Mexico is a country with an incredibly rich culture, and it’s plain to see that in its music scene. From regional genres to the country’s own styles of rock and pop music, there’s no shortage of amazing Mexican vocalists out there. In this article, we’ll go over the 31 best Mexican singers of all time.
1. Vicente Fernández
The Idol of Mexico is a cultural icon in the country, recording over 100 albums and working on more than 30 films. Vicente Fernández typically sings rancheras and other classic styles of Mexican music, even being named the greatest Mexican singer of all time by Rolling Stone and featured on their 200 Best Singers of All Time List. Throughout his career, he has earned four Grammy Awards, nine Latin Grammy Awards, 14 Lo Nuestro Awards, and even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Selena Quintanilla Pérez was an American Tejano singer who became one of the most celebrated Mexican-American singers of the 20th century. It may be a bit dishonest to include her here since she was born in Texas, but she’s still one of the most impressive icons of Mexican music. When it came to success on Latin album and sign charts, Billboard named her as the third Greatest Latino Artist of All Time, and she was almost solely responsible for bringing Tejano music into the mainstream music world.
In 1982, she released Entre A Mi Mundo, her second album, which sat atop the US Billboard Regional Mexican Albums chart for eight consecutive months. Seven years later, she signed with EMI Latin, but unfortunately, her career was cut tragically short. She still became one of the best-selling female Latin artists of all time and won several awards including a Grammy Award at the 1994 annual award show.
Thalía is still active as an artist today and is known as the Queen of Latin Pop music. One of the best-selling Latin artists of all time with over 25 million worldwide record sales, she produces songs in her native Spanish, as well as English, French, Portuguese, and Tagalog. Her music career has earned her eight Lo Nuestro Awards, seven Latin Grammy nominations, and five Billboard Latin Music Awards. In 2013, she even received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Outside of music, she also happens to be a very successful actress, starring in Latin soap operas that have aired in over 180 countries worldwide and made her the most recognized Spanish-speaking soap star in the world according to Billboard. With still more talents and interests, the multi-faceted star owns a successful fashion brand that features at Macy’s, has written four books, and hosts a radio show.
4. Luis Miguel
You don’t get a nickname like The Sun of Mexico for no reason, so it should come as no surprise that Luis Miguel Gallego Basteri is an incredibly successful singer. The Puerto Rican-born Mexican artist spans several genres and styles but never crossed into English markets and only records in the Spanish language. He helped popularize the bolero genre in mainstream markets, becoming one of the best-selling Latin artists of all time with over 60 million worldwide record sales.
His duet with Sheena Easton on the song Me Gustas Tal Como Eres made him the youngest male artist to ever win a Grammy Award, and his career would continue so successfully that he owns the most Top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. In 2020, Billboard put together its Greatest of All Time Latin Artists chart and placed him in the number-two position.
5. Juan Gabriel
Juan Gabriel is among Latin America’s greatest and best-selling singers and songwriters with over 60 million worldwide record sales. His career would see him pen around 1,800 songs that he either performed himself or had other Latin artists perform. Nicknames for him included Juanga and El Divo De Juarez, and he’s been referred to as a pop icon in Mexico thanks to his flamboyant performances.
Thirty-one of his songs charted on the Hot Latin charts, with seven of them reaching number one. Billboard named him one of the 30 most influential Latino artists in history in 2015, and he has been inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame and the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.
6. José Alfredo Jiménez
José Alfredo Jiménez Sandoval was a singer and songwriter who specialized in rancheras. For those unaware, this is a genre of traditional Mexican music that dates back all the way to before the Mexican Revolution and is widely considered the basis for modern Mexican music. When he started out, he had no idea how to play an instrument and didn’t even know what key a song would be played in.
Ultimately, he would compose more than 1,000 songs, often singing about his home state of Guanajuato. At 47, his career was cut short by his death in Mexico City due to liver issues, but in 2018, he was posthumously awarded the Latin Grammy Award for Album of the Year for an album by Luis Miguel. This was because six of the 14 songs on the album were composed by Jiménez, not by Miguel, making him unable to win the award.
7. Jorge Negrete
Jorge Negrete learned several languages as a child including Spanish, English, German, French, and Italian. He would eventually study under the illustrious music professor José Pierson and developed his talent as an opera singer, allowing him to sing for Radio XETR by the age of 20.
He headed to the US in 1932 and recorded a few operas under the stage name Alberto Moreno before he started an acting career that saw him star in 37 films. He worked everywhere, from Cuba to Hollywood, filming movies and singing alongside other Latin musicians. While he may be best known for his acting career, he is undoubtedly one of Mexico’s most talented vocalists.
8. José José
José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz is another Mexican singer and actor who began his music career at an early age. He learned to play the guitar, sing in serenades, and play the bass in jazz trios. In the 1970s, he found his footing as a solo artist with a performance of El Triste at a Latin music festival in Mexico City. From that moment on, he consistently charted songs on Latin music charts in Mexico, and in the 1980s, he found international acclaim.
His 1983 album Secretos sold over 25 million copies, and its success helped him go on to receive Grammy nominations and sell out some of the most prestigious arena venues in North America. His style and performances are responsible for influencing many other Latin artists throughout his 40-plus-year career.
9. Lila Downs
Ana Lila Downs Sánchez incorporates indigenous Mexican elements into her music, going as far as recording in indigenous languages like Mixtec, Mayan, Purepecha, Zapotec, and Nahuatl. After studying at the Institute of Arts by Oaxaca and the University of Minnesota, she started her music career performing in the traditional music scene of Oaxaca City. Her career would see her become internationally acclaimed in the music world, earning her one Grammy Award and three Latin Grammy Awards.
Outside of music, she is an incredible activist for keeping the Mixtec language alive and preserving traditional Mexican cultures. She also does a lot of humanitarian work in addition to political activism, specifically focusing on Latin America’s indigenous populations.
10. Alejandro Fernández
Alejandro Fernández Abarca is one of the best-selling Hispanic artists of all time with over 20 million worldwide record sales. Known as El Potrillo by his fans, he’s actually the son of the singer at the top of our list, Vicente Fernández.
Abarca’s early career saw him focus on the mariachi and charro genres of Mexican folk music, but he eventually moved on to pop music and found even more success. A pair of Latin Grammy Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are the two biggest accolades of his career, though he’s found success outside of music as a business owner as well.
11. Paulina Rubio
Paulina Susana Rubio Dosamantes is another Mexican singer with a claim to the title Queen of Latin Pop. She found initial success as a member of the group Timbiriche but began a solo career in 1991 and has earned over 15 million worldwide record sales. In the mid-1990s, she was EMI Latin’s best-selling female artist and has since diversified her Latin pop sound to include elements of electro, dance, and American pop music.
Three of her albums have made it to number one on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, five of her singles sat atop the US Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, and she’s found chart-topping success in most Hispanic countries. Forbes Mexico has included her in its list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Mexico twice, and Billboard ranked her as one of the Greatest Latin Artists of All Time in 2020.
12. Mimi Fariña
Margarita Mimi Baez Fariña was born in California to the Mexican-American physicist, Albert Baez. Due to her father’s job, she moved around a lot as a child and became part of the folk music revival in the US during the 1960s. She eventually met Richard Fariña in 1963 and collaborated with him on several influential folk albums before his death. After that, she found great success as a singer, songwriter, and activist, performing at numerous festivals in California and performing and recording with her sister, Joan Baez.
13. Natalia Lafourcade
María Natalia Lafourcade Silva debuted in 2002 and has become one of the most successful singers in all of Latin America. Her first album, a self-titled one, was a unique blend of pop, rock, Latin rhythms, and bossa-nova music that earned her a Latin Grammy nomination for Best New Artist and Rock New Artist at the Lo Nuestro Awards.
In 2016, she won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock, Urban, or Alternative Album and won the Best Regional Mexican Music Album Grammy Award in 2021. Her success at the Latin Grammy Awards though is utterly incredible, earning a total of 14 nominations and an additional 14 award wins.
14. Marco Antonio Solís
Marco Antonio Solís Sosa began a solo career after a 20-year stint as the guitarist and lead vocalist of Los Bukis, releasing his first-ever solo album En Pleno Vuelo in 1996. A music career that began at the age of six would see him recognized as Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy, an induction into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame, and five wins at the Latin Grammy Awards.
15. Pedro Infante
Pedro Infante Cruz is mainly known for his ranchera music and acting career during the golden age of Mexican cinema. Wildly talented as a musician, he spent time as part of the Orquestra Estrella de Culiacan as a singer, violinist, and drummer. By the end of his career, he acted in more than 60 movies and recorded well over 250 songs. His career was unfortunately cut short as the plane carrying him to Mexico City crashed in 1957.
María Olvido Gara Jova is better known by the stage name Alaska and is one of the founding members of La Movida Madrilena. She has been a member of several successful bands including Kaka da Luxe, Alaska Y Dinarama, and Fangoria. From Latin America to Spain, she’s known as a pop icon, especially in Spain during the 1980s. Born in Mexico City, she was mainly inspired to get started in music thanks to the punk movement and has even been featured on several television shows.
17. Gloria Trevi
Known as The Supreme Diva of Mexican Pop, Gloria de los Ángeles Treviño Ruiz or Gloria Trevi is another one of Mexico’s stars that can quite literally do it all. She found initial music success with her Latin American number-one hit Dr. Psiquiatra and has released a total of 13 solo studio albums. Outside of scoring several Latin chart hits, she’s also an actress, songwriter, TV host, director, and businesswoman.
18. Javier Solís
Gabriel Siria Levario specialized in the bolero and ranchera genres, finding a starting point for his career in competitions that saw the winner receive a brand-new pair of shoes. He recorded his first album in 1950 with CBS Records but gained international recognition in 1957 while touring across much of North America.
His boleros mixed elements of the ranchero into their sound, making him one of the first to sing songs that fit under the bolero-ranchero style today. He had a wide range, performing ballads, corridos, waltzes, tangos, and danzónes alongside his favored styles.
María Fernanda Blázquez Gil is known as Fey and rose to fame with a self-titled debut album in 1995. Her second album, Tierna La Noche, made it to number 10 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart, but in total, she has released seven studio albums. She’s best known for the international tour that helped promote her third studio album, El Color De Los Sueños.
20. Diana Reyes
Diana Reyes specializes in regional Mexican music. It’s a genre that can include banda, country en espanol, mariachi, Tejano, and many other styles. Since 2004, she has achieved gold certification for three separate albums in La Reina Del Pasito Duranguense, Las No. 1 De La Reina, and Te Voy A Mostrar.
Samuel Parra Cruz is a Mexican pop singer and songwriter that initially gained prominence in the band, Camila. In 2008, the group earned a Latin Grammy Award nomination for Song of the Year thanks to the single Todo Cambio, but the band’s second album found even more success. Dejarte De Amar debuted at the top of the Latin charts in Mexico and the US, earning the band three Latin Grammy Awards in 2010: Record of the Year, Song of the Year (for “Mientes”), and Pop Vocal Album by a Group.
22. Lola Beltrán
María Lucila Beltrán Ruiz has always been one of Mexico’s most beloved singers of ranchera and Huapango music. Her singing talent would see her perform for numerous world leaders, collaborate with other Mexican music stars, and find international recognition as a vocalist. Her music career also earned her a palace as an actress and television presenter, starring in movies from 1940 until 1982 and appearing in 19 episodes of the telenovela, Mi Rival.
23. Rick Trevino
Rick Trevino is a country music artist of Mexican heritage, the son of Tejano singer Ricardo Trevino, Sr. His albums have been produced in both Spanish and English, though he is not a native Spanish speaker. Dos Mundos, his debut album, was done entirely in Spanish at the behest of the recording studio.
The debut single Just Enough Rope was the first mainstream country song to have both a Spanish and English version. In total, he has charted fourteen singles on the Billboard Hot Country Charts, with a single number-one song in 1996, Running Out Of Reasons To Run.
24. Alfonso Herrera
Alfonso Herrera is probably better known for his work as an actor, whether that be on theater stages, on television, or in films. He spent time as a member of the Mexican Latin pop group RBD, which also starred in a fictional telenovela about the band members’ lives.
While they, like Herrera, may be more famous from the TV show, they sold over 15 million records worldwide and produced six studio albums. They not only had hit singles that topped Latin charts but their fifth album, Empezar Desde Cero, was also nominated for a Latin Grammy Award in 2007.
25. Chico Che
Chico Che was a Mexican singer, musician, and songwriter that found hit songs in the singles De Quen Chon and Quien Pompo. A masterful guitar player, he was almost entirely self-taught and never had any sort of formal teacher or training. His music career would see him form several relatively influential groups in Los 7 Modernistas, La Crisis, and Los Temerarios.
26. Joan Baez
Sister of Mimi Fariña, vaunted folk musician Joan Baez had a similar upbringing to her sister. Born in the US, she was wildly influential in the 1960s counterculture movement and sang folk, rock, pop, country, and gospel music. She was even one of the first artists to record Bob Dylan’s songs in the 1960s and became an internationally celebrated artist.
Her 60-plus-year career saw her release over 30 albums, producing songs in over eight different languages. At Woodstock in 1969, she played 14 songs and spent her entire life dedicated to social and political activism. In 2017, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
27. Chalino Sánchez
Chalino Sánchez is generally considered one of the most important narcocorrido singers of the 20th century. He was one of the early pioneers of the genre, telling the stories of organized crime in the region and preserving stories of inmates he met during a prison stint.
That wasn’t the entirety of his repertoire though, he produced plenty of radio-friendly songs, however, the darker side of his music wasn’t just for show. In 1992, he was involved in a gun battle at one of his shows. Four months later, he was found dead of an apparent shooting.
Belinda Peregrín Schüll started her career as a child actor, but her debut studio album sold over one million copies. Her second album won two Latin Grammy Award nominations and platinum certification in Mexico, producing three Top 10 singles.
29. Armando Manzanero
Armando Manzanero is one of Mexico’s most successful composers, receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014. He’s best known for his work as a romantic composer and as a Mayan singer.
30. Ramón Ayala
Ramón Ayala is a Mexican singer and songwriter that specializes in Norteno music, one of Mexico’s regional styles. He has an extensive discography going back to 1971, releasing at least 27 albums.
Anahí was another member of the group RBD and a successful solo artist who released her debut studio album at the age of 10. Her first worldwide tour was one of the most profitable of 2010. She became the first Mexican artist to reach the top of the Billboard Brazil charts for her album, Inesperado. In total, she’s sold over five million albums worldwide just as a soloist.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
quality content for the Music Grotto website. Dakotah is passionate about music in a wide variety of genres, from hip-hop to country and lo-fi to metal, and he enjoys creating music pieces for Music Grotto.