Latino Studies

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 467–483 | Cite as

Reinventing Enrique Iglesias: Constructing Latino whiteness in the Latin urban scene

  • Petra R. Rivera-RideauEmail author
Original Article


In 2014, Enrique Iglesias shattered Latin music records with his hit song, “Bailando,” in collaboration with Afro-Cuban artists Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona, thereby firmly planting himself within the Latin urban music scene. “Bailando” ushered in a new wave of reggaetón-pop fusions that have since dominated the Latin pop market. In so doing, it follows a larger historical trajectory of white Latino artists performing Afro-Latino musical practices, in this case reggaetón. This paper examines media coverage surrounding “Bailando” alongside the song’s accompanying music video to consider how it constructs Latino whiteness. I argue that this Latino whiteness is distinct from US whiteness, but still reproduces racial hierarchies that inform dominant constructions of Latinidad.


Reggaeton Latinidad Race Afro-Latino Whiteness Latin pop 

Reinventando a Enrique Iglesias: La construcción de la blancura en la escena urbana latina


En 2014, Enrique Iglesias rompió los récords musicales con su éxito “Bailando”, una colaboración con los artistas afrocubanos Descemer Bueno y Gente de Zona, colocándose así firmemente en la escena musical urbana latina. “Bailando” marcó el inicio de una nueva ola de fusiones reguetón-pop que desde entonces han dominado el mercado del pop latino. Al hacerlo, da continuación a una trayectoria histórica más amplia de artistas latinos blancos que representan prácticas musicales afrolatinas, en este caso el reguetón. Este artículo examina la cobertura mediática de “Bailando” junto con el vídeo musical que acompaña la canción para analizar cómo esta construye la blancura latina. Proponemos que la blancura latina es distinta a la blancura estadounidense, pero aun así reproduce las jerarquías raciales que informan las construcciones dominantes de latinidad.

Palabras Clave

Reguetón/reggaetón Latinidad Raza Afrolatino/a Blancura Pop Latino 



Thank you to the anonymous reviewers for their generous and helpful feedback. Thank you also to my colleagues in the New England Consortium of Latina/o Studies, especially Marisol Negrón and Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez, for their comments on early versions of this article, and for their encouragement of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA

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