21 Awesome Spanish Dance Songs for Multicultural Events
Spanish Dance Songs: If you’re planning a wedding, you’re likely also planning out your wedding ceremony and reception playlist. Planning your playlist can be difficult. Our first tip is to be sure your playlist reflects the taste of both you and your significant other.
Also, be sure to include all of your favorite songs and artists, that all of your friends and family will enjoy. Your wedding is likely the biggest party you’ll ever throw in your life. Therefore, you want to be sure that you and all of your guests have a great time! One way to do that is with great music.
Different Music Genres
We recommend at least 5 different music genres. I know this seems like a lot, but it’s not. First, consider the different age groups that will be there. Do your grandparents like the same music your nephews and nieces do? Probably not.
So consider what everyone may want to hear. If you are not sure, just ask! You can easily send out an email and ask guests for 2 songs that will make them get up and dance. Then, as you get the replies, go through and filter the ones you want, versus the ones you don’t. Once you have it narrowed down, just send the list to your DJ, add them to your Spotify list, or whatever works best for you.
Recommended Wedding Music Genres
If the above recommendations don’t work well for you, or you don’t get a lot of replies, don’t panic. This can happen since a lot of people get busy. Now, you can just make some music selections, including Spanish dance songs! We recommend older genres, such as the ’60s and ’70s, for your grandparents and older relatives.
You can limit these genres, to just a few minutes each, if you’d like. Perhaps 10-15 minutes each, depending on the crowd’s response. Next, consider slowly adding newer genres, going from 80’s – current music. You can also add Country, Top 40, and any other genre you’d like to add.
Spanish Dance Hit Songs
Now, let’s consider adding Spanish dance songs to your playlist. This is where many clients may get lost. They know the songs, but they usually don’t know the artists, song titles, etc. We’re here to help with that.
Here are the top 21 Spanish dance songs that we often play for weddings and events. Feel free to listen to each of them. Just click the song link to hear them. Also, many of these songs are also perfect for quinceaneras.
Top 10 Spanish Wedding Songs
- Suavemente – Elvis Crespo – this uptempo Spanish song has been a hit for many years. People will instantly recognize it within the first 5 seconds and they’ll dance!
- La Vida Es Un Carnival – Celia Cruz – this classic Salsa song always packs the dance floor. Your guests will love it!
- Vivir Mi Vida – Marc Anthony – this newer Salsa song is always a great song for any time during your event
- Danza Kuduro – Don Omar – this catchy, upbeat song is always a crowd favorite!
- Despacito – Luis Fonsi – Most people know the remix with Justin Beiber, but either one is fine to play.
- Taki Taki – DJ Snake – this song is the newest of the list so far. Your younger guests will love it!
- Mi Gente – J Balvin – this song is also newer, and perfect to play with your Spanish mix of songs, or even with the newer, Top 40 music!
- Macarena – Los Del Rio – surprisingly, a lot of people still know this dance. Even younger kids love it! 🙂
- La Conga – Gloria Estefan – this classic 80s hit is always a crowd favorite, too.
- La Camisa Negra – Juanes – this Spanish pop song is a great, upbeat song that your Spanish speaking guests will love!
11 More Great Spanish Songs
The above songs are the top 10 Spanish wedding songs. Those songs will be perfect for weddings, anywhere. The next 11 songs are very well known, and some will be regional hits.
- Ginza – J Balvin – a great Spanish dance hit!
- Propuesta Indecente – Romeo Santos – if you want to add a little Bachata to your Spanish dance songs mix, this is one of the most well-known Bachata songs.
- Como la Flor – Selena – by far, Selena is one of Texas’ most famous Spanish artists. If you’re in Texas, this song will be a great addition to your playlist!
- Bidi Bidi Bom Bom – Selena – it’s hard to play any Selena and not also include this one.
- Gasolina – Daddy Yankee – this Reggaeton hit is by far, one of the most popular Reggaeton hits of all time
- Mia – Bad Bunny ft. Drake – a newer Spanish pop hit, and a great song!
- El Perdon – Nicky Jam – a great pop song that the younger crowd will know
- Intentalo – 3BallMTY – this 2011 hit is a fast, upbeat song that younger crowds love!
- Mayores – Becky G. – also a great Spanish pop song
- Oye Mi Amor – Mana – it’s hard to play Spanish pop and not include a Mana song.
- Bailando – Enrique Iglesias – this crossover hit is still very popular!
The above list is the most current list of wedding Spanish dance songs that your guests will love. Feel free to include any more that we may have left off the list. For more great song suggestions, please visit the ABDJs’ online music library page.
We hope this Spanish dance songs for multicultural weddings/events has been helpful. As always, contact us for any info and we’ll be happy to help!
-Austin’s Best DJs
If you’re looking for more great song ideas, check out our Top wedding/party hit songs article, TX country wedding songs & Country Wedding Songs article, and our wedding ceremony songs article, for great ideas. wedding & party songs
Jason Alexander Rubio
Jason has a Master's of Education (MEd), and a Master's of Public Affairs (MPAff). and has been in the DJ field for over 2 decades as a DJ, nightclub owner, radio show DJ/host, bar/club DJ, concert & festival organizer/promoter, and is the co-founder and owner of Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths, and Radio DJ Drops. Jason is also a certified wedding/event planner and has written articles/been featured in Brides, Style Me Pretty, Bustle, Disc Jockey News, DJ Times, DJNTV, The DJ Insider, Mobile Beat, My Wedding Songs, Fox Business News, NBC, ABC, Telemundo, and Wedding Planner Magazine. He currently writes all of the wedding/event planning tips and blogs to help everyone plan their event, successfully!
You Might Also LikeSours: https://www.austinbestdjs.com/wedding-tips-blog/spanish-dance-songs/
50 Greatest Latin Pop Songs
With Latin pop getting heightened visibility in the American mainstream this year, it’s time we call for a history lesson. This summer “Latino Gang” Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin nabbed the Number One spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with their Latin trap hit, “I Like It.” But in sampling the Tony Pabon and Manny Rodriguez-penned single, “I Like It Like That,” this win marks the third time the boogaloo song has cycled through the United States pop chart: first by Pete Rodríguez, whose original recording hit Number 25 in 1967; then again by Tito Puente, Sheila E. and the Blackout All-Stars supergroup in 1996.
By reading Anglophone music media, one might think Latin pop’s ubiquity in the United States is a sudden one – but it’s hardly as recent a phenomenon as new listeners believe. From the Cuban mambo craze of the 1950s to the global virality of “Despacito,” Latin American music has been a fixture of popular music around the world so long as it’s been recorded. Just ask Romeo Santos and the Bronx-based bachata group Aventura, whose 2002 single “Obsesión” scored Number Ones across France, Italy and Germany before the United States caught on.
Encompassing everything from salsa to rock en español, Latin pop is a constantly evolving genre colored by the traditions, migrations and innovations of Latinx people in spite of all odds. Some of the most famous Latin pop songs have survived military dictatorships, war, famine and natural disasters – and they still hold up in spite of passing trends. Rolling Stone contributors selected 50 of the most influential songs in Latin pop history, ranked in chronological order.
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Top 100 Best Pop Songs Of 2011
Rihanna - "Man Down"
"Man Down" provides the soundtrack to one of the most controversial music videos of the year in which Rihanna shoots a man dead out of revenge for rape. The song is unusually downbeat for the album on which it is included. "Man Down" has a stronger reggae influence than much of Rihanna's hit msuic.
Jessie J - "Domino"
Jessie J delivers a strong vocal performance on "Domino," but it also invited frustration that she sounds too much like Katy Perry. Despite that fact it has turned into a pop hit, and the comparisons do not detract from the quality of the recording.
Christina Perri - "A Thousand Years"
Christina Perri contributed "A Thousand Years" to the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 soundtrack. At first glance it seems a bit of an ordinary ballad, but "A Thousand Years" contains a gorgeous bridge section.
Nickelback - "When We Stand Together"
"When We Stand Together" is the pop-rock single released to introduce Nickelback's album Here and Now. It has a strong swing to it accompanying the uplifting lyrics. "When We Stand Together" became a top 15 adult pop and adult contemporary hit.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie"
"The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie" is the lead single from the Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm With You album. Anthony Kiedis says the song is not about anyone in particular, but is simply a melange of memories and people he has met along the way. "The Adventures Of Rain Dance Maggie" topped both the rock songs and alternative songs charts while going to the top 20 at adult pop radio.
Maroon 5 - "Never Gonna Leave This Bed"
It may have gotten a bit buried in the "Moves Like Jagger" avalanche, but "Never Gonna Leave This Bed" is a pleasing, mellow ballad from Maroon 5's unjustly ignored album. Adam Levine has stated it is his favorite song on the album and the most honest.
Pitbull - "International Love"
Pitbull takes his sound worldwide here. Chris Brown delivers sweet featured vocals, and the entire record is a smooth pleasure destined for both the dance floor and the radio playlist.
J. Cole - "Work Out"
Rapper J. Cole's debut album was one of the most eagerly awaited of the year. He delivered on that promise when Cole World opened at #1 on the album chart. "Work Out" has a laidback feel that shows off influences from classic rap. "Work Out" was a top 5 hit on the rap chart.
The Fray - "Heartbeat"
"Heartbeat" is the first single from The Fray's album Scars and Stories. The song features a big pop-rock production. The lyrics are inspired by international travels of lead vocalist and songwriter Isaac Slade.
Big Sean - "Dance (A$$)" featuring Nicki Minaj
"Dance (A$$)" has been criticized as being a shameless stripper anthem. However, it is also clever and humorous with standout rap delivery from Big Sean. Nicki Minaj adds her inimitable sytle. The song was a top 5 rap and R&B hit.
David Guetta - "Without You" featuring Usher
David Guetta scored a massive hit with this tribute to both slow ballads and uptempo dance music. Usher's vocals are beautiful here. "Without You" is the first David Guetta song to top the mainstream pop radio chart.
Christina Perri - "Arms"
Christina Perri followed her "Jar Of Hears" breakthrough with this pop ballad which starts out gentle but moves into bold upbeat territory. Christina Perri's voice is arresting and distinctive here. "Arms" hit the top 15 of the adult pop chart.
Matt Nathanson - "Faster"
Matt Nathanson carried the banner this year for sweet, singer-songwriter pop. "Faster" is upbeat and charming. The addition of horns adds depth to the mix. "Faster" became a top 15 adult pop hit.
Beyonce - "Best Thing I Never Had"
Beyonce delivers one of the more memorable pop song lines of the year here with, "I bet it sucks to be you right now." She pleased long-term fans with a nod to other midtempo hits like "Irreplaceable." "Best Thing I Never Had" reached the top 5 of the R&B chart and topped the dance chart.
Lady Antebellum - "Just a Kiss"
Lady Antebellum continued to straddle the pop and country worlds this year. While chosen as the lead single for the album Own the Night, it was one of the last recorded for the project. "Just a Kiss" effortlessly crossed genres topping the country singles chart and hitting the top 10 pop.
Hot Chelle Rae - "Tonight Tonight"
"Tonight Tonight" is the breakthrough single for Nashville based pop band Hot Chelle Rae. All four band members are sons of established songwriters and performers. "Tonight Tonight" hit #1 on the adult pop radio chart while landing in the top 10 at mainstream pop.
The Script - "For the First Time"
"For the First Time" is the lead single from the Script's second album Science and Faith. The emotional pop-rock landed in the top five on both the adult pop and adult contemporary charts. The band has said the song is about harsh reality for many people in the world that came to mind for the band after they returned from touring.
Britney Spears - "Criminal"
The violence of the music video generated all of the headlines surrounding Britney Spears' fourth single from Femme Fatale. The song itself is the closest we get to a slow pop ballad on the album. The flute driven melody gives it all a light feel compared with the harder edged dance pop on Femme Fatale.
Breathe Carolina - "Blackout"
Electronic duo Breathe Carolina broke into the pop mainstream with this single. It is drenched in electronic effects that propel a catchy hook. There is a strong influence of classic synthpop in the song.
Jennifer Lopez - "I'm Into You" featuring Lil Wayne
Jennifer Lopez keeps the party going here, but the real star of this record is one of Lil Wayne's most charming featured raps. His contribution is clever and fun in radio-friendly fashion.
Wiz Khalifa - "No Sleep"
Wiz Khalifa's "No Sleep" is one of the top laidback party anthems of the year. He collaborates here with producer Benny Blanco. Fellow Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller appears in the music video. "No Sleep" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #6.
Rihanna - "You Da One"
Rihanna does know how to deliver a sweet love song. Here she is back in island mode singing the gentle praises of her lover. T/here is a dubstep breakdown that helps keep Rihanna completely contemporary here.
T-Pain - "5 O'Clock" featuring Wiz Khalifa and Lily Allen
T-Pain makes magnificent use of a sample here. The segment comes from Lily Allen's minor hit "Who'd Have Known." The result was T-Pain's sixth top 10 pop hit as lead artist and his first since 2008.
Adele - "Set Fire To the Rain"
"Set Fire To the Rain" carries one of the most traditional pop orchestrations of all of the songs on Adele's album 21. However, the additional production fails to diminish any of the emotional impact of her music. "Set Fire To the Rain" has been another major top 10 pop hit around the world for Adele.
My Chemical Romance - "Sing"
"Sing" may seem somewhat out of character for My Chemical Romance, but it is an anthem for the downtrodden that resonates. "Sing" turned into a surprising top 10 adult pop hit for the band.
Colbie Caillat - "I Do"
Colbie Caillat introduced her All Of You album with this sweet pop confection. The song simply celebrates a beautiful relationship. Colbie Caillat is at her sunniest here.
Jessie J - "Price Tag" featuring B.o.B.
"Price Tag" introduced Jessie J to American audiences. It was a #1 hit single at home in the UK. The sound has a definite classic Motown soul influence.
Bad Meets Evil - "Lighters" featuring Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars' beautiful rap proved strong enough to pull intense, rough rap to the upper reaches of the pop singles chart. The Bad Meets Evil project is a reunion of Eminem and former collaborator Royce da 5'9". "Lighters" reached #2 at pop radio.
Katy Perry - "The One That Got Away"
Katy Perry's effort to generate an unprecedented sixth #1 hit single from her album features a song that does touch emotional chords in the listener. The melancholy lyrics about a relationship that just couldn't be are haunting.
Gym Class Heroes - "Ass Back Home" featuring Neon Hitch
Gym Class Heroes prove here that their return with "Stereo Hearts" is no fluke. Upcoming British artist Neon Hitch delivers a sweet chorus.
Coldplay - "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall"
Coldplay are in an upbeat mood here. The energy is infectious. The music video shows off the influence of graffiti art on the Mylo Xyloto album.
Ke$ha - "Blow"
Ke$ha continued her dominance of party-ready dance pop with "Blow." She begins here simply with the command, "Dance!" Don't miss her ragged vocal when she takes the chorus over the top late in the song.
Nicki Minaj - "Fly" featuring Rihanna
"Fly" stands out on Nicki Minaj's hit album Pink Friday with its inspirational tone. It was nearly left off the collection, but turned out to be one of the most memorable songs. Rihanna contributes an uplifting chorus.
Britney Spears - "I Wanna Go"
Britney Spears responds here to concerns about her personal behavior. She is unapologetic. It is all set to an irresistible pulsing dance groove. The music video is one of her most humorous yet. This was the third consecutive top 10 hit from the album Femme Fatale.
Foo Fighters - "Rope"
The Foo Fighters' "Rope" debuted at #1 on the rock songs chart and did not let go for 20 weeks. It is a bracing piece of straightforward rock. The music video is an outstanding, fresh approach to the performance video.
Dr. Dre - "I Need a Doctor" featuring Eminem and Skylar Grey
NPR Music's 100 Favorite Songs Of 2011
Wondering how we listen to music in 2011? There's an app for that. (One of them, pictured, is called Jamboxx.) Shahin Edalati, ACD, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners hide caption
Wondering how we listen to music in 2011? There's an app for that. (One of them, pictured, is called Jamboxx.)Shahin Edalati, ACD, Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners
This year, we couldn't sit still. Shoving a flailing ear bud into place while running for the train, flitting through Spotify playlists from passionate fans of every genre or trying to top each other on turntable.fm—this is how we approach listening to music now. At an alarming rate it floods our inboxes, blogs and record stores, pervasive yet more accessible than ever. Under the deluge there are songs that stand out, beg for repeat listens and eventually settle seamlessly into our lives.
To round out the year, NPR Music put together a mix with 100 of these favorite songs. Our staffers came armed with lists of the tunes that shook them up this year--the truly excellent, the roughly beautiful, the daring. Consensus emerged on several (What else do Beyoncé, Paul Simon and Blawan have in common?), while dark horse candidates stayed on the list by sheer force of love from one producer or another. It might sound jarring when a raging soca jam falls next to a haunting folk song, but that's how the year sounded to us--funny, joyful, heavy and always surprising.
This year was all about blurring the lines between genres, which seemed inevitable in a field over-saturated with sub, and sub-sub-sub classifications of type. Pop and electronic dance music reveled in its long-overdue civil union, where Rihanna's #1 pop hit was steeped in bubblegum techno. Elsewhere on the musical map, composer Judd Greenstein's charging melodies in "Change" represent dynamic new turf in indie classical, Lil Wayne sampled a song famously used in the movie Beetlejuice (when's that YouTube mash-up coming out?) and Jill Scott's "All Cried Out Redux" was probably the only beat-boxed ragtime joint you heard all year.
And perhaps above all, artists in 2011 wanted you to dance. If you found your groove to Colombian DJ Geko Jones, or hustled in step with the JD Allen Trio, or emulated Nicki Minaj's booty bounce, new adventures in beats and rhythms were incredibly present and as expansive as ever. So whether you'd rather mosh to Darkest Era or grind upon your loved one to Raphael Saadiq, we hope this mix makes you move, in whatever way makes you feel the best.
There's no way this list could include everything we liked, and it's probable we've left off a song that meant something to you. We hope you'll share your favorites of 2011 in the comments or tweet us @nprmusic.
NPR MUSIC'S 100 FAVORITE SONGS OF 2011
10/10 Ensemble, "Fiji"
A 17-minute sashay through composer Michael Torke's deliriously colorful, imaginary tropical landscape. Heavy on the congas, bongos and claves, but lighthearted and sweet.
Adele, "Someone Like You"
In tonic chords and modulated phrases, Adele's offered goodbye hug perfectly captures the feeling of waking up from a broken heart: you've both moved on, it hurts, you won't forget, you'll live.
Alabama Shakes, "Hold On"
Neil Young called it "ragged glory" — the sound of a band getting it together right before your ears. Fronted by soulful dynamo/regular gal Brittany Howard, the Shakes are breaking through.
Anthony Hamilton, "Mad"
Otis Redding would have loved this tale of irresistible, bad-for-you romance, sung by one of his worthiest inheritors.
Azealia Banks, "212"
Get your headphones up: The raunchiest shut-down of 2011 features Banks' never-predictable vocal delivery over a drilling Lazy Jay house beat.
Battles, "Ice Cream" (feat. Matias Aguayo)
For a group often tagged as "math rock," the colorful Afropunk-infused "Ice Cream" is one of the year's most boisterous and off-kilter dance parties thanks to fun hooks and a killer funked up organ groove.
An ode to married bliss that's also an exploding grab bag of sounds, from the Boyz II Men sample to a marching band.
Big Freedia, "Azz Everywhere"
A fresh tip of the hat to African-American call-and-response traditions that also provides the New Orleans bounce scene with an addictive dance floor anthem.
Bill McHenry, "La Fuerza"
A saxophonist's quartet attends a bullfight, with Salvador Dali and 'em. RIP drummer Paul Motian.
Bingo Players, "Cry (Just A Little)" (Olav Basoski Remix)
A happy house beat, Daft Punk-style synths and that sample. It's that simple.
High concept multimedia experiences aside, here's a stunning minimalist song about how science and humanity (or lovers, or an iconic musician and her fans) interact.
Blawan, "Getting Me Down"
A slow jam gets the galloping sugar beat that Brandy never knew she needed.
Bon Iver, "Calgary"
The opening synth smears hint at '80s-influenced grandiosity, but tenderness and grace exudes throughout.
Cass McCombs, "County Line"
Many have tried to revive soft-rock and few have succeeded. "County Line" feels like a needle-drop on a forgotten classic: There is a dust road and you are crying.
Caveman, "Old Friend"
Newcomers marry guitar melody to wash of sound, with timeless-sounding results.
Chris Brown, "Look At Me Now" (feat. Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne)
Busta and that bug-eyed beat: waking radio listeners from their stupor since February 2011.
Chris Thile & Michael Daves, "Sleep With One Eye Open"
Bluegrass from the dark end of the street — risky and raucous.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, "Same Mistake"
An exceptional return to form for the band that once launched a thousand blogs. Epic indie pop anthem that will have you shouting along in cathartic joy by that third chorus.
Cute boy-girl pop that juxtaposes a sunny wall of sound songcraft with disturbing lyrics that hint at dysfunction underneath.
Danny Brown, "Scrap Or Die"
One of 2011's realest, saddest, most terrifying narratives; a zero-options, would be rags-to-riches story where a length of copper wire stands in for the glint of a happy ending.
Darkest Era, "An Ancient Fire Burns"
If you're not dreaming of driving a Camaro up a mountain to slay a dragon by the end of this song, you're doing it wrong.
Das Racist, "Michael Jackson"
Brooklyn internet thugs unleash their first legit single. True to form, it's stupid, childish and way too good to write off as novelty.
David Wax Museum, "Born With A Broken Heart"
A whirlwind treat from a loveable duo with a penchant for presenting pan-American folk with exuberant ease. Equipment: Donkey jawbone, Mexican jarocha guitar, trumpet, accordion, and — clearly — joy.
The Decemberists, "Down By The Water"
Portland folk-rockers incorporate memorable vocal harmonies from Gillian Welch and 12-string guitar from R.E.M.'s Peter Buck in this rollicking slice of down-home Americana.
Delicate Steve, "Butterfly"
New Jersey instrumentalists pluck, twang, strum and pitter-pat through the year's most epic sun-bleached back porch jam session.
Deniz Kurtel, "The L Word"
What begins as jumpy cut heard in the dance clubs of New York City circa 1989 ends saturated in some radiated strobe light out of time.
Drake, "Take Care" (feat. Rihanna)
The complex hip-hop Casanova's take on the blues, with a nod to Bobby Bland and some heavenly comfort from an ex.
The Bay Area veteran raps in a cracking and permanently quizzical tone over a beat made by video game-obsessed aliens. Brass heralds the 2-ply, Beastie Boys-quoting chorus.
Eleanor Friedberger, "My Mistakes"
Eschewing the hyperactive complexity of Fiery Furnaces while retaining the exuberant buoyancy and hooky vocal melodies. Plus a sax solo!
EMA, "The Grey Ship"
This seething and portentous gem takes a remarkable journey, worthy of every second of its seven-minute running time.
Fleet Foxes, "Helplessness Blues"
For all the talk of Fleet Foxes' echo-chamber atmospherics, "Helplessness Blues" takes about 60 seconds to reveal the meaning of life.
Fokn Bois and Jumo Daddy, "Lungulungu"
Ghanaian rappers half- and double-timing over a Hungarian-made beat that ambles with one leg, hustles with the other. Pidgin rap can be hard to understand, but it's probably the future.
Frank Ocean, "Swim Good"
The most charismatic R&B singer of the year delivers a visually rich portrait of existential torment paired with a club-worthy beat.
Garland Jeffreys, "Coney Island Winter"
The best Springsteen song the Boss didn't write this year, by a still-powerful veteran of New York's bohemian streets.
Gary Clark, Jr., "Bright Lights"
Slow-burning blues from a dazzling guitarist and popwise songwriter poised to blow up big.
Geko Jones, "Pa'la Escuela Nene" (feat. Maria Mulata)
A perfect example of why we love Geko Jones: only he could successfully mash up a classic genre like Colombian bullerengue (here featuring the fantastic vocal stylings of Maria Mulata) with thumping club beats.
Gem Club, "Twins"
A minor-key beauty from a cello and piano duo that slows the blood by filling the air between notes with sullen space.
Gillian Welch, "Hard Times"
Welch and David Rawlings sing beautifully of defiance and hope, but the net result is shot through with eternal ache.
Last-day-of-school sunshine, five-speed bikes in the cul-de-sac, laser tag at midnight. Can this please never end?
G-Side, "Atmosphere" (feat. PH)
Deceptively subdued, nearly effortless flow hovers above a reggae riff submerged in a glitch jungle gym.
Hammers of Misfortune, "The Grain"
With a soaring, melancholic chorus, "The Grain" repeatedly returns to a powerful riff that is the stuff that headbangs are made out of.
I Wayne, "Change Them Ways"
Representative of the "new school" in roots rock reggae, Jamaica's I Wayne preaches peace and harmony. His warning to the wicked is something we can all vibe to.
Jacques Greene, "Another Girl"
Clipped beats and wordless sighs made for staring out windows until an R&B siren pulls you out of the funk to get into the funk.
James Blake, "The Wilhelm Scream"
Heart-wrenching slow jam-slash-showcase for multi-talented young dubstep writer/producer-turned frontman, over the irresistibly lethargic beat of the year.
James Farm, "Polliwog"
An instrumental with more engaging, rollicking episodes than most sitcoms out there today.
Jay-Z & Kanye West, "That's My Bitch"
Kanye goes dumb; Jay name-checks half of New York's art scene. Meanwhile, the beat grows a booty, and shakes it.
JD Allen Trio, "Mr. Steepy"
Sixteen bars, short-and-sweet. Just saxophone, bass and drums making swing go H.A.M.
Jean-Guihen Queyras, "Cello Concerto in G minor"
Antonio Vivaldi, an early supporter of the cello, gets a hand from a French virtuoso whose warm, smart reading collapses 300 years of musical history.
JEFF The Brotherhood, "Bummer"
Nashville power punk duo buries this grungy breakup song's ample heart beneath a fuzzy drone of distortion.
Jill Scott, "All Cried Out" (feat. Doug E. Fresh)
The everywoman of R&B turns a Doug E. Fresh beatbox and a touch of ragtime piano into a breezy kiss-off on which she sounds more free and brazen than she has in years.
Jonsi, "Gathering Stories"
The Sigur Ros frontman keeps adding to his whimsically gorgeous solo legacy with a creamy dollop of sunny, swirling majesty.
The Joy Formidable, "Whirring"
British trio knocks it out of the park by marrying melody with chaos while careening headlong toward a ferocious, four-minute climax.
Joyce DiDonato, "D'amour l'ardente flame"
Everyone's favorite mezzo-soprano gives this aria from Hector Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust a tender, lived-in passion.
Kate Bush, "Misty"
Sex with a snowman? Only the great Kate at her piano could paint it in colors this lovely and profound.
Katy B, "Katy On A Mission"
Katy gets harassed on her way to the dancefloor, remains focused on her priority; Britain's dubstep scene gets a human face.
Kay Ara, "Me Dough" (feat. Lil Shaker and Yaa Pono)
Kay Ara and his more established compatriots in Ghanaian rap bound over a stutter-stepping highlife sample and hold tight to a beat that drops with authority.
Kes The Band, "Wotless"
The ultimate soca jam of the year urged people to embarrass themselves dancing everywhere from Carnival parade lines to your desk at the office.
Lady Gaga, "Yoü & I"
Monster-sized ode to holding onto a piece of lost love forever and the best evidence yet that pop's queen of relentless provocation has a serious sense of humor.
Lagartijeando, "El Alto De La Paz"
You don't have to speak Spanish to understand the sexiness of this song's hook or its outrageously hip-grinding beat. Turn your swag on.
Laura Marling, "The Beast"
Spun out like one of Scheherezade's tales, this folk-metal ballad expresses a young woman's hunger and fury in no uncertain terms.
Lil B, "I Seen That Light"
In which the gleeful Bay Area purveyor of nonsense reveals a new, utterly convincing face: the humble, respectful motivational speaker with a heart (and a beat) of solid gold.
Lil Wayne, "6 Foot 7 Foot" (feat. Cory Gunz)
"Real Gs move in silence like lasagna," and other lessons in making perfectly reasonable points out of brain-melting nonsense.
Lisa Hannigan, "Home"
Featured player (on Damien Rice's O) steps front, center and widescreen, with lush instrumentation in one of the most exhilarating and beautifully sung songs of the year.
Los Tigres, "Jefe de Jefes"
The title means The Boss of All Bosses, which describes this band perfectly. There are other great Mexican bands but none as bad-ass.
Low, "Try To Sleep"
Soft and trance-inducing yet unmistakably alive, like running through grassy fields. Alan Spawhawk and Mimi Parker's harmonies have never sounded so uplifting.
Lykke Li, "I Follow Rivers"
Rhythm, mood and a declaration of undying devotion, from Sweden's answer to Stevie Nicks.
M83, "Midnight City"
There is no excusing the gratuitous saxophone solo, but we do anyway because "Midnight City" is the cursive neon sign outside the car window, and a contender for euphoria-inducing jam of the year.
Martina McBride, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It"
Country has never shied away from life's messy side, but this string-swept tearjerker about love's loyalty in the face of tragedy earns its sentiment.
Midnite, "Mongst I & I"
The legendary St. Croix roots reggae group since tells us to "keep good relations" with one another, despite the corporate greed and political discord around the globe.
A song that builds itself into a hazy trip while at the same time its exploding itself into fuzzy, synthy oblivion.
Miranda Lambert, "Mama's Broken Heart"
One of country's best young stars plays the bracingly brassy bad-girl role she was born for, spits fire in unforgettable fashion.
The Mountain Goats, "Estate Sale Sign"
A perfectly blistering John Darnielle anthem, suitable for shouting yourself hoarse after everything you hold dear has been pulverized into a fine powder.
My Morning Jacket, "Circuital"
Recorded live by a band that knows what the open road sounds like: 13 years in, Louisville's finest is still finding new tricks.
Natacha Atlas, "Batkallim" (Bombay Dub Remix)
Political prescience from an Anglo-Egyptian smartly steeped in pan-Arabic sounds: "Permit us to know freedom."
Nick Lowe, "House For Sale"
Sure, "House For Sale" functions as a sad metaphor for a relationship marred by neglect. But Lowe is such a humane songwriter that the song can't help but be shot through with hope for better days.
Nicki Minaj, "Super Bass"
The accents, the Slick Rick joke, that thing where you make up hand motions with your friends to the chorus.
Nicolas Jaar, "Keep Me There"
Gurgle, warble, boil and smoke, like a dank jazz side but a bit more baroque.
Now Ensemble, "Change"
Composer Judd Greenstein's tiny, urgent and insistent itches of melodic and rhythmic ideas explode into beauty.
Panda Bear, "You Can Count On Me"
A ghostly tapestry of cavernous Beach Boys-esque vocal harmonies, chopped beats and found sound.
Paul Simon, "Rewrite"
As a kora shimmers behind Simon, "Rewrite" goofs on a misbegotten screenplay — until it reveals itself as a heartbreaking look at delusion and momentous mistakes that can't be deleted.
Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus, "Insomnio Mineral (Rondena)"
A father and son combine an ancient flamenco guitar technique with a non-traditional approach to cello. You wish your family sounded like this.
Purity Ring, "Ungirthed"
Sweetness, light, handclaps, bounce and a touch of menace: ears ringing, teeth clicking, ears ringing, teeth clicking.
Randy Montana, "Burn These Matches"
A big, swollen country power ballad about temptation and fidelity, shot through with regret and relief in equal measure.
Raphael Saadiq, "Heart Attack"
Three-minute soul throwback fueled by a yearning vocal and an ace backing band, all churn and grind, and as potent as it is airtight.
Real Estate, "It's Real"
Sunny with a chance of winsome, sweet-hearted melancholy. What could be better?
Rihanna, "We Found Love" (feat. Calvin Harris)
An uplifting, club-ready pop banger about hard-earned love? Or a chilling account of a relationship doomed by substance abuse and codependency? Depends on how much time you've spent with the video.
SBTRKT, "Wildfire" (feat. Yukimi Nagano)
Masked producer gets an assist from Little Dragon's singer, who cements her status as indie electronic music's go-to guest vocalist of the year.
Seun Kuti, "Rise"
Slow-burning horns, swiftly moving social consciousness, and insistent grooves right out his father's playbook.
Simone Dinnerstein, "Ich ruf zu dir"
This pianist knows that what happens between the notes of this Bach cantata is just as crucial as what's written in the score.
Smith Westerns, "Weekend"
With a hot-as-a-car-hood-on-a-summer's-day guitar riff and a heart-wrenching chord progression, this song kicked off the sophomore album from these Chicago 20-year-olds in style.
St. Vincent, "Cruel"
Even on her album's catchiest song, St. Vincent's Annie Clark expresses darker feelings of fragmentation, discontent and uncertainty with sinister knife-twisting lines that pack an emotional punch.
Telebossa, "Eu Sonhei Que Tu Estavas Tao Linda"
Classic Brazilian songwriting with touches of chamber music and a subtle electronic presence, plus a surreal vocal. Like the moment after the sun sets and everything goes quiet.
Tinariwen, "Tenere Taqqim Tossam"
An awkward joint appearance on The Colbert Report probably didn't move the needle, but this collaboration between Tuareg rock gods Tinariwen and TV on the Radio makes for a sweet, soulful groove.
Dance-ready Afrobeat rhythms built from looping drums and the powerful voice of 2011 All-Star Merrill Garbus.
Tyler, the Creator, "Yonkers"
The lurching funeral march of a thousand angry commenters, the cubist mouth architecture of a suburban nightmare, the problem with starting a fire.
The Weeknd, "The Morning"
The peaceful eye in House Of Balloons' hurricane of addiction: Abel Tesfaye exalts his indulgences like "drinking Alizè with our cereal for breakfast." It's the beautiful sound of the end of the beginning.
Wilco, "Art Of Almost"
The boldest opening statement from Wilco in ten years, "Art of Almost" asserts itself with provocative sounds and fiery riffs. This ain't your dad's "Dad Rock."
Wild Flag, "Romance"
Feminist punk superheroes reveal their secret: SHAKE! SHIMMY! SHAKE!
Wye Oak, "Civilian"
Singer-guitarist Jenn Wasner's insecurities and personal flaws are laid bare before squealing guitar and driving drumbeats.
"Rubber" begins with distortion so thick it hurts and ends with the most cathartic burst of feedback and noise you'll bliss out to this year.
2011 songs top spanish
MTV's list of the Best Songs of 2011 is like one of those old late-night commercials for awesome sampler albums: You've got your pop hit, a bit of rock, some hip-hop, R&B and a tune or two that you just can't fully define, but which you definitely shook it to at some point over the past 12 months.
Last week, MTV correspondent Sway Calloway moderated a spirited roundtable discussion with some of our very own experts: James Montgomery and Rob Markman (MTV News), Yomi Desalu and Malika Quemerais (MTV Music and Talent) and Tamar Anitai and Nicole James (MTV.com). The panel managed to narrow it down to their top 10.
We will say that the year's ultimate "Party Rock Anthem" made the cut, as did Rihanna's waltz into the world of dubstep, a kitchen-sink empowerment anthem for anyone who's ever felt marginalized, and an unexpected smash about a school shooting that is so catchy you might miss the sinister lyrics. Two of rap's titans are also on the list, as is a pop princess who hopped on the Empowerment Express, an R&B singer who went the Dirty South route with two hip-hop icons, and a Latin rhymer asking for some eye contact over a club-banging beat.
10. "Firework," Katy Perry
Sure, its release as a single came in late 2010, but the true impact of "Firework" was felt in 2011. It rang in the New Year at #1, was Perry's top single of the year and is nominated for the Record of the Year Grammy. More importantly, the song's message touched fans all over the world as the pop star toured the globe. "I wrote this song for anyone who ever needed a song. To help them, to lift them up," she told the crowd when I saw her at New York's Nassau Coliseum this summer. The arena shook as every person sang along with her and pyro lit up the stage, raining down like a wall of sparklers. — John Mitchell
9. "Look at Me Now," Chris Brown
Tough, aggressive and completely unapologetic lyrically, Chris goes hard on the F.A.M.E. track, which also features rap heavy-hitters Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne. Grinding production, bleeping noises and bumping beats answer Brown's siren call about not really caring very much what anyone thinks about him and his bad-boy rep. Why? Well, mostly because he's "fresh than a mother----er." Given Brown's nefarious past, it was a catchy, bold, brash statement from one of R&B's biggest young stars. — Jocelyn Vena
8. "N---as in Paris," Kanye West and Jay-Z
Kanye West picked a fitting Will Ferrell sound bite for "N---as in Paris," but not even Yeezy could have predicted just how much his and Jay-Z's second Watch the Throne single would get the people going. After leading with "Otis," the Throne's kinetic follow-up joint seems to be the ultimate people's choice. The brash title and profane hook ("Ball so hard mother----ers wanna fine me") doesn't exactly scream radio hit, but that's exactly what it has become, peaking at #1 on the Billboard Rap Songs chart. The song has become so popular that Hov and 'Ye have performed it as many as nine times in a single night during their WTT Tour run. Now that sh-- cray! — Rob Markman
7. "Pumped Up Kicks," Foster the People
If you went to a rock club or major festival, turned on satellite radio, or visited any retail store that sells skinny jeans, you were likely entranced by the Los Angeles trio's breakout hit "Pumped Up Kicks." The combination of lyrics about a psychotic, gun-toting teen and cheery, New Wave-y bass bounce, seven-dwarves-worthy whistling, hypnotic electronic effects and former jingle writer Mark Foster's dreamy falsetto vocals revived the feel of mid-1990s alt-rock. Plus, as it turns out, this potential one-hit wonder ended up having plenty more to offer. — Gil Kaufman
6. "Give Me Everything," Pitbull
Pitbull is perhaps music's most underrated hitmaker, but if 2009's "I Know You Want Me" and "Hotel Room Service" weren't enough to convince the naysayers, the Cuban pop-rapper's omnipresent "Give Me Everything" should've done the trick in 2011. On paper, a song featuring Pit, Ne-Yo, Afrojack and sexy-siren Nayer might seem a bit all over the place, but by the end of the four-minute, 12-second jam, it all worked out quite nicely. There's a reason the one-night stand ode hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The energetic dance groove, rapid rhymes and the track's infectious hook were choice ingredients for the perfect party record. — R.M.
5. "Born This Way," Lady Gaga
Quick, name another top 10 hit that seeks to empower the LGBT community, drag queens, the disabled or anyone who is "black, white beige, chola descent ... Lebanese ... orient." You can't, because nobody but Mother Monster has the cojones to release "Born This Way" as the first single off an eagerly anticipated sophomore album. The tune mixes soaring rhetoric with equally pulse-quickening beats. Of course, it was accompanied by a viscous-liquid-dripping seven-minute video that added to Gaga's mind-tripping visual canon and further established her as one of the biggest triple threats in music. — G.K.
4. "Party Rock Anthem," LMFAO
LMFAO's ode to being the life of the party is the definition of a guilty pleasure, and it was an instant hit, topping the charts and playlists. With a fist-pumping beat and lyrics that are nearly as silly as the leopard-print pants Redfoo and SkyBlu typically rock, "Party Rock Anthem" had everyone from your grandma to Justin Bieber "shufflin'. " — J.V.
3. "We Found Love," Rihanna
Rihanna fully embraced EDM on her Talk That Talk single. Produced by Calvin Harris, "We Found Love" is a swirling party track about love and loss. It took pop's obsession with dance music to the next level thanks to its killer production. Sparse at times and completely enthralling at others, "WFL" is sad and joyous all at once. A call back to '90s raves, the song made pop lovers want to break out their glow sticks and just dance. — J.V.
2. "Super Bass," Nicki Minaj
It wasn't Pink Friday's first single — hell, it wasn't even technically on the album's proper track list! — but "Super Bass" had all the right ingredients. There's the bright and airy guitar intro, which eventually builds into a full pop affair complete with a knocking 808 and, of course, that patented bass drum. Lyrically, Nicki threw a shout-out to 1980s rap legend Slick Rick and threatened to slap a chick all in an effort to woo her drug-dealing crush. Typically, cheery-sounding pop hits aren't so edgy, but the Harajuku Barbie has successfully elbowed her way into the spotlight alongside starlets like Katy Perry and Taylor Swift — and has done it her way.
1. "Rolling in the Deep," Adele
Was there any doubt? The megahit so dominated 2011 that calling it the Song of the Year is putting it mildly. And we're not just talking commercially — though it was the year's best-selling track — or critically, mostly because focusing on those details fails to tell the whole story. Consider it the anthem to end all anthems, the feel-bad song of our time, the antidote for the Auto-Tuned masses. But maybe it's best just to call it Adele's coronation into the ranks of the all-time greats. She's now and forever the Queen of Pain. Long may she reign.
All this week, watch "AMTV" on MTV every day at 8 a.m. ET for our Best of 2011 lists. Then, come to MTVNews.com at 5 p.m. as we reveal our top picks of the year!
- Boogie Shoes
Written by Harry Wayne Casey, Richard Finch (as Richard Raymond Finch)
- The Anthem
Written by Joel Madden, John Feldmann, Benji Madden
Performed by Good Charlotte
Courtesy of Epic Records
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
- Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Written by Bobby Dall, C.C. DeVille, Bret Michaels, Rikki Rockett
Performed by Poison
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
- Disco Inferno
Written by Ron Kersey (as Tyrone "Have Mercy" Kersey) and Leroy Green
- Mr. Big Stuff
Written by Joseph Broussard, Carrol Washington, Ralph Williams
Performed by Nikki & Rich
- Celebrity Skin
Written by Courtney Love, Eric Erlandson, Billy Corgan
Performed by Hole
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
- Higher Ground
Written by Stevie Wonder
Performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama (as Blind Boys of Alabama)
Courtesy of Real World Records
Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Performed by The Coasters
Courtesy of Atco Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
- Them Girlz
Written by Ali Dee (as Ali Theodore), Julian Davis (as Julian Michael Davis)
Performed by Cee Money & Dee Fresh
Courtesy of DeeTown Entertainment
- Peg O' My Heart
Written by Al Bryan (as Alfred Bryan) and Fred Fisher
Written by Taio Cruz, Max Martin (as Max Martin Sandberg), Dr. Luke, Bonnie McKee, Benny Blanco (as Benjamin Levin)
Performed by Taio Cruz
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd.
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
- Peter Cottontail
Written by Steve Nelson, Jack Rollins
- We No Speak Americano
Written by Nicola Salerno, Renato Carosone
Performed by Yolanda Be Cool & DCup
Courtesy of Ultra Records
Written by Ali Dee (as Ali Theodore), Jordan Yaeger, Alana Da Fonseca, Rachel Rickert, Sarai Howard
Performed by Rae (as RAE)
Courtesy of DeeTown Entertainment
- I Want Candy
Written by Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer, Bert Berns
Performed by Cody Simpson
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
- The Pink Berets
Written by Christopher Lennertz, Ali Dee, Julian Davis, Jordan Yaeger, Bryan Spitzer
Performed by The DeeKompressors, featuring Rae and Chris Classic
Courtesy of DeeTown Entertainment
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Spain Singles Top 50
Don Omar and Lucenzo
peak position: 1 – total weeks: 48
Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer
peak position: 2 – total weeks: 17
Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull
peak position: 1 – total weeks: 27
peak position: 3 – total weeks: 15
Shakira and Pitbull
peak position: 1 – total weeks: 20
peak position: 5 – total weeks: 11
Pitbull and Marc Anthony
peak position: 7 – total weeks: 6
peak position: 1 – total weeks: 35
peak position: 7 – total weeks: 3
LMFAO featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock
peak position: 7 – total weeks: 17
peak position: 11 – total weeks: 28
peak position: 8 – total weeks: 5
David Guetta featuring Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj
peak position: 8 – total weeks: 17
Marta Sanchez and D-Mol
peak position: 13 – total weeks: 5
peak position: 3 – total weeks: 32
peak position: 16 – total weeks: 11
peak position: 8 – total weeks: 13
David Guetta and Jennifer Hudson
peak position: 18 – total weeks: 1
Jennifer Lopez and Lil Wayne
peak position: 19 – total weeks: 9
peak position: 18 – total weeks: 13
peak position: 21 – total weeks: 5
peak position: 4 – total weeks: 13
peak position: 23 – total weeks: 12
Carlos Jean and M-And-Y
peak position: 4 – total weeks: 17
Carlos Jean and Electric Nana
peak position: 4 – total weeks: 29
peak position: 7 – total weeks: 5
peak position: 11 – total weeks: 23
peak position: 18 – total weeks: 3
peak position: 3 – total weeks: 51
peak position: 6 – total weeks: 20
Andre Olá and Helene
peak position: 27 – total weeks: 5
Shakira and Freshlyground
peak position: 1 – total weeks: 68
Jessie J and B.o.B
peak position: 17 – total weeks: 26
David Guetta and Sia
peak position: 12 – total weeks: 3
Snoop Dogg and David Guetta
peak position: 20 – total weeks: 19
peak position: 10 – total weeks: 9
Sasha Lopez and Broono
peak position: 30 – total weeks: 5
peak position: 38 – total weeks: 2
Bob Sinclar and Raffaella Carrà
peak position: 7 – total weeks: 14
peak position: 17 – total weeks: 11
Martin Solveig and Dragonette
peak position: 17 – total weeks: 26
peak position: 3 – total weeks: 27
peak position: 22 – total weeks: 17
peak position: 5 – total weeks: 9
Boy Wonder featuring Chosen Few Urbano and Fuego
peak position: 45 – total weeks: 2
Shakira featuring El Cata and Dizzee Rascal
peak position: 1 – total weeks: 46
peak position: 18 – total weeks: 32
peak position: 36 – total weeks: 5
The Black Eyed Peas
peak position: 16 – total weeks: 19
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour
peak position: 19 – total weeks: 9