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Crossing Over

May 9, 2007

In the late nineties, Latin Pop was becoming a phenomenon because popular American Pop stars were crossing over into Latin Pop by putting out Spanish versions of their songs.  Established artists like Diddy to Spice Girl Geri Haliwell (her single, Mi Chico Latino, hit it big in England) were joining the Latin craze.  In 1999, Spanish-language music sales increased twelve percent in the United States!  Soon enough, Christina Aguilera was emphasizing her own Hispanic Heritage (her father is Ecuadorian) and she released her first Spanish album, Mi Reflejo, in 2000.  Despite being half-hispanic and her mother being a Spanish teacher, Christina is not fluent in Spanish.   Christina had to take Spanish lessons in order to record the album.  Mi Reflejo had Spanish versions of her English songs and also some new Spanish songs. 

In reference to her Hispanic heritage and to other music artists crossing over into the Latin world, Christina has said, ”It’s a side that’s a part of me.  It kind of makes me mad because I hear about a lot of other people who just want to jump on the bandwagon.”  How is she not on the bandwagon with everyone else?  Does her being half-hispanic give her some kind of authencity in putting out Spanish songs?  Christina’s heritage was not emphasized in the media when she was first rising to stardom.  And even now, not everyone is aware that she is hispanic (I have a friend who just learned of her being hispanic when I told him I was writing this post).  I have to question if she just jumped on the bandwagon too especially after seeing how well her first Spanish album did.  Look how well her Spanish album has done: 

It peaked at #27 on the Billboard 200 and number ONE on the Latin album charts, and in 2001 it won Aguilera a Latin Grammy Award for “Best Female Pop Vocal Album.”  The album has sold 2.5 million copies worldwide and has been certified Gold (500,000) in the USA and three times Platinum under the RIAA’s Los Premios de Oro y Platino program.  She also won the World Music Award as the best selling Latin artist that year.

Crossing over into Latin Pop definitely sells.  Has Christina used her hispanic background to gain more fans and to sell more albums?  It could seem so.

Here’s Christina performing at the Latin Grammy’s:

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