The country of Venezuela has a rich and complicated history. That history is represented very well in the wide range of music by Venezuelan artists over the years.
From traditional styles such as salsa and merengue to electronic and rap music, Venezuelan music consists of a rich tapestry of genres. If you are unfamiliar with Venezuelan music, you should know that there is something for everyone.
In this post, we’re going to take a quick look at some of that music as we explore 11 of the greatest and most famous Venezuelan singers. Let’s get started.
1. Franco De Vita
First we have Franco De Vita who was born in 1954 in Caracas, Venezuela, to Italian parents.
His first release was a solo album in 1984, which was followed by another album a few years after that. One song from the second album became the theme song for the soap opera La Dama De Rosa.
Though that use of his song made him well-known in Venezuela, he was not yet popular internationally.
That would all change in 1990 when his song, No Basta, would be number one on the US Latin chart. It also won an MTV Video Music Award.
Between 1984 and 2016, the singer released 16 albums, won a Grammy Award, and his songs regularly climbed to the top of the Billboard charts.
2. Ricardo Montaner
Born Hector Eduardo Redlero Montaner but better known as Ricardo Moritaner, this singer was actually born in Argentina. But, his family relocated to Venezuela when he was young.
He became somewhat known after his 1976 performance of Murallas at the Ancon Festival. However, It took more than ten more years for him to become widely known in Venezuela.
From that point on, his career blasted off. His next few albums made him well-known in Mexico, Central America, and South America.
He performed at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1992. Over the years, Montaner won several awards, including three Lo Nuestro Awards.
3. Soledad Bravo
Though singer and acoustic guitarist Soledad Bravo was born in La Rioja, Spain, in 1943, she moved to Venezuela with her family very early in life.
A very versatile singer with vocal skills encompassing a variety of genres, including Caribbean music, folk music, Latin-pop, Latin music, Sephardic music, and ballads
She released her debut album, Soledad Bravo Canta, in 1968 and went on to release 21 albums over her career.
Some of her most popular works include “Cantos Revolucionarios de America Latina,” “Hasta siempre Comandante Che Guevara” and “Pajarillo verde.”
4. Simon Diaz
Born in 1928 in Aragua, Venezuela, Simon Diaz was a singer who focused on revitalizing Venezuelan folk music.
Throughout his career, Diaz performed in movies, on tv, and in plays. Due to his participation in a show aimed at educating children about music, he became known as Uncle Simon.
Throughout his 60-year career, Diaz released over 70 albums. Thanks to his contributions to Venezuelan culture, he received The Great Ribbon of the Liberator’s Order and two honorary degrees. In 2008, he received a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Arca was born as Alejandra Ghersi Rodriguez in 1989 in Caracas, Venezuela. She integrates elements of rap, electronic music, industrial hip hop, avant-pop, and alternative reggaeton into her music.
She released her first music as a teenager and caught the attention of several other Venezuelan musicians.
Her official debut EP was Baron Libre, which came out in 2012. Her full debut album was Xen, released in 2014.
Throughout her career so far, Arca has collaborated with several well-known musicians, including Bjork, Frank Ocean, the Weeknd, Sia, Kanye West, and FKA Twigs. Between 2014 and 2021, she released eight studio albums.
6. Devendra Banhart
Devendra Banhart was born in Texas, the United States, in 1981. However, he was raised in Venezuela.
At some point in his teens, he moved to California, and he later went to San Francisco Art Institute. He dropped out two years later to work on his music. He released his debut album, The Charles C. Leary, in 2002.
His musical style is greatly influenced by several Venezuelan artists, including Simon Diaz. His music includes psychedelic folk and freak folk.
Throughout his career, he integrates visual and artistic elements with his music. He collaborates with a band that has several names, including Spiritual Bonerz and The Grogs. Between 2002 and 2019, Banhart released ten albums.
7. Maria Conchita Alonso
Born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, in 1957, Maria Conchita Alonso and her family moved to Venezuela when she was five.
She released her first gold album under the name Ambar in 1979. It was in 1984 that her album, Maria Conchita put her on the map within the Spanish-speaking world.
Soon after her triumphant contribution to music, she was in a series of Hollywood movies between 1984 and 1993.
She also starred on Broadway in Kiss of the Spider Woman. Throughout her career, she participated in almost 100 movies and TV shows, and she released 19 albums.
8. Mirla Castellanos
Mirla Castellanos was born in 1941 in Valencia, Venezuela. She began her career in the 1960s as part of the band Cuarteto Los Naipes. Soon she moved to Europe and started recording music solo.
As a solo artist, she soon won a few festival prizes in Europe and Venezuela. These wins contributed to the spread of Venezuelan music around the world. As a result, she is considered to be an important figure in the dissemination of Venezuelan music.
Besides singing, she was also an actress and presenter. Between 1961 and 1991, Castellanos released 27 albums. She also released several compilations and collaborations.
9. Omar Rudberg
Born in Venezuela in 1998, Omar Rudberg moved to Sweden when he was very young. The artist sometimes simply goes by “Omar.”
At the age of 12 in 2010, he participated in Talang 2010, which is a televised Swedish talent show. Between 2013 and 2017, Omar was part of the FO&O boy band.
He embarked on a solo career in 2018. In 2021, he acted in the series Young Royals on Netflix. Omar released one studio album in 2022 called OMR. He also released several singles.
10. Rudy La Scala
Rudy La Scala was born in 1954 in Lazio, Italy. When he was very young, he moved to Venezuela. His first foray into music was in the 1960s with the band Las Explosiones de Goma.
When he first debuted as a solo artist in 1971, he went by the name Flavio. By 1974 he started going by Rudy La Scala.
He was a very successful songwriter and performer. As of 2022, he was the only record maker with 12 platinum and nine gold-certified albums in Venezuela. Between 1970 and 2007, La Scala released 14 albums.
Summing Up Our List Of Famous Singers From Venezuela
The music of Venezuela is as varied as those who sing it. Many genres are represented by Venezuelan artists, including pop, folk, rap, and soul.
Now that you know a bit about these Venezuelan singers, explore their music to hear for yourself their signature sounds.
Did we miss anyone off this list? Let us know who you think we should add!