Music: Latin

February 24, 2011

Cristian Castro to Team Up with Aventura?

Cristian_castro2 Aventura2

Mexican singer and national treasure Cristian Castro announced plans for  an upcoming album that would represent a departure from his recent pop-inspired offerings. The set will delve into tropical sounds, including possible forays into salsa, merengue, and the very popular Dominican form known as bachata. And whom better to pair up with for a round of bachata than the acknowledged kings of the style, Aventura? That's right: No one. Castro confirmed that he met up with Henry from Aventura recently in New York to talk about the potential collaboration. We'll keep you posted on what could be one of the biggest releases of this year—or next.

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February 14, 2011

Grammy Winners in the Latin Categories

Alejandro Sanz with Grammy While there's a entirely seperate awards show—the Latin Grammys—dedicated to honoring Latin music's best and brightest, which covers the genre in much more depth, the Grammys also hand out hardware in a few select cetegories. Spain's superstar pop icon Alejandro Sanz' Paraiso Express took home the award for Best Latin Pop Album, beating out some stiff competition from Julieta Venegas, Ricardo Arjona, Kany Garcia, and Alex Cuba. El Existential, from Latin funk band Grupo Fantasma, won in the category of Best Latin Rock, Alternative or Urban Album; the band had previously received a nomination for 2008's Sonidos Gold. All-star New York salsa collective Spanish Harlem Orchestra won Best Latin Tropical Album for Viva La Tradición. Best Tejano Album went to Recuerdos by Little Joe & La Familia. Intocable's Classic won for Best Norteno Album. Best Banda Album went to Enamórate de Mí from El Güero Y Su Banda Centenario. And, curiously, there was no winner for Best Regional Mexican Album, because there were fewer than 10 artists entered in the category. We're not sure what happened, as there definitely isn't a shortage of quality artists in that field. But even with that anomaly, it was good to see such talented Latin artists recognized on music's biggest stage. ¡Felicidades a los ganadores!

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February 07, 2011

Don Omar, Pitbull, Shakira: Latin Workout (Napster Playlist)

Latin Workout (Napster Playlist) We've put together a collection of high-energy Latin tracks to help you power through your exercise set. Napster's "Latin Workout" playlist features sweat-inducing songs in a variety of Latin styles, including pop, hip-hop, reggaeton, and tropical, from artists like Don Omar, Pitbull, Shakira, Choc Quib Town, and Enrique Iglesias. So whether you're trying to finish that extra mile, lagging through your recent Zumba classes, or just mustering the gumption to walk to work rather than drive, we hope "Latin Workout" can help you achieve your fitness goals. ¡Adelante!

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February 04, 2011

Marc Anthony and J-Lo Invited to Obamas' Super Bowl Party

Barack and Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony What do you bring when you're invited to a Super Bowl party—at the White House? We're not sure, but if you're Marc Anthony and J. Lo, it's probably a good idea not to go with the cheap beer. The Hollywood power couple will be joining the First Couple, along with Cheeseheads and representatives of Steeler Nation plucked from the Cabinet and Congress, at the official White House bash on Sunday. This won't be the first time the couples have hung out: They met up for a private tour of the White House in 2009 before Anthony was given a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and the star of El Cantante also performed at the president's inaugural Western Ball. Wait a minute—hanging with the prez, getting honored by Congress, scoping out the executive mansion... It could be Anthony is preparing for his biggest role yet: El Presidente.

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February 01, 2011

New Music Tuesday: Bob Marley, Ricky Martin, Dr. Dre, Aretha Franklin, Kidz Bop Kids

Most new music comes out on Tuesdays (it's a U.S. record business tradition), and each week we cull through the mountain of new releases to bring you some of the best from across different genres. Click below, or find them in Napster's New Releases section.

Bob Marley & The Wailers, Live Forever Bob Marley & The Wailers, Live Forever: The Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh, PA, September 23, 1980 (World/Reggae): This historic concert album captures the iconic reggae group's last gig before Marley succumbed to cancer. In time for his birthday on Feb. 6, Napster's version includes five exclusive tracks.


Ricky Martin, Musica Alma Sexo Ricky Martin, Música + Alma + Sexo (Latin): Martin's first album since coming out is mostly a Spanish-language affair, but current single "Lo Mejor De Mi Vida Eres Tu" featuring Natalia Jimenez is also included as an English-language version, "The Best Thing About Me Is You," featuring Joss Stone.


Dr. Dre, I Need a Doctor Dr. Dre, "I Need a Doctor" (Hip-hop/rap): The latest number from his long, long-awaited Detox album (following first single "Kush," released in November) is brought to you by the hitmaking team that concocted Eminem's smash "Love the Way You Lie." The emotional new single features Em and Skylar Grey.


Aretha Franklin, The Great American Songbook Aretha Franklin, The Great American Songbook (R&B, pop, easy listening): A compilation of 18 standards by the likes of Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, and Johnny Mercer (to name a few), sung by one of the greatest singers of any generation. From her early-1960s tenure with Columbia Records.


Kidz Bop Kids, Sings the Black Eyed Peas Kidz Bop Kids, KIDZ BOP Sings the Black Eyed Peas (Children's/Pop): Pop superstars The Black Eyed Peas get the Kidz Bop treatment, with their biggest hits covered as part of the popular children's series. Songs on the album include "Boom Boom Pow," "I Gotta Feeling," "Let's Get it Started," and "The Time."


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January 24, 2011

Latin Artists at Coachella

Caifanes With 182 confirmed acts this year, Coachella has a little something for everyone—unless you're into throat singing (sorry Huun-Huur-Tu fans). But if you're into Latin music, there will be quite a few acts to help add a little sazón to the whole affair. The big news is that Mexican rock legends Caifanes are reuniting and have even managed to get second-line billing on Day One of the festival. Other Latin acts include Colombian alternative outfit Bomba Estéreo, L.A.-based collective Ozomatli, Brazilian baile funksters CSS, Chilean alt-rockers Los Bunkers, Omar Rodríguez-López from The Mars Volta, Spanish synth-pop quartet Delorean, and hardcore-punks-turned-mariachis The Bronx. Of course, we'd love to see even more Latin artists make the list next year, but the these bands will surely put on a good show for desert-bound festival fans this time out.

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January 14, 2011

Artists to Watch 2011: Ana Tijoux, Ceci Bastida, Francisca Valenzuela

Ana Tijoux, Ceci Bastida, Francisca Valenzuela If Ana Tijoux, Ceci Bastida, and Francisca Valenzuela aren't on your radar yet, consider this fair warning and scramble to hear their stuff. These women's talents are as impressive as their stories are interesting; all three are multi-lingual and have been defined by their multicultural experiences. French-born Chilean MC Tijoux was raised in Paris after her parents escaped the Pinochet military dictatorship that was taking root in their homeland in 1970s. This childhood-in-exile informs her introspective, socially conscious flow, as evidenced by her impeccable debut album, 1977, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2010. L.A.-based Bastida was born and raised in the Mexican border town of Tijuana, and her experience living though the bloody drug war lends substance and texture to her recently released, critically acclaimed solo debut, Veo La Marea. The track "Cuando Vuelvas a Caer" was in the mix for a Latin Grammy last year, to boot. Valenzuela, meanwhile, was born in San Francisco but moved to her parents' native Chile, where she was a published poet as a teen. After receiving heaps of praise for her soulful voice and 2007 debut, Muérdete La Lengua, she toured Latin America and got to work on her follow-up, Buen Soldado, due in March. We may not be the first to highlight these terrific ladies, but if you end up falling in love with their music, you can say that you heard it here first.

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January 12, 2011

Audra Mae, Warpaint, Ceci Bastida, Wess Morgan, More: “Discover—Best of 2010” (Napster Playlist)

Discover -- Best of 2010 (Napster Playlist) For all of the top hit tracks that flooded the airwaves, stadiums, and stereos in 2010, we assembled our "Napster Favorites: Top Hits of 2010" playlist (read about it here). But what about all of the lesser-known artists with just as much talent? And in genres outside of pop? Well, we thought these artists were just as deserving of a year-end wrap-up, so we put together our "Discover: Best of 2010" playlist. It covers a wide range of "unsung" heroes like Americana artists Audra Mae, Justin Townes Earle, and Dar Williams, as well as emerging underground alternative bands like Warpaint, Junip, and Black Mountain. Crossover world and Latin artists include Mala Rodriguez, Ceci Bastida, and Alex Cuba. You'll find stellar classical performaces of J.S. Bach and a groovy easy listening pick, Chopin style. Country highlights include Reckless Kelly and Mary Chapin Carpenter, while comedians Felipe Esparza and Joe DeRosa take jabs at your funnybone. And Christian music listeners can look to Marvin Sapp and Wess Morgan for lovely inspirational sounds. And there's much more, so dive on in and enjoy.

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January 06, 2011

Best of 2010: Latin (Napster Playlist)

Best of 2010: Latin (Napster Playlist) Let's face it: Pretty much any year in which Enrique Iglesias, a.k.a. Señor Sexy Face, releases an album, it's a big deal for the world of Latin music. That was especially true in 2010, when Euphoria, his first truly bilingual album, saw him firmly straddle the crossover fence and made him the year's top-selling Latin artist. Add to that success the appearance of Shakira's Sale el Sol, with its FIFA-sanctioned global hit "Waka Waka (This Is Africa)," and fans of Latin pop were kept in plenty of hip-swerving, smoldering dancefloor rhythms. But those two artists make up just a small portion of the sprawling year in Latin music, so to summarize the year's top hits we bring you Napster's "Best of 2010: Latin" playlist. There was a strong contingent of Regional Mexican stars releasing music through the year, including Espinoza Paz, El Trono de Mexico and Banda Los Recoditos; bass-thumping grooves from urban artists Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Ana Tijoux, and Ivy Queen; sweet bachata-inspired balads from Aventura, Prince Royce, Tito "El Bambino", and Juan Luis Guerra, and more pop and rock from Juanes, Belinda, and newcomers Banda de Turistas. Overall, another bumper-crop year for Latin music, with many exciting new artists to follow into 2011. ¡Felíz año nuevo!

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December 28, 2010

Eminem, Katy Perry, Taio Cruz, Enrique Iglesias, More: Napster Favorites: Top Hits of 2010 (playlist)

Napster Favorites: Top Hits of 2010 (playlist) Featured this week is Napster Favorites: Top Hits of 2010, a collection of the biggest songs of the year compiled into one major playlist. Who could forget Eminem's monstrous return on "Love the Way You Lie," featuring Barbadian pop star Rihanna? Or Katy Perry, who released a string of hits in 2010 as well, dominating the charts with several songs from her smash album Teenage Dream, beginning with the single "California Gurls," featuring Snoop Dogg? The UK's Taio Cruz, meanwhile, burst onto the U.S. scene this year with the catchy "Dynamite," while Enrique Iglesias, not to be outdone, hit with "I Like It," featuring Pitbull, which became a huge party anthem. Other featured songs include chart-toppers from Far East Movement, Drake, B.o.B, Lady Antebellum, and many, many more. What were your favorites of 2010?

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