Hispanic Heritage Month: Five Artists You Should Know
Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off September 15th every year and goes on until October 15th. This unconventional month of recognition has a rich history and oftentimes is forgotten due to its mid-month to mid-month awkwardness. September 15th was chosen as the start of the celebrations because it’s the Independence Day for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. However the celebrations don’t stop there; Mexico’s day of independence is on the 16th, Chile’s on the 18th and Belize’s on the 21st of September. Also Columbus Day – or as some have renamed “Día de la Raza” – is on October 12th.
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the cultural and historical contributions of Hispanic and Latin American citizens. Hispanic Heritage Week was first recognized during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency in 1968 then expanded by former-President Ronald Reagan to October 15, making it a 30-day period. It was enacted by Public Law 100-402 on August 17th 1988 as National Hispanic Heritage Month, and the rest is history.
The Bridge is delighted to recognize artists of Hispanic and Latin American descent that have impacted the American music industry and its listeners alike. All are accomplished artists with songs you can jam to during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Los Tigres del Norte, a Mexican-American Norteño musical group based out of San Jose, California, has been making a musical impact in both the US and Mexico since the 1970’s. Here’s a brief list of some of their highlights:
- More than 67,000 went to watch them at the Houston Astrodome in 2002— That’s 12,000 more than the turnout for The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1967
- Honored as a Broadcast Music Inc (BMI) Icon joining Latin music legends Carlos Santana and Juan Luis Guerra (2007)
- Had a concert last 12 hours, breaking their previous record of 9 hours (2009)
- “Era Diferente” — a song about a teenage lesbian who falls in love with her best friend — made headlines for being the first gay love song by a norteño band (2014)
- Sold 37 million albums and recorded 500 songs
- First norteño band to headline the Hollywood Bowl (2018)
Kali Uchis is a Colombian-American singer whose music is described as “genre-defying.” Her first mixtape Drunken Babble debuted in 2012. Since then she has kept making hits such as her most popular song Tyrant, which also debuted in Spanish as Tirano. She has collaborated with big name artists like Juanes and Tyler the Creator.
Romeo Santos, AKA The King of Bachata, is a Dominican-American singer and former lead vocalist for the bachata band Aventura. He is a multi-platinum, award winning, Latin music superstar with suave vocals that put bachata music on the map in the US.
Pitbull AKA Mr. Worldwide is a Cuban-American rapper with a multitude of awards and hit songs too long to list here. His music has not only been a huge success in the US but also around the world (hence Mr. Worldwide). His 2013 track Timber topped the music charts in 20 different countries.
Don Omar AKA El Rey AKA The King of Kings of reggaeton music, is a Puerto Rican recording artist and actor. His music has made a splash on American culture since his first studio album The Last Don, released back in 2003. Apart from being a king of reggaeton he can also be seen in the blockbuster hits Fast & Furious and Fast Five.