The Dominican Republic is home to the hip-swinging genre, merengue, and one of the most heart wrenching forms of music in history, bachata. Both genres have produced many of Latin music’s luminaries including Juan Luis Guerra, Romeo Santos, Milly Quezada and many more. Tato!
1. Juan Luis Guerra
Juan Luis Guerra
The Dominican legend has sold over 30 million records and won 15 Latin Grammys, two Grammys and two Latin Billboard Music awards.
2. Romeo Santos
Romeo and his former Aventura bandmates are singlehandedly responsible for bringing bachata into the mainstream of Latin music.
3. Milly, Jocelyn y Los Vecinos
Milly, Jocelyn y Los Vecinos
Fronted by the Quezada sisters (Milly was the star, though), this quartet took over 1980s merengue.
4. Monchy y Alexandra
Monchy y Alexandra
This Dominican duo is largely credited with bringing bachata to listeners outside of their native isle.
5. Los Hermanos Rosario
Los Hermanos Rosario
Brothers Rafa, Luis and Tony Rosario became the masters of the “swing” in the 1990s with their fast-paced merengue hits including “The Mistress of Swing.”
6. Johnny Ventura
Ventura is perhaps the paramount figure in merengue—popularizing the genre in the 1960s.
7. Jose “El Canario” Alberto
Jose “El Canario” Alberto
El Canario is the preeminent dominicano salsera. He’s even a member of the Fania All-Stars. Enough said.
8. Sergio Vargas
With a career that spans four decades, Vargas remains one of Dominican Republic’s highest selling artists.
9. Angela Carrasco
One of the original divas of Latin America, one of Carrasco’s biggest hits “Boca Rosa” topped the Latin Billboard charts in 1988.
10. Luis Vargas
Vargas is one of the most influential bachata singers ever. Imagine this: Antony Santos, another bachata legend, began his career as Vargas’ güira player.
11. Antony Santos
El Mayimbe changed the bachata game when he started meshing in romantic themes.
12. Prince Royce
Ladies love cool Royce for his dimples, his moves, his songs, his voice—but mainly for his dimples. Aside from his looks, this boy got talent!
13. Los Toros Band
Los Toros Band
Led by Hector Acosta, Los Toros Band were one of the biggest merengue bands of the 90s and aughts.
14. Fernando Villalona
After battling addiction and heartbreak in the ‘90s, this merengue icon came back with a Christian album, Mi Luz.
15. Wilfrido Vargas
Vargas is a merenguero do-it-all—bandleader, trumpeter, vocalist, arranger, composer and producer.