Spanish singers are some of the most popular artists in the world. Their music is notorious for being some of the best for love and romance – as well as a ton of other themes. Sultry, smooth and iconic, these greatest Spanish singers of all time are sure to get you in the spirit for some great music:
1. Enrique Iglesias
Born in Madrid, Spain, Enrique Iglesias is a singer and songwriter who fans have dubbed the “King of Latin Pop” and one of the best Spanish singers of all time. He’s sold more than 180 million records around the world, and he’s had huge hits in the United States. As the son of similarly famous Spanish singer Julio Iglesias, he was destined to become an internationally renowned performer.
Iglesias attended a private high school in Miami, Florida, United States, and his first time performing on stage occurred in his school’s production of “Hello Dolly.” He then went to the University of Miami to study business, but he dropped out after just a year. Iglesias didn’t want his famous last name to help him in the music business, so he submitted a demo to a producer under a fake name.
2. Plácido Domingo
Plácido Domino is a Spanish opera singer and conductor. He’s a member of the internationally famous The Three Tenors singing group, and he’s performed in many languages over the course of his career. He’s made more than 100 operatic recordings and performed more than 150 different roles.
He was born in Madrid, Spain, back in 1941, but grew up in Mexico working with his parents at their zarzuela performance company. His first professional appearance came when he was 16 years old at a concert in Mérida, Yucatán. He started singing as a tenor in various productions shortly after his debut and eventually became a member of the Mexican National Opera.
3. Julio Iglesias
Father to Enrique Iglesias, Julio Iglesias was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1943. He started as a football player for Real Madrid Castilla, but an accident ended his career, and he would eventually become one of the most famous Spanish singers. Over the course of his career, Iglesias has won many accolades, including a Guinness World Record for best-selling Latin artist.
His career as a professional singer began in the last 1960s when he won an international song competition with a song that was eventually used in a film. He landed a record contract with the Spain branch of Columbia Records and released his first studio album shortly after. He eventually moved to Miami, Florida, and began singing in different languages beyond Spanish, including Portuguese, French, and Italian.
4. José Carreras
Born in Barcelona, José Carreras is an operatic tenor with a distinguished career playing roles in operas by Donizetti, Puccini, and Verdi. He’s one-third of The Three Tenors singing group and made his operatic debut at the young age of 11. His first public performance came at an even younger age when he sang “La Donna É Mobile” at the age of 8 on Spanish National Radio.
In search of a better life, his family moved to Argentina when he was a child, but they returned to Spain after just a year. Carreras was interested in music from an early age, and his fascination with singing began when he saw Mario Lanza performing in “The Great Caruso.” He studied music throughout his teenage years and eventually started performing in the 1970s.
5. Montserrat Caballé
Montserrat Caballé was born in Barcelona, Spain, and was one of the most famous Spanish vocalists and opera singers to emerge from the country. She rose to fame due to the excellent command of her voice and was well-known outside of the classical music world. She grew up in humble circumstances and studied music at the Liceu Conservatory. She made her professional debut in Switzerland before moving back to Spain.
Her big international break came in 1965 when she replaced another singer in a performance of “Lucrezia Borgia” at Carnegie Hall in New York City. The performance resulted in a 25-minute standing ovation. She would continue to travel all over the world performing and recording several albums of complete operas.
6. Carlos Marín
Carlos Marín was born in 1968 in West Germany but raised in Madrid, Spain. He was a baritone opera singer who performed with the crossover group Il Divo. Before his fame as an adult, Marín recorded an album when he was just eight years old called “The Little Caruso.”
After performing for many years in opera and zarzuela, Marín joined Il Divo, and the group’s debut album became a multi-platinum selling record. They sold more than 28 million records during his years with them.
7. Manu Chao
Manu Chao was born in France, but his parents were Spanish. He would form a French rock band called Mano Negra that would enjoy success with songs in multiple languages, including Arabic, English, and Spanish. He’s also performed in other languages like Greek, Portuguese, Galician, and Catalan. After the breakup of Mano Negra, Chao went on to a very successful career as a solo artist and became one of the best Spanish singers of all time.
His early work was influenced by rock music in the U.K., and he first toyed around with a rockabilly sound with the group Hot Pants in the 1980s. For every genre and language in which he sings, his style is always lively and energetic. He often mixes different languages in his songs.
8. Alfredo Kraus
Alfredo Kraus was an opera singer from the Canary Islands. He sang as a tenor and was famous for his role in “Werther” by Massenet. His father was Austrian, and his mother was Spanish. His musical career started at the age of four when he took piano lessons. A few years later, he started singing with his church choir and would often sing with his brother, who was a baritone.
During his career, Kraus often performed in Barcelona and Madrid but made his debut in professional opera in 1956 in Cairo, Egypt. He also played the Duke in “Rigoletto,” which eventually became one of his most well-known roles. He sang regularly until his early 70s and took good care of his body, which allowed him to sing into advanced age.
9. Alejandro Sanz
Alejandro Sanz has won almost two dozen Latin Grammy Awards, as well as four Grammy Awards, and is known for his ballads. He’s won Album of the Year at the Latin Grammy Awards three times and has experimented with many genres, including jazz, funk, pop, rock, and R&B. He even had a popular collaboration with Colombian singer Shakira in 2005 with “La Tortura.”
Sanz’s early music often featured romantic ballads, but he expanded his musical style in the 1990s as he began collaborating with other artists and became one of the most famous Spanish singers. In addition to romantic ballads, he’d also record songs in genres like rock, hip hop, and salsa.
10. Adelina Patti
Adelina Patti was a 19th-century opera singer who sang throughout Europe and the Americas. She was born in Madrid, and her parents were both Italian opera singers. Her first public performances were in 1851 when she was just a child, but she would eventually command some of the highest fees ever seen for her appearances. She made her debut at the Academy of Music in New York at the age of 24.
She was a celebrity in her time, and audiences were treated to her entertaining stage presence during her performances. She had a large singing range and was admired by the composer Verdi. Some of her best performances came from weighty roles like Leonora in “Il Trovatore” and Gilda in “Rigoletto.”
11. Camilo Sesto
Camilo Sesto was a jack-of-all-trades with talents in singing, songwriting, and producing. He sold millions of records around the world during his time singing in two bands in the 1960s. He also won a singing contest on a Spanish television show. In the 1970s, Sesto produced and starred in a Spanish interpretation of “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
After many decades of performing as one of the most well-known Spanish vocalists, he announced in 2008 that he would retire from performing. He undertook a farewell tour the next year with performances in South America, the United States, and Latin America. Sesto died shortly before his 73rd birthday, right before he planned to release a new album and go on tour again.
12. Victoria de los Ángeles
Victoria de los Ángeles was an opera singer who was born in Barcelona and studied music at the Barcelona Conservatory. She graduated after just three years, studying with her vocal coach, Dolores Frau. Her operatic debut came in 1941 when she was still a teenager, and she played Mimi in “La Bohème.”
Her professional debut would come a few years later, in 1945, when she played the Countess in “The Marriage Of Figaro.” She won an international singing competition and would soon start to give recitals across the world. She frequently recorded with Swedish tenor Jussi Björling, and the two collaborated on “Madama Butterfly,” “La Bohème,” and “Pagliacci.”
13. Sara Montiel
Sara Montiel was a Spanish singer and actress who also held citizenship in Mexico. She was one of the highest-paid actors in Spanish cinema throughout the 1960s and had roles in more than 50 films. A prolific artist, she also released more than 500 songs in five different languages and became one of the most famous Spanish singers.
Montiel was just 16 years old when she began acting in Spain and starred in many films before also finding success as a singer when a soundtrack for one of the movies she starred in became an international hit. At the height of her success, she was earning $60,000 per film, which was the most of any Spanish-speaking actor at the time.
14. Lola Flores
Lola Flores was born in 1923 in Madrid and was an actress, singer, and businesswoman. She began as a dancer onstage with her debut in “Luces De España” and was eventually discovered by a film director, who convinced her to move to the city to pursue an acting career. Her notable performance in the 1943 film “Zambra” helped her to launch a singing career.
In the years that followed, Flores would produce music in a variety of styles, including flamenco, rumba, copla, and ranchera music. She continued acting throughout the 1950s and eventually began recording albums and touring. She performed across Europe, the United States, and Latin America. Historians consider her a pioneer in Spanish pop culture.
15. David Bisbal
David Bisbal is a songwriter, singer, and actor who was born in Spain in 1979. He’s an internationally renowned performer with several live albums and studio albums to his credit. He’s sold millions of albums since his debut in 2001. He got his start as a participant in a singing contest and became runner-up.
Producers recognized his talent despite his having placed as a runner-up and signed Bisbal to a recording contract. His first album, “Corazón Latino,” went platinum seven times over in 2002 and topped the Spanish charts. He also won a Latin Grammy for his album. He teamed up with American Country singer Carrie Underwood in 2020 on a bilingual single called “Tears Of Gold.”
16. Pablo Alborán
Pablo Alborán is a musician and singer and songwriter with several studio albums and Grammy Award nominations. His second album, “Tanto,” won Album of the Year at the Latin Grammy Awards, and his other albums have also produced several hit singles. In addition to his reputation as one of the best Spanish singers of all time, he was also known to be an excellent guitar and piano player.
His love of music began at a young age, and he learned how to play piano and guitar as a teen. After garnering fame for his recordings, he went on a large concert tour that saw him perform in South America, North America, and Europe. He’s been nominated for more than 20 Latin Grammy Awards.
17. Enrique Bunbury
Enrique Bunbury is a Spanish rock star who began his career as part of the band Héroes del Silencio. After they disbanded, he built a successful solo career with songs in the Latin rock, indie pop, and hard rock genres. However, his first works as a musician were in the early 1980s when he was a member of a garage band.
Bunbury frequently changed his sound on each new album he released and included a wide array of rhythms and genres in his compositions, including blues, salsa, rancheras, and flamenco. He announced his retirement in 2022 due to health problems and decided to cancel his farewell tour early due to worsening health.
18. Concha Buika
Concha Buika is a Spanish singer with decades of experience making Grammy Award-winning and -nominated music. As a musician, she’s delved into several genres, including flamenco, copla, jazz, and soul. A versatile talent, Buika has also released books of poems and composed her own music. She’s also collaborated with singers in several different languages like English, Spanish, French, Catalan, and Portuguese.
Over the course of her career as one of the best Spanish vocalists, Buika has performed all over the world, earning praise for her vocal talents in many countries. Filmmakers have added her music to the soundtracks of several movies, and she’s even had her voice featured on commercials.
19. Camarón de la Isla
Camarón de la Isla was a Spanish-Romani singer who is considered one of the greatest flamenco singers to ever perform. He frequently collaborated with Tomatito and Paco de Lucía, two other incredibly important and successful flamenco performers. As a child, de la Isla earned money for his family by singing at bus stops and motels.
At the age of 16, he won a singing competition at the Festival del Cante Jondo and was then invited to Madrid to become the resident artist at Tablao Torres Bermejas. It was there that he met Paco de Lucia, and the two would form a long collaborative relationship. De la Isla took chances during his career by modernizing flamenco and helping to create the nuevo flamenco movement.
20. Joaquín Sabina
Joaquín Sabina is a prolific singer and songwriter with more than a dozen albums to his credit. His songs often feature subjects like love and heartbreak. Born in Southern Spain, Sabina started writing poems and composing at a very early age. He joined a band when he was a teenager that paid homage to famous singers like Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley.
In 2001, Sabina suffered a stroke and fell into depression. He stayed away from performing for four years after the stroke but eventually recovered and released another album in 2005 called “Alivio De Luto.” Not only is he one of the most famous Spanish vocalists and composers, but he also plays the guitar.
21. Montserrat Martí
Montserrat Martí is the daughter of legendary opera singers Montserrat Caballé and Bernabé Martí. Her first performance came in 1993 when she sang with her mother in London. She would continue to collaborate with her mother on several recordings and performances in the years that followed. Martí eventually moved to Germany to build her career as an opera singer.
Since her debut, she has performed in opera houses around the world, including those in Spain, Russia, Germany, Austria, and the U.K. Some of her popular performances as one of the world’s most famous Spanish singers include those in “Edgar And Le Villi,” “Don Giovanni,” “West Side Story,” and “La Casa De Bernarda Alba.”
22. Joan Manuel Serrat
Joan Manuel Serrat was born in Barcelona in 1943 and received a guitar at the age of 17, playing with classmates at his school. They often played songs by The Beatles and other popular music groups of the era. His talents led him to secure a record deal and eventually join a music group called Els Setze Jutges.
After a long and distinguished career, the Spanish government gave him a medal to honor his contributions to Hispanic culture. He courted controversy when he was chosen to represent Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest and asked to sing the song in his native Catalan rather than Spanish. His request was declined, and Spain replaced him with another singer.
23. Concha Velasco
Born in 1939, Conchita or Concha Velasco studied acting and dance and made her film debut in 1954. She would perform minor roles in several films and eventually earn more prominent roles in films in the 1970s. She was given the nickname “yé-yé girl” after a performance in a 1965 film called “Historias De La Televisión.”
She was honored with several awards in later life, like the Gold Medal for Merit in Fire Arts in 1988, the Cinema Arts and Sciences Medal in 2004, and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Spanish Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2009. During her career, she’s appeared in numerous theater, television, and film productions.
24. Isabel Pantoja
Isabel Pantoja is a Spanish singer with more than a dozen albums under her belt and a career spanning several decades. She was born in 1956 in Seville and started performing very early, around the age of seven. Her first forays into music were with her cousin’s flamenco ensemble. When she reached her teenage years, she met Juan Solano Pedrero, who wrote songs for her alongside poet Rafael de León.
She married a famous bullfighter named Francisco Rivera Pérez in 1983, but he died tragically in the bullring in 1984. After becoming a widow, Pantoja released another album that sold a million copies in her home country of Spain.
Born Rosalía Vila i Tobella in Spain back in 1992, Rosalía is a singer and songwriter of flamenco music. She was the first Spanish-language singer to ever earn a “Best New Artist” nomination at the Grammys and is globally famous for her recordings and performances. Her first international hit came in 2019 with the release of “Con Altura” with artist J Balvin.
Raised in northern Barcelona, Rosalía was keen to perform at an early age and studied at several music schools in her youth, eventually graduating from the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya (ESMUC). During school, she worked by singing at weddings and made several connections in the music industry.
26. Julio Iglesias, Jr.
Born in 1973, Julio Iglesias, Jr. is the son of the singing legend of the same name and the brother of Enrique Iglesias. Not only is he known as a pop singer, following in the footsteps of his famous family, but he’s also spent time modeling and participating in various reality television shows.
Iglesias received several offers to act in soap operas and telenovelas but decided to focus on singing instead. His first two albums were released in the early 2000s, and he enjoyed modest success with those ventures. In the 2010s, he joined a band called Latin Lovers and also performed at concerts with his father in Romania.
27. Najwa Nimri
Najwa Nimri found fame as an actress in a TV drama called “La Casa De Papel.” She ventured into singing by helping to form an ensemble called NajwaJean with singing partner Carlos Jean. She’s also released a handful of solo albums.
Nimri is half Jordanian and half Spanish and was first famous as an actress before moving into the singing world, where she became one of the most famous Spanish singers. Born in 1972 in Pamplona, Navarre, Spain, she had a son she named Teo in 2004. She was married to Daniel Calparsoro from 1995 to 2000.
28. Álvaro Soler
Álvaro Soler traveled all over the world as a youth and became multilingual as a result of his German, Spanish, and Belgian heritage. While living in Japan as a teenager with his family, he took piano lessons. When he returned to Barcelona, he helped found a music band called Urban Lights with his brother and a few friends.
In 2014, Soler decided to break from the band and pursue a solo career. He established himself as a musician in Berlin, Germany, and released a song called “El Mismo Sol,” which climbed the charts rapidly in Italy and was also popular in Switzerland. Since his initial success, Soler has released more successful singles.
29. Rosario Flores
Rosario Flores is the daughter of famous singer Lola Flores and singer and songwriter Antonio Flores. Specializing in free jazz, flamenco, progressive rock, and bossa nova, she has cultivated a diverse style on her albums. She’s been nominated for several Latin Grammy Awards, including “Best Female Rock Vocal Performance” and “Best Female Pop Vocal Album.”
She gave birth to her second son on January 21, 2006, which just happened to be the same birthdate as her mother, Lola Flores, another of the best Spanish singers of all time. Some of her recent albums include “Raskatriski” in 2011, “Rosario” in 2013, and “Gloria A Ti” in 2016.
30. Antonio Flores
Born in Madrid in 1961, Antonio Flores was a Spanish singer and songwriter who gained fame as a pop singer with songs about classic topics like love, nostalgia, and poetry. He occasionally appeared in television series and movies. He was born into a family that was already very involved in performing arts in Spain and was the son of two performers.
He released his first album in 1980, but the album sold very poorly. He released a second and third album, but those discs also didn’t go very far with sales or recognition. He achieved brief commercial success in 1995 with his album entitled “Cosas Mías,” but he wouldn’t get to enjoy his fame for very long. His mother passed away in 1995, and he fell into a deep depression after her death. He died from suicide just two weeks after her death.
31. Lilian Garcia
Lilian Garcia is a singer, podcaster, and ring announcer. She was born in Spain and spent the first several years of her life in Madrid. She is fluent in Spanish and English and would eventually return to the United States, where she graduated from a high school in South Carolina. She participated in beauty contests when she was a teenager and eventually started working as a VJ in Georgia for a local TV station.
Garcia began singing very early when she was a child in Madrid and when she became a ring announcer in 2001 for the “Monday Night Raw” wrestling show. She sang the national anthem of the United States before each show, but she eventually left the show in 2016. She’s also co-written songs and worked on solo albums and has become one of the most famous Spanish singers to have performed in America.
Jeanette was born in England and didn’t know any Spanish when she moved to Spain at the age of 12. But with the help of her Spanish mother and some friends she made at school, she learned the language. In her youth, she spent time in London, Chicago, and La Habra, a city near Los Angeles, California.
Jeanette’s rise to fame began in the 1960s when she joined a student band called Pic-Nic, which found some success with a folk interpretation of a Spanish children’s song. The band eventually dissolved, and Jeanette embarked on a solo career in the 1970s with success in Spain and France.
Born Aitana Ocaña Morales in 1999, the young singer found fame in 2017 when she placed runner-up in “Operación Triunfo,” a Spanish reality television show. She released a song with another contestant, Ana Guerra, in a bid to become the Spanish representative at the 2018 Eurovision, and the song became a huge hit in Spain and established her as one of the most famous Spanish singers of the 2010s.
She released an album in 2019 called “Spoiler,” which was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album at the Latin Grammys. During her career, Aitana earned the title of “Spanish Princess of Pop.” She’s also been a coach on the television series “La Voz Kids.”
Edurne Garciá Almagro, who goes by Edurne professionally, was born in Madrid. She became famous after participating in the reality television show “Operación Triunfo.” She finished sixth place in 2006 and eventually represented Spain in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. She finished in 21st place on the show.
She began auditioning for singing and acting roles in her childhood, and she joined a group called Trastos at the age of nine. She also had some minor roles on Spanish television. Edurne released several studio albums in the 2000s and 2010s and eventually joined the cast of a daytime soap opera called “Demasiado Tarde.”
35. Abraham Mateo
Abraham Mateo is a talented singer, actor, and songwriter and has even tried his hand at producing music. He started winning awards for his performances at the tender age of seven and won the Revelation Prize at the country’s national music contest for children. He had signed a recording contract with EMI Music Spain by the time he turned ten.
He’s collaborated with several American artists, including Jennifer Lopez, Austin Mahone, and 50 Cent, as well as embarked on a popular series of concerts in Latin America and his home country. In addition to filling stadiums at his concerts, he’s also involved in music production for up-and-coming artists.
As the Head Editor and Writer at Music Grotto, Liam helps write and edit content produced from professional music/media journalists and other contributing writers. He works closely with journalists and other staff to format and publish music content for the Music Grotto website. Liam is also the founding member of Music Grotto and is passionate in disseminating editorial content to its readers.
Liam’s lifelong love for music makes his role at Music Grotto such a rewarding one. He loves researching, writing and editing music content for Music Grotto.