Calibash brings Latin music superstars to Las Vegas

Updated January 24, 2019 - 1:28 pm

Time to go back to the future in a 20,000-seat discotheque.

The theme will be retro, the sounds anything but, when Calibash returns to T-Mobile Arena.

The Latin music megaconcert will be outfitted with a disco vibe complete with a planetoid-size disco ball when the stacked lineup comes together Saturday.

It’s an of-the-moment show: Latin music has never been more popular, expanding into the American mainstream with some of the biggest names in pop and rap getting into the game.

Here’s a primer on some of the Calibash performers leading the way:

Enrique Iglesias

Sounds like: Your girlfriend trying to stifle her sighs upon the mere thought of the infuriatingly handsome superstar.

His story: Latin music’s crossover king, Iglesias has notched more than 150 No. 1 songs across the various Billboard charts, including a record-setting 27 No. 1 Spanish-language singles on the Hot Latin Tracks chart and 14 No. 1 tracks on Billboard’s Dance charts, which also sets the bar for male artists. Can’t really blame your lady for all that swooning, can you?

Track to check out: “Tonight (I’m [Expletive] You).” This insistently danceable number expresses strong feelings with strong language.

Ozuna

Sounds like: Money in the bank. This dude has been generating more hits than a batting cage of late.

His story: A baby-faced face of Latin music’s ever-growing commercial reach, Ozuna scored the biggest opening-week sales for a Latin music artist in 2018 with his second record, “Aura,” which moved 49,000 album equivalent units and debuted in the top 10 in August. And that was just for starters: He was YouTube’s most-viewed artist globally last year, generating more than a billion views for his single “Se Preparo” alone since it premiered in 2017.

Track to check out: “La Modelo.” Cardi B goes bilingual!

Bad Bunny

Sounds like: A delinquent hare, obviously.

His story: From grocery bags to riches, this former Soundcloud sensation self-released his first tunes while working at a grocery store in his native Puerto Rico. He’s since become a Latin trap pacesetter, his excellent, full-length debut, “X 100pre,” strong enough to land guest spots from prime movers such as Drake and Diplo.

Track to check out: “MIA.” C’mon, it’s the first song Drake has ever sung in Spanish. And he sings it well, er, muy bueno.

Anuel AA

Sounds like: Cubic zirconia thug life.

His story: This 26-year-old Latin trap spark plug frequently spins tales of the streets, though he’s not exactly from them: He’s the son of Jose Gazmey, former vice president of Sony Music in Puerto Rico. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from playing the part, as he was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison in 2016 on gun possession charges. While on trial, he argued that his lyrics weren’t truly indicative of his lifestyle — not the best move for boosting one’s street cred before hitting the pokey.

Track to check out: “Brindemos,” his alternately singsongy and serrated hit with Ozuna.

Becky G

Sounds like: The Latin American equivalent of fellow singer-actress-heart-smoosher Ariana Grande.

Her story: After getting a sweet cosign from none other than J. Lo on her 2013 debut single, “Becky From the Block,” a cover of Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block,” Becky G became as in demand as ceiling fans in hell. She’s collaborated with the likes of will.i.am, Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, French Montana, David Guetta and Bad Bunny, to name a few. She also raised plenty of eyebrows with “Sin Pajamas,” her track with fellow singer Natti Natasha, which addresses the serious dilemma of having a sleepover with your BFF and — whoopsie! — she forgot her PJs.

Track to check out: “Booty,” a hard-gyrating number about the joys of pirate treasure, naturally.

Contact Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476. Follow @JasonBracelin on Twitter.

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