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Like many children and teens of the 90s, I grew up in my Abuelita’s house listening to the Tejano masterpieces of Selena Quintanilla-Perez. But as much as her music shaped me, other flavors of Latino music also echoed throughout my grandma’s kitchen and front porch—exposing me to the diverse rhythms of our Latino culture.

Whether it was a Sunday barbeque, cleaning day, or 7 a.m. on a Thursday, there was always music playing throughout the house. Before Daddy Yankee exploded onto the scene with his masterful reggaeton beats in the 2000s and Bad Bunny smashed the music charts of the modern world, there was the magic of Celia Cruz, Grupo Límite, and Thalia—let’s not forget the Enrique Iglesias classics “Experiencia Religiosa” and “Si Tu Te Vas” to name a few. The eclectic mix of all things Español became a prominent memory of my childhood that I will never forget and felt it was time to revisit a few classics.

Let’s turn back the clock and revisit some of my Abuelita and I’s classic tunes:

Piel Morena, Thalia

Amor A La Mexicana, Thalia

Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, Selena Quintanilla-Perez

Como La Flor, Selena Quintanilla-Perez

Te Aprovechas, Grupo Límite

Yo Sin Tu Amor, Grupo Límite

La Murga, Willie Colón and Hector Lavoe

El Dia De Mi Suerte, Willie Colón and Hector Lavoe

La Bomba, Ricky Martin

Experencia Religiosa, Enrique Iglesias

Si TuTe Vas, Enrique Iglesias

Enamorado Por Primera Vez, Enrique Iglesias

El Rey, Vicente Fernandez

Volver Volver, Vicente Fernandez

Quimbara, Johnny Pacheco and Celia Cruz

La Vida Es Un Carnival, Celia Cruz

Cumbia Sampuesana, Aniceto Molina

El Baile Del Gorila, Massore

Muevelo Muevelo, Massore

Recognize a few from your childhood? These songs, and many others, paved the way for Spanish and Latino artists across the world. As we continue to celebrate the chart-topping music of today, let’s never forget the roots of our culture through the trailblazing songs and spirit that helped shape us.

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Brenda Nicole Peña
Brenda Nicole Peña is a Latin Babbler Team Contributor. Her career has revolved around nonprofit communications work. She is a first-generation college graduate—Alumna of the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas at Austin. Brenda has a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in public relations and Book Author of “The Adventures of Jack Jupiter in ‘Where’s Rocket?” and “Three,” a coming-of-age novel.