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6 Most Famous Puerto Rican Singers

Latin music has always captured the hearts of people around the world. In recent years, however, there has been a massive uptake in the popularity of Latin Culture and Music. The world is captivated by those rhythms and the beauty of Latin Languages.

Puerto Rico is a country known for producing some of the world’s most beloved Latin performers. The island seems to have an affinity for producing faces and voices that the world of music simply cannot get enough of.

So, I decided to take a look at some of the most famous Puerto Rican singers, starting with…

6 Most Famous Puerto Rican Singers

Chayanne

Chayanne

Elmer Figueroa Arce was born to a sales manager father and a teacher mother, whom he lost in 2014 to cancer. It was Elmer’s mother who gave him the nickname Chayanne. It came from the youngster’s obsession with the television series of the same name. 

As a young singer… 

Chayanne auditioned to be in the mega-successful Latin boy band Menudo. His talent was obvious even at that young age. But, the producers felt that Elmer was too young to be in the more senior boy group. This frown was quickly turned upside down by the opportunity to join Los Chicos. The group was initially managed by Eric Laboy and later by Mr. Carlos Alfonso Ramirez. 

Mr. Ramirez envisioned a group to rival the great Menudo. And, boy, was it ever. Throughout the 80s, Los Chicos had several massive hits in South and Central America. 

The dream would not last forever…

A few years later, Chayanne, along with two other members of the group, decided to leave due to the working conditions. 

After a brief stint with RCA Victor, Chayanne decided to sign with Sony Music in 1987. Shortly thereafter, he released his first self-titled album, which saw some notable success thanks to two big singles. 

1988 and 1990 would see him release two more groundbreaking albums. As well as become a spokesperson for Pepsi. 

Since then, he has not looked back… 

Chayanne has been nominated for Grammys, released over 21 albums as a solo artist, and has sold around 50 million records. He is one of the best-selling Puerto Rican singers in history.  

Farruko 

Farruko 

Farruko was born Carlos Efrén Reyes Rosado on May 2nd, 1991, in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. He had a love for music from a young age. By 2007, he was looking for a way to establish himself as a serious performer in his native land. 

Farruko once noted that MySpace was his platform, and it was the first real boost he got concerning making a name for himself. From 2007 to 2009, he was very prolific and released songs regularly. He also took shows where he could get them.

In 2011, Farruko appeared on a track with legendary Puerto Rican singer, José Feliciano, called “Su Hija Me Gusta.” The cheeky track sees a young man telling an older man of his affection for his daughter. The track helped expose him to a new audience and solidify his bad-boy reputation. 

The online community contributed to his notoriety…

Soon, he built a fanbase that was uniquely his. Shows grew more regular, and eventually, his name got big enough for the local Puerto Rican radio stations to start playing his music. This couldn’t have come at a better time as the Reggaenation scene was pumping, and he fitted in perfectly. 

Thereafter began a career that may have been short-lived but was filled with prestige nonetheless. Farruko picked up two Latin Grammy nominations and had #1 on the Latin charts for a total of 26 weeks straight. His biggest single, “Pepas,” has been streamed over a billion times on Spotify.

On February 12th, 2023, Farruko stopped in the middle of an appearance at FTX Arena in Miami to explain that he was retiring from music and devoting himself to a life of spirituality. Not what many expected from one of the most famous Puerto Rican singers. But such is life.

Ricky Martin 

Ricky Martin 

The “King of Latin Pop,” the “Latin Pop God” and the “King of Latin Music,” are but a few of the titles given to Enrique Martín Morales. The argument can be made that he deserved every one of them. A more famous male Puerto Rican singer would be hard to find. 

At the tender age of six… 

Martin was already singing like he was world-famous. He used wooden spoons for microphones and had empty rooms as his adorning audience. Some of his earliest influences included the mega-group Menudo. And, surprisingly, Rock’ n Roll groups like Led Zeppelin, REO Speedwagon, and Journey. 

He began appearing in commercials at age nine. In one year alone, he did eleven commercials, including one for Burger King. 

Martin auditioned for his childhood heroes, “Menudo,” twice. He was rejected not because of a lack of talent or personality, but for his height. However, when he went for the third audition, he impressed the decision-makers so much that they allowed him to join at the age of twelve. 

He stayed with the group until he was 17…

At that time, Marin was often the fan favorite of one of the greatest and most successful boy bands of all time. Menudo has sold over twenty million records worldwide.

When he turned 18, Ricky was finally able to access his own bank accounts and decided to move to New York City. He applied for and was accepted into New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. However, he ended up not attending and instead became an actor in a Mexican stage show.

He eventually graduated to acting in soap operas. That’s when he was spotted by a Sony Disco executive and offered his first solo recording contract. He was in such a haste to become a singer that he did not read the fine print (it entitled him to only one cent per album sold!) and signed the deal. 

Always read the fine print…

The album started what would become a multi-platinum and award-winning career. A career culminating in over 70 million record sales worldwide and more than 11 Latin Grammy Awards. 

He is seen as one of the most popular Puerto Rican singers in history. Rick Martin “changed the game” and became a symbol for the “Latin Explosion.” 

Ozuna

Ozuna

Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado was born to a Dominican father and a Puerto Rican mother in San Juan in 1992. He grew up on the streets of one of the most populated cities in the Commonwealth. Mainly, he was raised by his grandmother after his father was shot when Ozuna was three years old. 

Growing up, he listened to a very wide spectrum of music, including traditional styles like Salsa and Bachata. But, he also enjoyed more modern things like Reggae, Reggaenation, Moombahton, and American Hip-Hop and R&B. 

Things that he would have listened to as a youngster might have included Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel, Jay-Z, and Usher.

At age twelve… 

Ozuna was given his first microphone by an uncle. He would rap along to Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, and De La Ghetto while envisioning himself as a singer. He started working at a local bar which is where his first musical performances as a fledgling artist would eventually take place. 

In 2010, Ozuna decided to move to Washington Heights in New York. It was here that he started to learn how to produce records and promote his music. The “America Dream” was short-lived, though. He managed to make his first music video for less than $100, and it had some success. But, after three years in the States, he took his wife and children back to Puerto Rico. 

He signed with Golden Family Recordings…

Shortly after, he began releasing music on YouTube. His first single came in the form of “Imaginando” in 2012. He performed more than 300 shows in a single year and followed up with a string of mildly successful tracks, which would eventually get the attention of Sony Music. 

Since then… 

He has collaborated with artists such as Daddy Yankee and Anuel AA. Of the seven albums he’s released to date, five of them have reached the top of the Latin Billboard Album charts. 

He has sold more than fifteen million copies worldwide. And, in 2019, he had the most billion-view videos on YouTube. He has won two Latin Grammys, five Billboard Music Awards, and holds four Guinness world records. Time Magazine included Ozuna on its 2019 list of most influential people. 

Marc Anthony

Most Famous Puerto Rican Singers

Marco Antonio Muñiz Rivera is the most successful Salsa artist of all time and one of Puerto Rico’s most beloved singers. He was born in New York to Puerto Rican parents and is the youngest of eight children. 

His father, who was a cafeteria worker and musician, began to tutor Marc at a very young age. He was able to sing in Spanish and English before he was ten years old. As a youngster, he would absorb many influences from his guitar-playing father, including Rock n Roll, Blues, R&B, and Latin music. 

Some of his influences were José Feliciano, Air Supply, Salsa legends Héctor Lavoe and Willie Colón, as well as Rubén Blades. However, it was Puerto Rican percussionist and bandleader Tito Puente who would end up having a particular influence on the young Anthony. 

Turned out to be quite the influence…

Anthony has won three Grammy Awards, Six Latin Grammy Awards and has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide. In 2009, he became the recipient of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Lifetime Achievement Award. 

He holds Guinness World records for best-selling tropical/salsa artist as well as the most #1 albums on the Billboard Tropical Albums year-end charts.

Jennifer Lopez, aka JLo 

Jennifer Lopez, aka JLo 

Jennifer Lopez is easily one of the most famous Puerto Rican singers. But she is also one of Puerto Rica’s most loved national treasures. As a singer and actress, she has made a life for herself that defies her lower-middle-class upbringing in the Bronx.  

Jennifer Lopez is the middle of three children… 

In school, she was very active, she ran track, did gymnastics, and was also on the softball team. She also danced in musicals and even once played the lead role in her school’s production of Godspell. 

JLo came from a family where music and performance were encouraged. Often the three kids would put on productions of their own for family events. She began taking dance lessons at Ballet Hispánico on the Upper West Side when she was five. And by the time she was a teenager, she had mastered Flamenco and Jazz and was also teaching other students. 

After graduating high school… 

She had a secretarial job at a law firm and studied Business at Burch but decided to drop out and pursue a career in dance. She was asked to leave her family home and was sleeping in the office of Manhattan’s Phil Black Dance Studio for several months. 

Since she has not looked back, Jennifer was the first Hispanic actress ever to earn a million dollars for an acting job in 1997 and would go on to become the highest-paid Hispanic actress in Hollywood. She was also the first woman to have a #1 album and #1 film to her name at the same time. 

JLo has sold an estimated 30 million records worldwide and has a cumulative film gross of $3.1 billion. Time Magazine has voted her one of the 100 most influential people in 2018, and she is considered one of the most important Latin figures in modern history.

Looking for Great Latin Music?

Well, take a look at our articles on the Best Spanish Love Songs, the Best Spanish Songs of All Time, the Best Merengue Songs, the Best Gloria Estefan Songs of All Time, as well as the Best Juan Gabriel Songs of All Time for more great song selections.

Most Famous Puerto Rican Singers – Final Thoughts

Whether you want dancers, singers, actors, or someone who can do all three, Puerto Rico has got you covered. Of course, many more stars could have been added to this list. And I’m sure that Puerto Rico will continue to produce many more remarkable performers in the future.

Until next time, happy listening.

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