28 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Spanish Singers Of All Time

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

For decades, Spain has produced some of the most compelling musicians that the world has ever known.

From Latin pop to new flamenco, these singers continuously release interesting music unique to their region of the world. 

Despite this uniqueness, many of these artists have become internationally known and have now become icons in the music industry. Let’s explore some of the greatest and most famous Spanish singers of all time!

1. Plácido Domingo

Born José Plácido Domingo Embil in Madrid, Spain, this opera singer, and conductor came to be known as Plácido Domingo when he gained popularity as a multi-lingual opera singer. 

Performing in some of the world’s finest opera houses, Domingo’s success as an opera singer dates back to the earliest days of his childhood. Even at five, he was obsessed with music.

Domingo first appeared professionally when he was 16. He started as a baritone, worked some as a tenor, and eventually went back to singing baritone exclusively. 

Domingo debuted as an opera singer in 1961, and as the lead role in “La Traviata,” a no less. After that, he traveled to the United States and became a hit there. It wasn’t long before he was the quintessential Spanish opera singer on tour. 

2. Julio Iglesias

One of the best-known names in the Spanish music industry, Julio Iglesias is considered the most commercially successful Spanish singer in the world.

Iglesias was born in Madrid and pursued a career in football and law. However, a bad car accident ruined his football career and led him into music.

After recovering, Iglesias finished his law degree. Then he started writing songs and performing at festivals. Before long, he was winning awards and accolades, including the Spanish Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts award.

He signed his first record deal in the late 1960s. After that, he quickly rose to fame for his smooth voice and charming style. 

Known for songs like “Gwendolyne” and “Begin the Beguine,” Iglesias is an award-winning musician who has left an indelible mark on the music industry.

3. Enrique Iglesias

Following in his father Julio Iglesias’s footsteps, Enrique Iglesias started singing secretly after college. He wanted to keep his career hidden from his famous father in an attempt to make it on his own. 

After starting college, Iglesias began singing under a fake name, Enrique Martínez. He eventually dropped out of college and made his first album. Born in Madrid in 1975, Iglesias later moved to the United States to live with his father.

By 1995, Iglesias began performing under his real name. He quickly gained recognition as a sensation as both a Spanish and English-speaking musician. 

Known for songs like “Trapecista” and “No Llores Por Mi,” Iglesias is a Grammy Award-winning artist with countless accolades to his name that he earned all on his own.

4. Teresa Berganza

Born in Madrid in 1933, Teresa Berganza is a gifted mezzo-soprano who has graced the music world for decades with versatility, beauty, and elegance in every step.

Berganza started singing when she was very young, studied music at the Madrid Royal Conservatory, and released her first album in 1955.

When she began performing, the world recognized her natural talent and musical prowess, which led her to become one of Spain’s biggest stars. Among her most notable songs are “L’amour Est Un Oiseau Rebelle,” “Paciência,” and “El Sombrero De Tres Picos.”

Berganza has performed worldwide, on the biggest stages, in the most beloved and opulent theaters. Her work led her to participate in the 1992 Summer Olympics opening and earned countless prestigious awards. 

5. Victoria De Los Ángeles

Another elegant lady who entered the music scene shortly after World War II, Victoria De Los Ángeles was born in Barcelona in 1923.

She earned a place at the prestigious Barcelona Conservatory under the tutelage of singer Dolores Frau and guitarist Graciano Tarragó. She graduated three years later at only 18 years old.

She made her musical debut in the opera “La Bohème” while she was still attending the Conservatory in 1941. She made waves with her stunning performance and vocal ability.

In 1945, she gained recognition again for her role as the Countess in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro.” Traveling abroad became a normal part of her routine as she performed in concerts worldwide, in some of the finest spaces available.

Among her most memorable performances are “Madama Butterfly,” “Pagliacci,” and “La Vida Breve.”

She passed away in Barcelona in 2005, ending her six-decade career.

6. Alfredo Kraus

Born Alfredo Kraus Trujillo in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Alfredo Kraus was known as one of the finest Spanish tenors in the industry.

By the age of four, he was already learning and mastering the piano. It wasn’t long before he started singing privately and then singing in public. 

He worked tirelessly to refine his skills and give the audience the desired performance. His dedication paid off as his fame increased.

He made his debut as Edgardo in “Lucia Di Lammermoor” and went on to work on famous operas such as “Manon” and “Don Giovanni. “

Because he was so careful with his voice, Kraus performed well into his 70s. He passed away in Madrid in 1999. 

7. Alejandro Sanz

Known professionally as Alejandro Sanz, Sanz was born Alejandro Sánchez Pizarro in Madrid. His childhood consisted of lots of time playing guitar and singing in the streets of Madrid. 

Sanz wanted to be a musician from a young age, and he pursued his passion vigorously. By his teen years, he performed at small venues around his home. 

In 1989, after being discovered at one of his performances, he signed a record deal and debuted his first album. It wasn’t until his second album Viviendo Deprisa that he rose to fame. Two of his hit songs were “Pisando Fuerte” and “Los Dos Cogidos De La Mano.”

It wasn’t long before Sanz was releasing hits and winning awards. With songs like “Pisando Fuerte” and Se le Apagó la Luz,” Sanz reached multi-platinum status and won multiple Grammy Awards.

8. Nino Bravo

Born Luis Manuel Ferri Llopis in 1944, he adopted the stage name Nino Bravo for his career as a Spanish baroque pop singer. 

Bravo was born in Aielo de Malferit, in Valencia, Spain. He grew up around musicians and quickly took musical skills himself. He started singing at a young age and eventually formed a band called Los Hispánicos with some of his childhood friends. 

Bravo released his first album after a 1970 music festival in Barcelona. His song “Te Quiero, Te Quiero” led to international success.

His third album saw the release of “Libre,” a song that quickly became popular with the political unrest of Latin America in the 1970s.

Bravo’s career ended prematurely, however, after he died in an automobile accident in 1973 at the age of 28.

9. Montserrat Caballé

Known forever as the woman with the ethereal voice, Montserrat Caballé was born María de Montserrat Bibiana Concepción Caballé i Folch in Barcelona. Her soprano voice would long grace the world of opera. 

Caballé grew up studying music and learned the singing technique from some of Spain’s best teachers. 

She made her professional debut in Switzerland in 1956. Her career took off after that, and she became one of the best sopranos of her time.

It wasn’t long before Caballé was an international success as well. Her career took her to Carnegie Hall, the Glyndebourne Festival, and various other astonishing locations. 

The King of Spain himself, King Felipe VI, considered Caballé “best of the best” among all Spanish singers.

Caballé passed away in Barcelona in 2018 at the ripe age of 85.

10. Ricky Martin

Born Enrique Martín Morales, Ricky Martin is dubbed the “King Of Latin Pop” and “Latin Pop God.” Although he has Spanish heritage, Martin was born in Puerto Rico in 1971. 

Known for his sultry voice, dance moves, and variety of genre excursions, Martin began his solo career in 1991 with the release of his first album.

It wasn’t until 1998 that he rose to fame with his album Vuelve, which would become the best-selling Spanish language album in history.

Not soon after, Martin’s music became a hit. His single “María” topped the charts, along with other notable songs such as “Nobody Wants To Be Lonely,” “She Bangs,” and “Livin’ La Vida Loca.” 

Martin is undoubtedly a pop icon and one of the most commercially successful Latin singers of all time. 

11. Camilo Sesto

Born Camilo Blanes Cortés in Alcoy, Spain, in 1946, Camilo Sesto got his start singing in two different pop bands during the 1960s and went on to win Madrid award shows. He also began writing songs for other musicians during this time.

Sesto was, however, more than just a musician. He was an actor, a performer, a songwriter, and a producer. His work inspired other Latin musicians to step into the ring, making him one of the more influential male Spanish singers.

With hits like “Algo Más” and “Llueve Sobre Mojado,” Sesto went on to win Grammy nominations and win Platinum certifications. 

Sesto passed away in Madrid in 2019, a few days shy of releasing his next album.

12. Antonio Flores

Born in Madrid in 1961, Antonio Flores was known as a singer-songwriter and was extremely gifted on various instruments. His pop-rock style made him popular with audiences of all kinds.

Flores got his start as part of an influential Spanish family. His parents, Antonio González and Lola Flores, were both singers and performers and were known around the country. 

Flores released his debut album in 1980. His song “No Dudaría” became a quick hit and led him to continue his work despite other setbacks. 

His last album, Cosas Mías, was released in 1995. Despite his short career, Flores still managed to leave a mark on the Spanish music industry. 

Flores tragically took his own life in 1995.

13. Sara Montiel

Known professionally as Sara Montiel, this multi-talented woman was an actress and a singer. Her long career earned her international recognition, and her reputation and skill led her to become the best-paid star in Spanish films in the 1960s.

Born in Camp de Criptana, Castilla-La Manch, in 1928, Montiel started acting at the age of 16. She eventually moved to Hollywood and was met with critical success.

The next step for Montiel was to get involved with musicals. Low-budget films expected to flop became major box office hits because of her musical contributions. 

Before long, Montiel was acting and singing international superstar. Some of her well-loved songs were “La Violetera,” “Me Gustas Cuando Callas,” and “Maniqui Parisien.”

Her career lasted well into her old age before passing away in Madrid at 85. 

14. José Carreras

Born Josep Maria Carreras Coll in Barcelona, José Carreras was the son of a working-class family who moved to Argentina when he was young. However, the move hurt the family more than it helped, so they returned to the Sants district of Barcelona.

Carreras enjoyed music as a child, and he started singing and learning music when he was very young. His interest only grew, and he began to improve his talents.

Carreras performed in public at the age of eight, and he never stopped after that. He devoted his life to the study of music. By 1970, he was cast in his first tenor role in the opera “Norma.” 

Catching the attention of opera singer Montserrat Caballé, Carreras earned another role singing alongside the superstar. 

His career never slowed down after that moment, not until 2009, when he took a step back from the industry.

15. Camarón De La Isla

Sometimes called the “Voice Of The Flamenco,” Camarón De La Isla was born in San Fernando, Cádiz, in Spain as José Monje Cruz. He is widely considered the greatest flamenco singer and a critical player in the flamenco revival of the 1900s.

Isla’s father was a singer, so Isla grew up around music from his earliest days. He began singing publicly to earn money for his family after his father’s death. He started to improve musically and even won a competition at 16.

Isla’s career took off when he became the resident artist at the Tablao Torres Bermejas. He would stay here for 12 years.

Throughout his career, he produced hit songs such as “Como El Agua,” “Volando Voy,” and “Vivire.”

In 1992, Cruz died of lung cancer in Badalona. A museum devoted to Isla, Centro de Interpretación Camarón de La Isla, was opened in 2021 at San Fernando, Spain.

16. Joaquín Sabina

Known for his baroque-literature style, Joaquín Sabina was a poet, singer, and songwriter. His music seems to transcend time and space, tapping into familiar issues of love and heartbreak with a fresh, touching take. 

Sabina was born in southern Spain, in the Province of Jaén. He started composing and crafting poems when he was barely a teenager, and by 14, he had joined a band that imitated the likes of Elvis and Chuck Berry.

Sabina was, however, a revolutionary, which led him into exile in London. After eventually returning to Spain, he released his first album in 1978, Inventario.

Since then, Sabina achieved critical success with hits like “Y Nos Dieron Las Diez,” “Calle Melancolia,” and “Por El Bulevar De Los Suenos Rotos.”

He remains active in the music industry today and influences other Spanish singers to take a chance. 

17. David Bisbal

Born in Almería, Andalusia, David Bisbal is known for more than just his singing. He is also a successful actor and a songwriter. 

Bisbal has been topping Spanish charts with five studio albums since his first album, Corazón Latino, was released in 2002. The album went platinum seven times, launching his career with vigor. 

Bisbal started as an actor, but his musical career earned him international success and accolades. With hits like “Silencio” and “Esclavo De Tus Besos,” Bisbal rose to international fame as a pop and Latin ballad superstar.

Bisbal continues to gain recognition as a powerhouse in the Spanish music industry today. 

18. Marta Sánchez

Born in Madrid in 1966, Marta Sánchez‘s father was an Asturian opera singer, exposing her to music at a young age. Growing up around opera, she quickly developed her musical talents that would one day translate into a successful career.

Sánchez was discovered while performing with a small band, and she was asked to join the pop-rock group Olé Olé. The band was one of the more popular acts around Madrid.

Sánchez received recognition on hits like “Lili Marlen” and “Bailando Sin Salir De Casa.” She released a solo album in 1993, and the single “De Mujer A Mujer” solidified her place in the international music industry. 

Although not as prolific as she once was, Sánchez continues to produce music and remains relevant in the Spanish industry.

19. Lola Flores

Born María Dolores Flores Ruiz in Jerez De La Frontera, Lola Flores started performing in the arts at a young age. As a teenager, she sang and danced live. By 1940, she landed her first gig singing and acting.

Flores did just about everything that a woman could manage in show business. Her enigmatic personality made her easily recognizable, earning her a reputation that remains unsurpassed. 

Some of her most notable songs include “A Tu Vera,” “Historia De Un Amor,” and “Pena Penita Pena.”

Because of the extent of her work, Flores is often considered one of Spain’s ultimate pop culture icons. 

20. Miguel Bosé

Born in Panama City, Miguel Bosé is the son of a Spanish bullfighter who grew up surrounded by the arts of all kinds. He was no stranger to fame, supposedly knowing Ernest Hemingway personally. 

Bosé started his career as an actor. It wasn’t difficult for him to find work, and he began studying dancing and singing. As a teenager, he traveled the world, performing at concerts and festivals. 

He explored singing in 1975 and soon became a popular teen idol in Spain and a well-known singer in his later years, with hits like “Te Amare,” “Como Un Lobo”,” and “Morir De Amor.”

Bosé has enjoyed a 40-year career that has witnessed victories and successes. In 2013, he was awarded the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.

21. Pablo Alborán

One of the younger stars on the list is Pablo Alborán. Born Pablo Moreno de Alborán Ferrándiz in Málaga, Spain, in 1989, Alborán is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter who has worked with the likes of Miguel Bosé, Malú, and Paula Arenas.

Alborán got his start at only 12 years old when he began composing his music. He composed 40 songs while preparing for his debut album in 2011. His hit single “Solamente Tú” topped the charts and launched him into the spotlight.

In 2016, he also won the Best Original Song award at the prestigious Goya Awards for his song “Palmeras En La Nieve.”

Alborán continues to play a key role in Spanish music history as a renowned young musician. 

22. Paco De Lucía

One of the leaders of the 20th century’s new flamenco style, Paco De Lucía was born in Algeciras, in Cádiz, in southern Spain, in 1947. His father, Antonio Sanchez, was a flamenco guitar player, inspiring his son early.

Lucía started singing and playing as a young boy. He was quite the entrepreneur, learning how to play guitar and then charging for gigs himself. 

Lucía made his first record at 14. He continued to work on albums, and by the 1960s, he was touring with flamenco groups worldwide. He sang hit songs such as “Entre Dos Aguas,” “Panaderos Flamencos,” and “Cepa Andaluza.”

Lucía played a key role in revitalizing the flamenco movement, not just in Spain. He worked hard until he died in 2014. 

23. Alvaro Soler

Spanish-German singer Alvaro Soler was born in Catalonia, Spain, in 1991. He first gained popularity in Europe and Latin America and has since released three albums.

With hits like “El Mismo Sol,” Soler gained recognition for his singing ability and his songwriting talents. His single “Sofia” also topped the charts, peaking at #1 in Poland and other European countries.

He also received critical acclaim for a remake of “El Mismo Sol” that featured Jennifer Lopez on the track.

A polyglot who can fluently speak seven languages, Soler also worked with the German and Italian versions of the Disney movie “Encanto,” voicing the character Camilo Madrigal.

24. Natalia Lacunza

Perhaps the youngest artist on the list, Natalia Lacunza Sanabdón was born in Pamplona, Spain, in 1999. She got her start on a Spanish talent show and went on to sign a record deal in 2019. 

Known as a model and a singer-songwriter, Lacunza quit college to focus on music. This led to her first album deal when she released the EP Otras Alas. Her singles from that album, “Nana Triste” and “Tarantula,” performed reasonably well on their debuts.

Lacunza’s latest project was a live album released in 2020, En Casa

25. Dani Martin

Born Daniel Martín García in Madrid in 1977, Daniel Martin got his start as the lead singer for the Spanish pop-punk band El Canto Del Loco. 

He went solo in 2010 and has successfully released seven albums. Martin has become one of Spain’s modern pop icons with hit singles like “Mira La Vida” and “Mi Lamento.”

He continues to perform and produce music, with his last album No, no Vuelve released in 2021. 

26. Abraham Mateo

Another young artist on the list, Abraham Mateo was born Abraham Mateo Chamorro in San Fernando, in Cádiz, Spain, in 1998. He has dabbled in more than just music, also working as a songwriter, an actor, and a producer. 

His music focuses on driving, soulful beats that inspire people to get on their feet and dance. He signed his first contract at age ten and has since been releasing hits, such as “¿Qué Ha Pasao?” “No Encuentro Palabras,” and “Tiempo Pa Olvidar.”

His achievements in the music industry led him to be considered the youngest solo male artist to top the Latin Billboard’s chart.

Known for Latin pop, reggaeton, Latin soul, Latin trap, and Latin dance, Mateo was included in Billboard’s  “21 Under 21s Next Class” He is also a favorite in Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards, winning the Best Spanish Artist award twice.

27. Natalia Jiménez

Born Natalia Altea Jiménez Sarmento in Madrid in 1981, Natalia Jiménez is a Grammy Award-winning Spanish singer-songwriter. She has worked with some of the biggest names in Latin music, including Ricky Martin and Marc Anthony. 

She started her singing career as a teenager, playing for tips on a Madrid subway. She rose to fame in 2001 when she became the lead singer for La Quinta Estación.

She soon moved to Miami, Florida, and became an international success with her debut solo album Natalia Jiménez in 2011. 

She continues to make hit songs today, such as “Qué Bueno Es Tenerte,” “
Creo En Mí,” and “Quédate Con Ella.”

28. Luisito Rey

Known internationally as Luisito Rey, Luis Gallego Sánchez was born in Cádiz, Spain, in 1945. The son of a flamenco singer, Rey grew up around music. 

Rey had one major hit despite his influential status as a Spanish icon. He had other hit songs, but none that ranked so high. “Frente A Una Copa De Vino” would be his only commercial success.

He continued to be active in the music industry as a singer-songwriter and music executive until 1990. However, he died of pneumonia two years after his retirement.

Wrapping Our List Of Well-Known Spanish Singers

Thanks to these outstanding Spanish singers, the world will never be the same. They each graced the music industry with a certain flair and style. Many still work today, contributing to the world of music with compelling lyrics and delightful vocals. 

The others, though passed on, will remain forever as eternal beacons, beckoning others toward something profound: the music they all adored.

Photo of author

Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.