It’s no secret that Latinas are a force to be reckoned with. We’re strong, independent, fierce, and proud of our culture and heritage. So, it comes as no surprise to us that they're are many famous Latinas who have spent their career overcoming obstacles and outshining their male counterparts. Here's a list of 10 Latinas Who Have Broken Barriers in their careers:
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Texas born tejano singer, Selena Quintanilla, will forever be remembered as the ultimate Latina icon, legend, and role model. The talented Mexican-American singer broke countless barriers in her too-short career. She was the first woman to achieve mainstream success in the world of tejano music, and it didn’t take her long to surpass her male counterparts. Selena was the first tejano artist to boast a Gold Record and the first to win a Grammy Award!
Cuban-born Gloria Estefan is more than just a Latina icon – she’s a true revolutionary who changed the face of Latin American music in America! Estefan has won a staggering seven Grammy Awards, and sold over 31 million records in the United States alone. She broke barriers when she surpassed her male peers to become the most successful Latin crossover artist in American music history!
Jenni Rivera was introduced to the genres of norteña, banda, and ranchera at a young age by her Mexican immigrant parents. Despite her experiences as a teenager mother and her working-class background, Rivera became one of the most beloved and successful Mexican-American singers of all time. Although the norteña scene was dominated by male artists when Rivera began her career, she fought to the top and became the most wildly successful artist within the genre, selling over 15 million albums worldwide!
This colombiana has used her singing talent, her energetic spirit, and of course, her sultry dance moves to become one of the most successful crossover artists of all time. In addition to holding the title for highest-selling Colombian artist, Shakira has won countless awards, including two Grammy Awards, eight Latin Grammy Awards, and seven Billboard Music Awards. Most notably, her official song for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”, is the highest-selling World Cup anthem of all time. That’s quite an achievement!
Love her or hate her, the Puerto Rican singer, actress, and businesswoman boasts a successful and illustrious career on and off the screen! JLo was the first celebrity to truly achieve success both on the silver screen and over the airwaves. She can proudly declare that she was the first person to have a number one album and a number one movie in the same week!
This colorful cubana used her talent and flamboyant personality to soar above the boundaries set for her and become one of the most successful salsa artists of all time. When Celia Cruz was first introduced as the singer for “Sonora Matancera”, a popular Cuban salsa band, the public did not respond favorably. Cruz ignored the criticism, and used her powerful vocals and energetic stage presence to win over the hearts of Cubans and become the uncontested “Queen of Salsa.” Azucar!
This Puerto Rican Broadway star revolutionized the stage, and inaugurated some of the most famous roles to ever hit the stage. Chita Rivera played Anita in the original stage production of West Side Story and appeared as Velma Kelly in the original cast of Chicago. In 2002, the acclaimed actress broke an important barrier for all Latinos when she became the first Latino American to receive a Kennedy Center Honor.
Thalia is one Latina who truly does it all! The Mexican singer, actress, songwriter, author, and businesswoman has achieved success in all facets of her career. Her musical success has earned her countless awards, helped her sell over $40 million records, and earned her the title of “Queen of Latin Pop!”
Cuban Daisy Fuentes is one of the first major Latina television personalities and models to achieve mainstream success in the United States. In 1993, she joined MTV as the first Latina VJ, and a few years later she became the first Latina spokesperson to be signed to a worldwide contract for Revlon. The 46-year-old overcome countless obstacles to become one of the most recognizable Latinas on television. Fuentes hasn’t stopped since! She now has a successful clothing collection, video game, and hair line!
The Mexican singer, actress, and TV personality has sold over 20 million albums worldwide and become one of the most influential Latina celebrities in the world. Recently, the Mexican-American achieved the ultimate crossover success when she was invited to judge two singing competitions: La Voz Kids in Mexico and The X Factor in the United States!