LATINO VOICES
10/06/2016 01:32 pm ET

19 Latino '90s Songs That Were Totally Your Jam

"Bailamos! Let the rhythm take you over, Bailamos!" 💃 🏻 💃 🏻

The ‘90s were about a lot more than tamagotchis, dial-up internet and Y2K mania. For Latinos, it was a decade that culminated in the music scene’s “Latin Explosion.” 

We have the ‘90s to thank for the rise of some the biggest Latino superstars today within the English-language market, like Shakira, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera. But it wasn’t just Latino crossover artists that stole our hearts during the final years of the 20th century ― dance hits about girl stealing sharks, puppy dance moves and, of course, a girl named Macarena were also reminders that music and Latino culture can truly be universal. 

Here are just 19 Latinos songs that were totally your jam in ‘90s: 

  • 1 "El Baile del Perrito" by Wilfrido Vargas
    Turns out even dogs have slick moves, or at least that's what Dominican artist Wilfrido Vargas led us all to believe in the '90s. His mega dance hit, "El Baile del Perrito (The Puppy Dance)" taught Latin American audiences of all ages how to shake their booty to the rhythm of a dog's bark. Yes, seriously... "El baile del perro.. Woof! Woof!"
  • 2 "Boriqua Anthem" by C+C Music Factory
    “Boriqua Anthem," featuring Panama's very own muevuelo master El General, truly lived up to its name in the '90s. It became an anthem for anyone who loved to dance. Not to mention it always kept us wondering: "Que es lo que quiere esa nena?"
  • 3 "Pelo Suelto" by Gloria Trevi
    Every girl wanted to wear their hair down and twirl it when Gloria Trevi's "Pelo Suelto" came on. The song not only quickly became the Mexican singer's signature '90s single, but gave traditional societal standards for women a big middle finger.
  • 4 "Mi Tierra" by Gloria Estefan
    By the time Gloria Estefan released her Spanish album Mi Tierra in 1993, she had already won English-speaking audiences with "Conga." But this album and single brought the Cuban songstress and her Latino fans back to their roots. "La Tierra" was a song for anyone who missed their homeland: La tierra te duele. La tierra te da, en medio del alma, cuando tú no estás.

    Yup, straight to the feels.  
  • 5 "El Tiburón" by Proyecto Uno
    If Gloria Estefan's rhythm didn't get you in the '90s, Proyecto Uno's "El Tiburón (The Shark)" probably did. The Dominican-American group's hit was all about the dangers of losing your girl at a club to another guy. Say it with us: "Ahí esta, ahí esta. Se la llevo el tiburón, el tiburón... no pares. Sigue! Sigue!"
  • 6 "La Bomba" by Azul Azul
    Bolivia's Azul Azul dropped una bomba on the dance floor with this hit. Sure it was catchy, but the real beauty of this song is that its lyrics doubled as step by step dance instructions. "Suavecito para abajo, paraaa abajo, paraaa abajo..."
  • 7 "Suavemente" by Elvis Crespo
    That first "SUAVEMENTEEEEE" was (and totally still is) like a siren call to the dance floors. Elvis Crespo's hair may have been an enigma to many back in the day but there was no doubting the infectious sound of this smooth hit.
  • 8 "La Vida Es Un Carnaval" by Celia Cruz
    Life got you down? Not when Celia Cruz's joyful hit "La Vida Es Un Carnaval (Life Is A Carnival)" comes on. This classic can still be heard almost everywhere today, reminding us that: "Ayyy, no hay que llorar, que la vida es un carnaval, y es mas bello vivir cantando."
  • 9 "Amor Prohibido" by Selena
    In the '90s, every Selena Quintanilla song was your jam. But "Amor Prohibido (Forbidden Love)" is definitely one the Queen of Tejano music's most recognizable classics, along with "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" and "Como La Flor." Long before Jennifer Lopez taught us that love don't cost a thing, Selena showed us that "el dinero no importa en ti y en mí, ni en el corazóóóón. Baby!"
  • 10 "I Need to Know" by Marc Anthony
    Once upon a time, Marc Anthony really, really needed to know something. Chances are you don't remember what it was. Take listen for yourself because you need to know!
  • 11 "María" by Ricky Martin
    With this hit, Ricky Martin not only warned fans about falling in love with Maria but also gave them a chance to boss her around on the dance floor. ¡Wepa! Un pasito pa'lante Maria, un pasito pa'atras!
  • 12 "Estoy Aquí" by Shakira
    Before she went blond. Before she crossed over. Shakira wrote lyrically poetic love songs so emotional you'd think it'd come out of your own teenage diary. "Estoy Aquí" was just one of the many hits that made the Colombian songstress a superstar in the '90s. 
  • 13 "La Quiero A Morir" by Dark Latin Groove (DLG)
    DLG knew about a love so strong it could almost kill you, but while you were dedicating "La Quiero A Morir (I Love Her To Death)" to your bae in the '90s the music video proved that there's no bigger love than a father's love for his daughter. D'awwww. 
  • 14 "Amor a la Mexicana" by Thalía
    If you had any doubts about what the love of a Mexican women could be like, Thalía gave the world a glimpse with the song and music video to "Amor a la Mexicana." 
  • 15 "Macarena" by Los del Rio
    This song inspired a dance craze that won’t soon be forgotten. The “Macarena” became a staple at many family reunions, birthday parties, weddings and school dances after it’s release in the mid-90s, and even played during the 1996 Democratic National Convention. But even your most innocent memories dancing to this song are crushed once you realized what "Macarena" was really about. 
  • 16 "Waiting For Tonight" by Jennifer Lopez
    This song barely made the cut! "Waiting For Tonight" was released in November 1999, and no doubt played at countless New Year's Eve parties as people waited for the night to end and for the year 2000 to begin. 
  • 17 "Genie In A Bottle" by Christina Aguilera
    Christina Aguilera's first single off of her debut album made a very big impression on music lovers in 1999. The song snagged the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 chart before the music video even premiered, and it became the second highest-selling single that year.
  • 18 "Te Quiero Tanto, Tanto" by Onda Vaselina
    If you were a Telenovela fanatic in the '90s, you might recall this song during the opening sequence of "Mi Pequeña Traviesa." Otherwise you probably know it from singing it over and over again to a picture of your crush: "Te quiero tanto, tanto, tanto, tanto, tanto"
  • 19 "Bailamos" by Enrique Iglesias
    The dance floor was never the same after Enrique Iglesias showed all us all the sensual Spanglish possibilities with "Bailamos." Is it hot in here? Or is it just this '90s hit? 

    Bailamos! Let the rhythm take you over, Bailamos!

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