Spain has produced a number of male musicians who have made a mark in the industry. Some play traditional Spanish music like flamenco, and others offer more modern takes on singing and songwriting.
The roots of Spanish influence have fed the healthy growth of many of their careers. Let’s take a look at some of the greatest and most famous male Spanish singers!
1. Enrique Iglesias
The King Of Latin Pop, Enrique Iglesias, was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1975. His father, Julio, is also a famous Spanish singer. However, Iglesias has made a name of his own.
He has sold more than 70 million records, making him one of the most successful Spanish-language recording artists. His music such as “Hero” and “Bailando” has topped charts in the US, Europe, and throughout Latin America.
Iglesias is so widely known and celebrated that in 2007, he was the first Western artist to perform in Syria in three decades.
He has released music in many different styles over his multi-decade career, including a dance album that put him at the top of the all-time charts next to Michael Jackson and Prince.
Currently, he is married to world-famous tennis star Anna Kournikova, and they have three children together.
2. Julio Iglesias
Considered the most successful Spanish singer in the world, Julio Iglesias is synonymous with Latin music. However, his early professional career wasn’t even in the same industry.
In his youth, Iglesias played soccer for Real Madrid Castilla. But in 1963, he was in a motor vehicle accident that ended his career. While recovering from severe injuries, he tried playing the guitar to relearn dexterity with his fingers and hands.
By 1968, he had won his first award for songwriting in recognition of his song, “La Vida Sigue Igual.” His first studio album Yo Canto was a huge success.
This became a springboard for expanding his singing into different languages and becoming one of the most successful performers in the history of music, with a catalog of music in Spanish, English, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese.
3. Ricky Martin
Enrique Martín Morales, internationally known as Ricky Martin, has family roots that stretch back to Spain, but he was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
During his younger days, he was a member of the famous band Menudo. He performed with them for years, becoming a fan favorite and gaining exposure to Latin American and American audiences. He followed that up with some stints as an actor and solo performer.
Martin became a mega-star in 1999 with the release of his self-titled and first English language album. It broke records with more than 600,000 sales in its first week and went on to sell more than seven million copies.
He was also more than just a singer. He played the role of Che in the Broadway revival of “Evita” in 2012, and he has gone on to star in television shows and movies, like “The Voice” and “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.”
4. Placido Domingo
One of the biggest voices in the history of music, Placido Domingo was born in Madrid, Spain, to musical parents in 1941. His family eventually relocated to Mexico before 1950.
That was around the same time he began taking piano lessons and learning about how to conduct an orchestra. During this training, Domingo’s extraordinary vocal talents as a tenor opera singer became known.
Performing in more than 150 opera roles, this Spanish singer has had a remarkably successful career over more than six decades, with hits like “Canción Para Una Reina,” “The Girl From Ipanema,” and “Parla Più Piano.”
He was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 and has a discography that includes 65 studio albums, 39 live albums, and dozens of singles, soundtracks, and other recordings.
As such, he is one of the greatest opera singers of all time.
5. Jose Carreras
Born Josep Maria Carreras Coll, Jose Carreras has been singing in public since he was only eight years old. His powerful tenor voice became known as one of the best in the business.
He has also recorded and performed in some of the world’s most famous operas. His discography includes recordings of “Carmen,” “La Boheme,” “Tosca,” and many other famous operas.
He’s also performed in many other capacities, including in recitals and performances of songs from major hits like “West Side Story” and “South Pacific.” His collection also includes Christmas music, a tribute album of Catalan songs, and a recording of “Ave Maria.”
He enjoys international fame and has made philanthropy a cornerstone of his life in tribute to the medical professionals who helped him defeat leukemia in the late 1980s.
6. Alejandro Sanz
Alejandro Sánchez Pizarro, more known as Alejandro Sanz, began playing guitar at the age of seven and released his first album before his twentieth birthday.
He grew up in Madrid but heard a lot of flamenco music during vacations to the Andalusia region of southern Spain in his youth. He has had a string of successful albums, as well as a collaboration with Shakira, “La Tortura,” that became a major international hit.
He has won four Grammy Awards and more than twenty Latin Grammys, including three for Album Of The Year. He’s also an accomplished composer and has had some success developing soundtracks for television shows. He’s even dabbled in screenwriting.
7. Camilo Sesto
One of the most famous singers in Spain in the sixties and seventies, Camilo Sesto was also known by his birth name Camilo Blanes Cortés and for his moniker “El Rey del Amor.”
His solo career took off in 1972 after spending the previous decade playing in a couple of different bands. He had a breakout success with “Algo de Mi” that same year, catapulting him to fame in most of Latin America. His concert performances spanned the globe, and he had a run of hits throughout the 1970s.
Sesto worked successfully writing songs for others but continued to record his own songs as well. After a brief retirement in 1987, he was back at it with songs like “Amor Mío,” and “¿Qué Me Has Hecho?”
By 2001, he was in declining health, but he remained active and became romantically involved with the British singer Amy Winehouse. He passed away of kidney failure in 2019.
8. Alfredo Kraus
Spanish tenor Alfredo Kraus started his career as an opera singer, playing the role of the Duke in “Rigoletto.” He would go on to perform this same role routinely.
Eventually, Kraus started performing at some of the most famous opera houses in the world, often playing key tenor roles, like Don Ottavio in “Don Giovanni.”
He also performed and recorded many hit songs, such as “El Trust De Los Tenorios,” “Siboney,” and “Valencia.”
His performing career extended late into his life, and his travels took him around the world. He was a consummate professional noted for his impeccable musicianship and powerful voice.
Many consider Kraus to be among the best male tenors of all time.
9. Álvaro Soler
Spanish-German singer Alvaro Soler began playing the keyboard and singing when he was only ten. He and his family spent some time living in Japan, but in his late teenage years, they returned to their native Barcelona.
During his university studies, he formed his first band, Urban Lights. They released two albums, but Soler’s breakthrough came when the band won the semifinal of a Spanish television talent show. He managed to finish his studies, but he continued to develop as a performer.
In 2015, he released his hit song “El Mismo Sol” and quickly rose to fame. His first hits were the biggest in parts of Europe, but now he is world-famous and has had multiple international hits, such as “Sofia” and “El Mismo Sol.”
10. Carlos Marín
Most famous for his work as part of the quartet, Il Divo, Carlos Marín has made a name for himself as one of the most famous Spanish singers in the world.
He first sang professionally when just eight years old and continually expanded his repertoire through hard work and the study of piano.
Aside from the huge success he had as a member of Il Divo, Marín explored a solo career in 2011. He had a very successful tour performing a solo show around the world from 2011 through 2016.
He also sang in movies, operas, and even won television contests. His career was prematurely stopped, however, when died of COVID-19 in 2021.
11. Joan Manuel Serrat
Singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat was more than just a musician. He was considered among the pioneers of the Catalan artistic movement “Nova Cançó,” which aimed to normalize the use of the Catalan language in popular music.
As an artist, Serrat’s songs were strongly influenced by his experiences growing up in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. He recorded and published albums almost every single year from 1967 through 2017.
Throughout his career, he ran headlong into issues due to his outspokenness on issues related to the hardline rule of General Francisco Franco, but this didn’t hamper his rise to international fame.
When he released an album of famous Spanish poets, he became a national celebrity, and the international fame wasn’t too far off. His Mediterráneo album in 1971 also saw worldwide success.
12. Joaquín Sabina
Like many knowns singers, Joaquin Sabina began experimenting with music at a young age. After completing high school, he went against his father’s wishes to become a police, as he wanted to pursue a career in music.
His rebellious side showed long after his youth, and he found turmoil in Francoist Spain because of his revolutionary ideologies. After attacking a government building with a Molotov cocktail, he fled to London.
During his exile, he enjoyed performing and writing poetry, and he spent time playing in pubs. His poetic side showed in his music, and his songs became popular for their baroque-style lyricism and poignant use of metaphors.
When Francoism ended, he returned to Spain and continued his work professionally, releasing fifteen albums that each built on the success of the last. He’s sold millions of records and has toured the world.
13. Miguel Bosé
Luis Miguel González Bosé, more known as simply Miguel Bosé, wasn’t born in Spain but his upbringing immersed him in the nation’s art, culture, and history.
His father was a Spanish bullfighter, his mother an Italian actress, and the family counted Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso as friends.
He started his performing career as an actor, but that eventually led to recording some musical singles. His production was steady, and he has had Grammy-nominated albums and successful singles, such as “Te Amare,” “Linda,” and “Morir de Amor.”
In 2013, Bosé was given the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year award.
14. David Bisbal
Spanish singer-songwriter David Bisbal was born in 1979. His father, José, was also musical, being part of a flamenco group.
He showed a lot of promise as a singer when he was a child, and he slowly overcame his shyness, auditioning in singing contests and shows. He gained initial fame after he finished as a runner-up in the Spanish reality television show and singing contest “Operación Triunfo.”
He has since made a mark in the industry as a solo artist. Throughout his career, he has almost seventy platinum albums to his name, and two of his records, “Bulería” and “Corazón Latino,” each sold more than one million copies.
He has also performed with top artists like Carrie Underwood and Rihanna.
15. Luisito Rey
Born Luis Gallego Sánchez, Luisito Rey was known as a songwriter, singer, and musical manager for another relatively famous singer: his son, Luis Miguel.
His biggest hit was a song called “Frente A Una Copa De Vino.” It was recorded and released in Latin America and marked Rey’s most significant personal achievement, though he did have other successful albums.
Through his support and tutelage, Rey’s son has enjoyed much greater success. Rey continued to be active in the music industry as a music executive until the year 1990. He, however, died two years later in 1992.
16. Pablo Alborán
Although he’s relatively new to the Spanish music industry, Pablo Alboran has already made a big name for himself.
At the age of 12, he has already written his first songs “Desencuentro” and “Amor De Barrio,” which were later included in his debut album. The song that hit the charts from his debut, however, was a song that he composed when he was older called “Solamente Tú.”
He is best known for being so hands-on with his craft, making it a point to compose his own music. In fact, his exceptional songwriting skills have earned him the Best Original Song award for his hit song “Palmeras En La Nieve.”
He went on to create more albums, and his second album, Tanto, earned a Latin Grammy Award for the best album of the year in 2012. It also sold more copies than any other album in Spain in 2012 and 2013.
He has five albums so far, with multiple chart-topping singles to his name. He’s toured throughout Latin America, Spain, and much of Europe.
17. Antonio Flores
Known for his wide range of music, Antonio Flores was a versatile singer-songwriter, making hits in the genres of pop-rock, bossa nova, ballads, and blues.
His body of work already included multiple albums that had mostly failed to generate commercial success. Three years later, he finally garnered success with his album Cosas Mías, which featured hit songs such as “Isla De Palma” and “Juan El Golosinas”
Flores’s story, however, has a tragic end. Deeply despondent over the death of his mother, he took his own life in a suicidal drug overdose at the age of 33. However, he’d already left a mark on Spanish music, though it wasn’t apparent at the time.
In the aftermath of his death, tribute covers of his music took off. His name and music are famous, and his records have sold more than one million copies.
18. Enrique Bunbury
Born Enrique Ortiz de Landázuri Izarduy, Enrique Bunbury was once the lead singer of Héroes del Silencio, a well-known Spanish rock band.
He first started playing in bands in high school and did solo performances. He was a natural frontman with a talent for singing and playing the drums, bass, guitar, and harmonica.
His band broke up in 1997, and Bunbury has enjoyed consistent success with other bands and as a solo performer ever since. His 2010 tour of the US was made into a movie, “El Camino Más Largo,” and he received an Icon Award in 2019.
19. Camarón De La Isla
José Monje Cruz, more known as Camarón De La Isla, was one of the best flamenco singers in history.
He started his musical journey at the age of eight, singing in public places to earn money. He spent years at the Tablao Torres Bermejas, where he met a flamenco guitarist by the name of Tomatito.
Along with Spanish guitarist Paco De Lucia, the three would be the driving force behind the revival of flamenco music in the 1900s, ushering in the era of “flamenco nuevo,” featuring eclectic bass for the first time.
His mark in the Spanish music industry led to the creation of Centro de Interpretación Camarón De La Isla, a museum devoted to Isla built in 2021, years after his death.
Wrapping Up Our List Of Popular Spanish Male Singers
There are many other singers from Spain and even more who sing Spanish-language music. But these nineteen singers are all either from Spain or, like Ricky Martin, has Spanish roots and is heavily influenced by Spanish tradition. They all deserve a place near the top of any list of male singers from Spain.
Do you have other favorite male singers who are Spanish? Let us know and we’ll update our list!