda” (The Wedding), “Obsesion” (Obsession [Remix]), “Hermanita” (Little Sister)
Axe Bahia (Bahian Axe) “Beso en la Boca (Namorar Pelado)” (Kiss on the Mouth)
Azul Azul (Blue Blue) “Apretaito,” “La Bomba” (The Bomb), “Mentirosa” (Liar)
Bacilos (Bacillus) “Mi Primer Millon” (My First Million), “Caraluna” (Moon Face), “Tabaco y Chanel” (Tobacco and Chanel)
Belinda “Angel,” “Vivir” (To Live), “Lo Siento” (I Feel It), “Complices al Rescate” (Accomplices to the Rescue)
Benny [Ibarra] “Cielo 2002” (Sky 2002), “Uno” (One)
Obie Bermudez “Todo el Ano” (The Whole Year), “Me Canse de Ti” (I’m Tired of You), “Todo el Ano” (The Whole Year), “Antes” (Before [Remix])
Big Boy “Mis Ojos Lloran por Ti” (My Eyes Cry for You)
Big Boy Featuring Angel Lopez “Donde Esta el Amor” (Where Is the Love)
David Bisbal “Llorare las Penas” (Cry the Pangs of Love), “Digale” (Tell Him), “Quiero Perderme en Tu Cuerpo” (I Want to Get Lost in Your Body), “Ave Maria”
[Andres] Cabas “La Caderona,” “Mi Bombon” (My Beautiful Woman)
Cafe Tacuba [Café Tacvba] “Mediodia” (Midday), “Eres” (You Are), “Eo,” “Dejate Caer” (Let Yourself Fall)
Caos (Chaos) “La Planta” (The Plant)
Manu Chao “Me Gustas Tu” (I Like You)
Chayanne “Cuidarte el Alma” (Take Care of the Soul), “Un Siglo Sin Ti” (Forever Without You), “Y Tu Te Vas” (And You Leave), “Torero” (Bullfighter), “Candela” (Candle), “Yo Te Amo” (I Love You), “Atado a Tu Amor” (Tied to Your Love)
Cox “Jamas” (Never), “Mi Gran Noche” (My Big Night), “El Gato en la Oscuridad” (The Cat in the Dark)
Elvis Crespo “La Cerveza” (The Beer), “Wow Flash!”
Elvis Crespo Featuring Tempo “Bandida” (Lady Bandit)
Cristian [Christian Castro] “Te Llame” (I Called You), “Te Buscaria” (He Would Look for You), “No Hace Falta” (It’s Not Necessary), “Cuando Me Miras Asi” (When You Look at Me This Way), “Con Ella” (With Her), “Yo Queria” (I Want Her), “Azul” (Blue), “Por Amarte Asi” (By Loving You This Way), “Volver a Amar” (Love Again)
Celia Cruz “Rie y Llora” (Laugh and Cry), “La Negra Tiene Tumbao” (The Black Chick’s Got Swing)
Daddy Yankee “Lo Que Paso, Paso,” “Gasolina” (Gasoline)
Davide “En Tus Ojos” (In Your Eyes)
Elefante (Elephant) “Mentirosa” (Liar), “El Abandonado” (The Abandoned), “De la Noche a la Manana” (From Night Until Tomorrow), “Asi Es la Vida” (That’s Life)
Enanitos Verdes (Little Green Men) “Tu Carcel” (Your Prison), “Amores Lejanos” (Distant Loves), “Frances Limon” (French Lemon), “Luz de Dia” (Light of Day)
Gloria Estefan “Tu Fotografia” (Your Photograph), “Hoy” (Today), “No Me Dejes de Queres” (You Don’t Want Me), “Como Me Duele Perderte” (How It Hurts Me to Lose You)
La Factoria (The Factory) “Que Me Maten” (That Kills Me), “No Lastimes Mas” (Don’t Hurt Anymore), “Todavia” (Still)
Tiziano Ferro “Tardes Negras” (Black Afternoons), “Perverso” (Perverse), “Alucinado” (Stunned), “Perdona” (Sorry)
Tiziano Ferro With Pepe Aguilar “Mi Credo” (My Creed)
Fey “La Fuerza del Destino” (The Force of Destiny), “Barco a Venus” (Boat to Venus)
Frankie J “Ya No Es Igual/Don’t Wanna Try”
Victor Garcia “Otra Vez” (Again [Remix])
El Gran Silencio (The Great Silence) “Super Riddim Internacional” (Super International Riddim), “Circulo de Amor” (Circle of Love), “Dejenme Si Estoy Llorando” (Leave Me If I’m Crying)
Grupo Climax “El Za Za Za (Mesa Que Mas Aplauda)” (The Za Za Za [Table That Applauds the Most])
Alejandra Guzman “Volvere a Amor” (Back to Love), “De Verdad” (Truly)
Ha*Ash “Te Quedaste” (You Stayed), “Estes en Donde Estes” (Be Where You Are), “Odio Amarte” (I Hate to Be in Love)
Enrique Iglesias “No Es Amor/Not in Love,” “Quizas” (Maybe), “Para Que la Vida” (Why Life), “Mentiroso” (Liar), “Escapar/Escape,” “Heroe/Hero,” “Solo Me Importas Tu/Be With You”
Ilegales (Illegals) “Siento” (I Feel), “La Cosita” (The Small Thing), “Mi Novia” (My Fiancée), “Tu Recuerdo” (Your Memory)
India “Seduceme/Seduce Me Now,” “Traicion” (Betrayal)
Inspector “Amargo Adios” (Bitter Goodbye), “Sin Rencor” (Without Rancor)
Ivy Queen “Dile” (Tell Him), “Yo Quiero Bailar” (I Wanna Dance)
Jaguares (Jaguars) “Hay Amores Que Matan” (There Are Loves That Kill), “No Dejes Que...” (Don’t Let... [Acoustic Version]), “Te Lo Pido por Favor” (I Beg of You), “Como Tu” (Like You), “El Secreto” (The Secret)
Jarabe de Palo (A Good Beating) “Bonito” (Pretty), “Dos Dias en la Vida” (Two Days in the Life), “De Vuelta y Vuelta” (Round and Round), “Tiempo” (Time)
JD Natasha [Natasha Janeth Duenas] “Tatuaje” (Tattoo), “Tanto” (So Much), “Lagrimas” (Tears)
Joselito “Chica Bon Bon” (Candy Girl)
Juanes [Juan Esteban] “Volverte a Ver” (Come Back and See), “La Camisa Negra” (The Black Shirt), “Nada Valgo sin Tu Amor” (I’m Worthless Without Your Love), “La Paga” (The Pay), “Mala Gente” (Bad People), “A Dios le Pido” (I Pray to God), “Es por Ti” (It’s for You), “Podemos Hacernos Dano” (We Can Hurt Ourselves), “Nada” (Nothing), “Fijate Bien” (Pay Good Attention)
Juanes With Nelly Furtado “Fotografia” (Photographs)
Kabah “La Vida Que Va” (Life Goes On)
Kalimba [Marichal] “Tocando Fondo” (Hitting Rock Bottom), “No Me Quiero Enamorar” (I Don’t Want to Fall in Love)
King Africa “Salta 2000” (Jump 2000), “El Humanuaqueno”
King Chango (Joker King) “Sin Ti” (Without You)
Kumbia Kings “Fuego” (Fire)
Kumbia Kings Featuring Pee Wee Gonzalez “Sabes a Chocolate” (You Taste Like Chocolate)
Natalia LaFourcade “Mirame, Mirate” (Look at Me, Look at You), “En el 2000” (In 2000)
Latin Dreams “Quiero una Chica” (I Want a Girl)
La Ley (The Law) “Mirate” (Look at You), “Amate y Salvate” (Love and Save Yourself), “Mas Alla” (Further Away), “Hombre” (Man), “Siempre” (Every Time), “Mentira” (Lie), “Aqui” (Here)
La Ley con Ely Guerra “El Duelo” (The Duel)
Lorna “Papi Chulo…Te Traigo el Mmmm” (Pretty Daddy…I Bring You Some Mmmm)
Mana (Manna) “Mariposa Traicionera” (Treacherous Butterfly), “Te Llevare al Cielo” (I’ll Take You to Heaven), “Eres Mi Religion” (You Are My Religion), “Angel de Amor” (Angel of Love), “Cachito”
Mana con Ruben Blades “Sabanas Frias” (Cold Sheets [Remix])
Ricky Martin “Y Todo Queda en Nada” (And All for Nothing), “Tal Vez” (Maybe), “Jaleo” (Commotion), “Asignatura Pendiente” (Pending Subject)
Ricky Martin With Christina Aguilera “Solo Quiero Amarte/Nobody Wants to Be Lonely”
MDO “Otra Vez” (Again), “Me Huele a Soledad” (Smells Like Solitude to Me), “Te Quise Olvidar” (I Wanted to Forget You), “Sin Ti” (Without You)
Luis Miguel “Que Seas Feliz” (That You’re Happy), “Con Tus Besos” (With Your Kisses), “Te Necesito” (I Need You), “Hasta Que Vuelvas” (Until You Return), “Como Duele” (How It Hurts), “Y” (And), “Amarte Es un Placer” (Loving You Is a Pleasure)
Moenia “Ni Tu Ni Nadie” (Neither You Nor Anybody), “En Que Momento?” (At Which Moment?), “Llegaste a Mi” (You Came to Me), “Molde Perfecto” (Perfect Pattern)
Pilar Montenegro “Quitame Ese Hombre” (Take That Man Away From Me)
La Mosca Tse-Tse (The Tsetse Fly) “Los Amores Se Van” (The Loves Go Away), “Muchachos, Esta Noche Me Emborracho” (Boys, Tonight I Get Drunk), “Te Quiero Comer la Boca” (I Want You to Eat Some Snack), “Todos Tenemos un Amor” (All We Have Is Love), “Para No Verte Mas” (Not to See You Anymore)
Nek “Al Menos Ahora” (At Least Now), “La Vida Es” (Life Is)
Nek Featuring Laura Pausini “Tan Solo Tu” (Only You)
Noelia “Enamorada” (Lover), “Clavame Tu Amor” (Stamp Your Love), “Ya No Eres el Mismo” (You’re Not the Same), “Cera Derretida/Beyond All Superstitions,” “Ni una Lagrima Mas” (Not Even One More Tear)
OBK “Tu Sigue Asi” (You're Still Like That [Remix]), “Lucifer,” “Quiereme Otra Vez” (Love Me Again)
Don Omar “Reggaeton Latino” (Latin Reggaeton), “Pobre Diabla” (Poor Whore), “Dile” (Tell Him), “Dale Don Dale” (Give Him a Gift), “Intocable” (Untouchable)
La Oreja de Van Gogh (The Ear of Van Gogh) “Rosas” (Roses), “Deseos de Cosas Imposibles” (Desires of Impossible Things), “Puedes Contar Conmigo” (You Can Take All of Me), “La Playa” (The Beach), “Paris,” “Cuidate” (Take Care), “Mariposa” (Butterfly), “Los Amantes del Circulo Polar” (The Lovers of Arctic Circle)
Orishas (Gods) “El Kilo” (The Kilo), “Naci Orishas,” “Chan Chan”
OV7 [Onda Vaselina (Vaseline Wave)] “Shabadabada,” “Enloqueceme” (You Drive Me Crazy)
Laura Pausini “Escucha Atento” (Attentive Listening), “Viveme,” “Dos Historias Iguales” (Two Equal Stories), “Volvere Junto a Ti” (Back by Your Side), “Entre Tu y Mil Mares” (Between You and a Thousand Oceans)
Celso Pina “Cumbia Sobre el Rio” (Cumbia on the River [Remix])
Alexandre Pires “Cosa del Destino” (Thing of Destiny), “Amame” (Love Me), “Quitemonos la Ropa” (Take off the Clothes), “Necesidad” (Necessity), “Es por Amor” (It’s for Love), “Usted Se Me Llevo la Vida” (You Brought Me Life)
La 5a Estacion (Station 5A) “Algo Mas” (A Little More), “El Sol No Regresa” (The Sun Doesn’t Rise)
A.B. Quintanilla y Los Kumbia Kings “Shhh!”
A.B. Quintanilla III & Kumbia Kings Featuring Juan Gabriel & El Gran Silencio “No Tengo Dinero” (I Have No Money)
A.B. Quintanilla III & Kumbia Kings Featuring Ozomatli “Mi Gente” (My People)
Eros Ramazzotti “Una Emocion Para Siempre” (An Everlasting Emotion), “Fuego en el Fuego” (Fire on Fire)
RBD “Rebelde” (Rebellious), “Solo Quedate en Silencio” (You Alone in Silence)
Real Chicano “El Gusanito” (The Little Worm)
Reik “Yo Quisiera” (I Wanted)
Reyli [Barba] “Amor del Bueno” (Good Love), “Desde Que Llegaste” (Since You Came)
Paulina Rubio “Mia” (Mine), “Te Quise Tanto” (I Loved You so Much), “Algo Tienes” (You Have Something), “Dame Otro Tequila” (Give Me Another Tequila), “Baila Casanova/Casanova,” “Todo Mi Amor/The One You Love,” “Si Tu Te Vas/Don’t Say Goodbye,” “Tal Vez, Quiza” (Maybe, Maybe), “Y Yo Sigo Aqui/I’ll Be Right Here (Sexual Lover),” “Yo No Soy Esa Mujer/Not That Kind of Girl,” “Sexi Dance/Fire (Sexy Dance),” “Lo Hare por Ti” (I’ll Do It for You), “El Ultimo Adios/The Last Goodbye”
Papi Sanchez “Enamorame” (Make Me Fall in Love)
Santana Featuring Alejandro Lerner “Hoy Es Adios” (Today Is Goodbye)
Santana Featuring Mana “Corazon Espinado” (Torn Heart)
Alejandro Sanz “Tu No Tienes Alma” (You Don’t Have a Soul), “No Es Lo Mismo” (It’s Not the Same), “Y Solo Se Me Ocurre Amarte” (And I Alone Love You), “Quisiera Ser” (Wannabe), “El Alma al Aire” (The Bared Soul), “Cuando Nadie Me Ve” (When Nobody Sees Me)
Shakira “Que Me Quedes Tu” (That I Still Have You), “Te Aviso, Te Anuncio (Tango)/Objection (Tango),” “Te Dejo Madrid” (You Leave Madrid), “Suerte/Whenever, Wherever”
Shakira Featuring Alejandro Sanz “La Tortura” (The Torture)
El Simbolo (The Symbol) “Brinca” (Hop)
Sin Bandera (No Flags) “De Viaje” (Out of Town), “Amor Real” (Real Love), “Que Lloro” (That I Cried), “Mientes tan Bien” (You Lie so Well), “Kilometros” (Kilometers), “Entra en Mi Vida” (Come Into My Life), “Sirena” (Mermaid)
Son by Four (They Are Four) “Cuando Seas Mia/Miss Me so Bad,” “A Puro Dolor/Purest of Pain”
Soraya “Llevame” (Take Me), “Casi” (Almost), “Solo por Ti” (Only for You)
Superlitio (Superlithium) “Que Vo’Hacer” (What I’m Gonna Do)
Aleks Syntek “A Veces Fui” (Sometimes I Was), “Te Sone” (Dreaming of You), “Por Volverte a Ver” (Come Back and See), “Bendito Tu Corazon” (Blessed Your Heart)
Aleks Syntek con Ana Torroja “Duele el Amor” (Love Hurts)
Thalia [Sodi] “Amar sin Ser Amada/You Know He Never Loved You,” “Cerca de Ti/Closer to You,” “Accion y Reaccion” (Action and Reaction), “A Quien le Importa?” (Who Cares?), “No Me Ensenaste” (You Didn’t Show Me), “Tu y Yo” (You and Me), “Reencarnacion” (Reincarnation), “Arrasando/It’s My Party,” “Entre el Mar y una Estrella” (Between the Sea and a Star), “Regresa a Mi” (Come Back to Me)
Thalia Featuring Fat Joe “Me Pones Sexy/I Want You”
Tranzas “Mori” (I Died)
Gloria Trevi “En Medio de la Tempestad” (In the Middle of the Storm)
Alex Ubago “Aunque No Te Pueda Ver” (Though He Cannot See You), “Fantasia o Realidad” (Fantasy or Reality), “A Gritos de Esperanza” (Crying for Hope), “Que Pides Tu?” (What Are You Asking For?)
Alex Ubago y Amaia Montero “Sin Miedo a Nada” (Without Fear of Anything)
Julieta Venegas “Algo Esta Cambiando” (Something’s Changing), “Lento” (Slow), “Oleada” (Wave), “Andar Conmigo” (Walk With Me), “Me Van a Matar” (They’re Going to Kill Me)
Vico C “Cinco de Septiembre” (5th of September), “El Bueno, el Malo y el Feo” (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), “Para Mi Barrio” (For My Hood)
Vinello “Magalenha”
Carlos Vives “Como Tu” (Like You), “Luna Nueva” (New Moon), “Carito,” “Dejame Entrar” (Let Me In), “Fruta Fresca” (Fresh Fruit)
Yahir [Oton] “Te Amare” (I Will Love You), “La Locura” (The Madness), “Alucinado” (Stunned)



The U.S. is not only the biggest music market in the world but also the biggest market for Latin music (see table).


2002 Latin Music Market Share by Record Sales
(in millions USD)
Country Sales
U.S. Latin $550.7
Spain 542.0
Mexico 445.5
Brazil 354.0
Colombia 66.1
Chile 40.3
Central America 28.2
Argentina 27.2
Venezuela 15.9
Ecuador 9.2
Peru 2.2
Uruguay 1.8
Paraguay 0.9



Source:  IFPI/RIAA

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