The Top 20 Songs of 2023 by Latina Artists

MUSICABy 2023-12-28T14:26:53-05:00December 28th, 2023|
  • Still of "TQG" music video by Karol G and Shakira.

As we bid farewell to 2023, LATINA’s taking a look back on the standout musical moments of the year and spotlighting the brilliant work of Latina musicians. Icons like Shakira, Karol G, and Young Miko played pivotal roles in propelling Latin music to new global heights. Meanwhile, Becky G proudly embraced her Mexican heritage, infusing her artistry with cultural richness. Kenia Os, Emilia, and Danna Paola, in turn, revitalized the Latin pop scene with their undeniable talents. And amidst the musical landscape, a wave of fresh Latina stars emerged, capturing hearts and playlists alike—J Noa, GALE, and Conexión Divina being among the rising luminaries.

Without further ado, join LATINA as we unveil the definitive list of the 20 best songs of 2023 by Latinas, a testament to the diversity and dynamism that defined this extraordinary year.

20. Sofia Reyes and Danna Paola, “tqum”

Sofia Reyes ventured into hyperpop, making history as one of the first Latin artists to do so. Collaborating with compatriot Danna Paola, they delivered the bubbly heartbreak anthem “tqum,” exploring the theme of longing for an ex while on a long airplane ride. This refreshing collaboration is featured on Reyes’ third album, “Milamores.”

19. Nicki Nicole and Milo J, “Dispara”

In her most personal and empowering album to date, Nicki Nicole channels heartbreak into the standout track “Dispara.” Teaming up with Milo J, the Argentine singer uses cutting lyrics to metaphorically unload a magazine of bullets, asserting her strength and resilience against her naysayers. Nicole describes the album as a healing journey, as shared with LATINA back in May.

18. Mon Laferte, “NO+SAD”

Mon Laferte returned with the experimental album “Autopoiética,” featuring the defiant reggaeton-infused track “NO+SAD.” The Chilean icon showed that any genre can become alternative with her adventurous touch while delivering a fierce message about harnessing the power of women’s resilience against discrimination, harassment, and sexism.

17. Conexión Divina and Gabito Ballesteros, “Paso a Pasito”

Breaking barriers in the male-dominated regional Mexican music scene, Conexión Divina represents the voice of women. After a notable performance at Coachella, the all-girl sierreño group released their debut album, “Tres Mundos,” featuring the fiery standout track “Paso a Pasito” with Mexican singer Gabito Ballesteros. The song harmonizes on withstanding life’s challenges.

16. Bad Gyal, Young Miko, and Tokischa, “Chulo, Pt. 2”

Bad Gyal’s breakthrough hit “Chulo” gained momentum with the stellar remix featuring Puerto Rico’s Young Miko and the Dominican Republic’s Tokischa. The remix not only amplified girl power but also turned the song into a queer-positive club banger. The upcoming release of Bad Gyal’s debut album, “La Joia,” is highly anticipated for January 26, 2024.

15. Kali Uchis and Karol G, “Labios Mordidos”

As Kali Uchis prepares to release her second Latin album, “Orquídeas,” she joins forces with fellow Colombian queen Karol G for “Labios Mordidos.” The alluring reggaeton track sees Uchis and Karol G celebrating womanhood, with Uchis proudly expressing her bisexual identity in this explosive collaboration.

14. Anitta, “Used to Be”

Undergoing significant changes in her career, Anitta left Warner to join the Universal label roster, taking more control of her music. In “Used to Be,” she continues to globalize Brazilian funk by blending it with EDM, singing in English, Spanish, and Portuguese about settling down after indulging in life’s pleasures.

13. Goyo, “Tumbao”

In addition to her work with ChocQuibTown, Goyo shines as a solo artist. The Colombian superstar, the first Afro-Latina artist to perform at this year’s more inclusive Victoria’s Secret fashion show, combines funky rhythms and reggaeton in the empowering anthem “Tumbao.” Goyo celebrates the power of her “tumbao” that has shaped her into the fierce woman she is today.

12. Melanie Martinez, “Death”

After reinventing herself from her “Crybaby” persona, Melanie Martinez emerges as one of the top alternative acts of the year. The singer-songwriter of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent returns with the twisted track “Death” from her “Portals” album. Martinez has a knack for delivering dark messages, such as a eulogy for who she used to be, in bright and biting pop songs like this.

11. Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj, “Princess Diana” Remix

Ice Spice, one of this year’s breakout stars, pushes the drill music scene forward with her debut EP “Like..?” In the fierce banger “Princess Diana,” she flaunts her baddie swagger and receives a powerful co-sign from Trinidadian icon Nicki Minaj. Ice Spice’s nomination for Best New Artist at the 2024 Grammy Awards solidifies her impact.

10. Yahritza y Su Esencia and Grupo Frontera, “Frágil”

Yahritza Martinez of Yahritza y Su Esencia is a trailblazer for women in regional Mexican music. Collaborating with Grupo Frontera on the global hit “Frágil,” the Mexican-American bands blend Martinez’s heartbreaking sierreño soul with Grupo Frontera’s cumbia-norteño sound, exploring the troubles of a fragile heart.

9. Danna Paola, “Tenemos Que Hablar”

Danna Paola turns a dark chapter in her life into illuminating pop music with “Tenemos Que Hablar.” The Mexican pop star reveals her struggles with a controlling management team, using the synth-pop track to communicate with her younger self about letting go of the past to take control of her future.

8. GALE, “Nuestra Canción”

After writing for renowned artists like Christina Aguilera and Shakira, GALE finds her voice with the debut album “Lo Que No Te Dije.” One of the brightest moments on the Puerto Rican singer’s LP is the feel-good “Nuestra Canción,” blending reggaeton beats with synth-pop elements. GALE sings about shaking off heartbreak by hitting the dance floor.

7. Emilia, “GTA.mp3”

Reviving Latin pop music, Emilia embraces the sound of the 2000s in her latest album “.MP3.” Channeling Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” the Argentine singer delivers the alluring house music banger “GTA.mp3,” expressing her infatuation with a hot-and-heavy lover.

6. Kenia Os, “Malas Decisiones”

Kenia Os brings Latin pop back to the global stage with her viral breakthrough hit “Malas Decisiones.” Backed by bouncy beats, Os sings about the readiness to risk it all for a forbidden romance in this fierce and flirty synth-pop bop, a highlight from her second album “K23,” which earned her a Latin Grammy nomination.

5. Becky G and Peso Pluma, “Chanel”

Becky G proudly embraces her Mexican roots in her third album “Esquinas.” Dabbling in corridos tumbados for the first time, she collaborates with Mexican singer Peso Pluma on the fiery corrido “Chanel.” The artists commiserate over a relationship that has sadly run its course, showcasing another facet of Becky G’s artistic versatility.

4. Young Miko, “Lisa”

The future of reggaeton and Latin trap shines with the success of Young Miko. Collaborating with Bad Bunny, Karol G, and Feid, Young Miko asserts her identity with the hit single “Lisa,” where she name-checks all the women she has fallen in love with in this swaggering trap track. The rising Puerto Rican star establishes herself as a force to be reckoned with.

3. J Noa, “No Me Pueden Parar”

Dominican rapper J Noa makes a powerful statement in Latin hip-hop with her debut EP “Autodidacta.” Unleashing fierce rhymes that speak truth to power, J Noa affirms her determination in “No Me Pueden Parar.” Her electrifying rap flow earns her a Latin Grammy nomination, marking her as a rising star in the genre.

2. Karol G and Shakira, “TQG”

A seismic shift occurs when two Colombian queens, Karol G and Shakira, collaborate on “TQG.” Both artists cut down their exes while uplifting each other in this knockout track. Karol G anticipates the significance of their collaboration, stating, “It’s incredible that we have this moment with this female collaboration in front of the world.” Karol G makes history as “Mañana Será Bonito” becomes the first all-Spanish album by a woman to open atop the Billboard 200 chart.

1. Shakira and Bizarrap, “BZRP Music Sessions #53”

Undoubtedly, 2023 belongs to Shakira. The Colombian icon turns heartbreak into a cathartic anthem in collaboration with Argentine producer Bizarrap on “BZRP Music Sessions #53.” This globally impactful session sees Shakira cleverly addressing her ex, Gerard Piqué, and his alleged infidelity. Her empowering lyric, “Women don’t cry anymore, women get paid,” encapsulates her current state of empowerment. Shakira unleashes her inner “She Wolf” once again, delivering one of pop’s most savage takedowns.

Lucas Villa is a freelance music contributor for LATINA. His work is also featured in Rolling Stone, Billboard, Teen Vogue, MTV News, and W Magazine.