Latin music came out on top in 2022 with Bad Bunny leading the way. The Puerto Rican superstar’s Un Verano Sin Ti album proved that Spanish-language music can connect with the world. Language isn’t a barrier anymore.
Spanish pop star Rosalía expanded the sonic palette of what Latin music could sound like with her genre-bending album MOTOMAMI. There were also US-born acts who embraced their Latin roots in their albums like Becky G and Christina Aguilera. Anitta reminded the world that Brazil is part of Latin America with her multilingual LP Versions of Me. Colombian singer Feid emerged as a rising star with his surprise drop Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo Te Pirateamos El Álbum while reggaeton pioneer Daddy Yankee said farewell with Legendaddy.
Before 2022 comes to a close, let’s look back on the best Latin albums from this past year. (And check out our full list of Best Albums Of 2022.)
Christina Aguilera – Aguilera
After more than a twenty-year wait, Christina Aguilera released her second Latin album this year. Reflecting her Ecuadorian roots, the pop superstar named the LP Aguilera after her last name. She finds her footing in the current Latin music soundscape, teaming up with Becky G, Nathy Peluso, and Nicki Nicole for the Latina girl power anthem “Pa Mis Muchachas.” She also gets in on a bit perreo in the reggaeton romp “Santo” featuring Ozuna. Aguilera later flexes her vocal prowess in the Mexican genres of mariachi and ranchera music in the emotional ballads “Reina” and “Cuando Me Dé la Gana.” LatinXtina was a bicultural force to behold this year.
Rauw Alejandro – Saturno
Rauw Alejandro took one giant leap with reggaeton music in his stellar Saturno album. While looking to the genre’s future, the Puerto Rican superstar also honors its past with throwback bangers like “Punto 40” with Baby Rasta and “De Carolina,” his ode to hometown featuring pioneer DJ Playero. Alejandro goes on to put an alluring electronica spin on reggaeton in the hot-and-heavy “Lokera” and the sexy “Que Rico Ch**gamos.” He proves that he’s not bound to one genre with the new wave rush of “Corazon Despeinado” and Miami freestyle of the otherworldly “Verde Menta.” It’s Rauw’s limitless world and we’re just living it in.
Anitta – Versions Of Me
Anitta emerged as a global pop star this year with her album Versions Of Me. The Brazilian superstar impressively sings on the 15-track LP in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. She embraces the Brazilian funk sound of her country in her red-hot collaboration “Me Gusta” with Cardi B and Myke Towers and pop-inflected “Faking Love” featuring Saweetie. Anitta reminds people that Brazil is a part of Latin America with her reggaeton romp “Envolver.” She also looks to the future of pop music with her punk-influenced anthem “Boys Don’t Cry.” Anitta’s best version of herself is when she’s not afraid to try everything.
Bad Bunny – Un Verano Sin Ti
Bad Bunny gave the world the soundtrack for the summer with his album Un Verano Sin Ti. The Puerto Rican superstar celebrates the music of the Caribbean throughout the 23-track LP, while returning to his reggaeton roots in club anthems like “Me Porto Bonito” alongside Chencho Corleone and “Party” with Rauw Alejandro. But he keeps fans on their toes when he takes the genre to new places with alternative acts like The Marías in “Otro Atardecer” and Bomba Estéreo in the dreamy “Ojitos Lindos,” and samples the sounds of the Dominican Republic in the merengue-infused “Después De La Playa” and the dembow-driven “Me Preguntó.” Bad Bunny continues to prove that his sound has no borders or limits.
Becky G – Esquemas
Becky G has always played with the duality of being a pop and Latin artist in her music and she sounds like she had a blast blending both of her worlds in her second album Esquemas. The title is a reference to breaking down barriers and the Mexican-American singer does just that across the 14-track LP. She teams up with Colombian singer Karol G for the kiss-off anthem “Mamiii” that mixes mariachi music with reggaeton. Becky G also brings doo-wop and disco-pop in the Latin realm with the trap-infused “Flashback” featuring Elena Rose and the dreamy “Bailé Con Mi Ex.” While embracing who she is, Becky G is pushing pop to new frontiers.
Camila Cabello – Familia
Camila Cabello embraces her Cuban and Mexican roots in her first Latin album Familia. In the soulful ballad “Celia,” Cabello pays tribute to the queen of salsa music Celia Cruz, even referencing Cruz’s signature “¡Azúcar!” line in the lyrics. One of the most fun songs on the album is the playful “Hasta Los Dientes,” where she seamlessly blends her Latin and pop sides alongside Argentine singer María Becerra. Familia is authentic to Cabello as an artist and that is beautifully reflected in this heartfelt LP.
Daddy Yankee – Legendaddy
Over twenty years ago, Daddy Yankee helped globalize reggaeton music. Earlier this year, the Puerto Rican pioneer announced his impending retirement with his last album, Legendaddy. Daddy Yankee made sure to go out with a bang across this 19-track LP while pushing reggaeton to new places. Whether it is teaming up with Bad Bunny for the computerized banger “X Última Vez” or embracing elements of funk and synth-pop in the alluring “Agua” with Rauw Alejandro and CHIC’s Nile Rodgers, reggaeton music’s G.O.A.T. didn’t let his crown slip.
Feid – Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo
Despite his LP leaking a few months ahead of time, Feid made the most of it by releasing it as Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo Te Pirateamos El Álbum. The cheekiness of the album’s title was reflected in the feel-good title track “Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo.” What Feid did the best was serve up the nostalgia and sentimental side behind his Medellín-made reggaeton across the 15-tracks. The chilling intro to “Normal” never leaves the listener like the feelings of Feid’s ex for him. Puerto Rican pioneer Yandel added more emotional baggage to the alluring regagaeton romp “XQ Te Pones Así.” Feid’s knack for mixing vulnerability, sex, and perreo remains unmatched.
Rosalía – MOTOMAMI
Rosalía has created her own lane in pop music that wasn’t bound to any language barriers. Having positioned herself as a global pop star, her 16-track LP experiments with genres from around the world like electronica, reggaeton, flamenco, and bolero. She revs into her new era with “Saoko,” a cyberpunk joyride with a jazz detour. Elsewhere, Rosalía reflects on the toxicity of fame in bachata-infused “La Fama” alongside The Weeknd. She also lets her hair down with the delectable “Chicken Teriyaki” and the bouncy “Bizcochito” that is reminiscent of a Nokia phone ringtone. On MOTOMAMI, Rosalía races into the future with her newfound sound.
Sebastián Yatra – Dharma
Sebastián Yatra proves himself to be an all-around pop star with his third album Dharma. The Colombian singer dabbles in reggaeton in the sweeping “Pareja del Año” with Myke Towers while incorporating elements of classical music that are reminiscent of Bach. He also invites the Jonas Brothers to embrace reggaeton in the buoyant “Runaway” alongside Daddy Yankee and Natti Natasha. With Dharma meaning a “divine purpose” in life, Yatra fulfills that on this adventurous album as a Latin pop revelation.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.