Before the rise of Latin Pop music and megastars such as Ricky Martin, Luis Miguel and Enrique Iglesias, the Latin music world was dominated by the so-called romantic ballad genre. This style, which was also known as Latin ballad, came to define the most popular expressions of the romantic music recorded between the 1960s and the 1980s. From Jose Jose to Julio Iglesias, the following are the most influential male artists of this romantic music genre.
10. Jose Jose
Known as The Prince of Song, this Mexican singer is one of the most famous artists of the Latin ballad genre. Thanks to his elegant style on stage and amazing voice, Jose Jose has captured fans all over the place. Top tracks from Jose Jose include hits like "El Triste," "Lo Dudo" and "He Renunciado A Ti." His 1983 album Secretos is one of the best-selling works of the romantic ballad movement.
9. Camilo Sesto
The boom of the Latin ballad is tightly related to the music that was produced in Spain between the 1960s and 1980s. In fact, some of the biggest stars in this genre came from Spain. One of them is the legendary Camilo Sesto, a talented singer and songwriter who has sold more than 150 billion albums worldwide. Some of his most famous songs include tracks such as "Jamas," "¿Quieres Ser Mi Amante?" and "Donde Estes, Con Quien Estes."
8. Roberto Carlos
This charismatic Brazilian singer, usually referred to as The King of Brazilian music, is one of the top romantic artists from his country. His overall popularity has been enhanced by his own ability to sing both in Portuguese and Spanish. Top hits by Roberto Carlos include tracks like "Amigo," "Camionero" and "Detalles," one of the most famous Brazilian songs in history.
7. Jose Feliciano
With his amazing guitar playing and unique nasal voice, this Puerto Rican singer has been a point of reference for romantic music in Latin America and the US. Although he is better known to American audiences for his Christmas song "Feliz Navidad" and some English-language tracks such as "Light My Fire" and "California Dreamin'," his repertoire also includes famous Latin ballads such as "Que Sera" and "Cuando Pienso En Ti."
6. Leo Dan
This popular Argentinian singer was one of the most important artists of the so-called Nueva Ola movement, a music style that mixed traditional romantic music with foreign rhythms such as Rock and Roll. Top tracks by Leo Dan include hits like "Como Te Extraño Mi Amor," "Te He Prometido" and "Celia."
5. Jose Luis Rodriguez 'El Puma'
This Venezuelan singer has been one of the most notorious artists of the romantic ballad genre. With his good looks and sensual voice, Jose Luis Rodriguez 'El Puma' impersonated the ideal Latin romantic singer. Some of his most popular songs include tracks like "Dueño De Nada," "Agarrense De Las Manos" and "Sueño Contigo."
4. Juan Gabriel
This Mexican singer and songwriter is one of the living legends of Latin music. Besides being a best-selling artist and an amazing performer, Juan Gabriel has written some of the most defining tracks of the Latin ballad and Pop genres. Some of his most celebrated pieces have been recorded by legendary stars like Isabel Pantoja and Rocio Durcal. Top songs by Juan Gabriel include tracks such as "Querida," "Te Lo Pido Por Favor" and "Hasta Que Te Conoci."
3. Jose Luis Perales
This Spanish singer and songwriter provided the romantic ballad with a sober tone where good lyrics and elegance were the most important ingredients of the artist. As one of the most talented composers of romantic music, Jose Luis Perales has produced an enormous repertoire of hits that include tracks like "El Amor," "Que Pasara Mañana" and "¿Y Como Es El?," probably the most famous Latin ballad ever recorded.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Raphael is the perfect ballad singer. With his amazing voice (probably the best one in the genre) and the unique acting style he brings into the stage, this Spanish singer has been one of the defining stars of the Latin ballad genre. Some of his most popular tracks include titles like "Yo Soy Aquel," "Toco Madera" and "Como Yo Te Amo."
1. Julio Iglesias
Perhaps, the easiest way to introduce Julio Iglesias is by saying that he is the best-selling Latin music artist of all time. His romantic voice, sensual style and good looks have provided Julio Iglesias with everything he needed to achieve such an amazing record. Besides that, the popularity of Julio Iglesias has been reinforced by his own ability to sing in more than 12 languages. With his music and enormous popularity, Julio Iglesias created the perfect bridge that connected Latin ballad with Latin Pop music. Top songs from Julio Iglesias include tracks such as "Hey," "De Niña A Mujer" and "Me Olvide De Vivir."