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Scholars have written about the Latinx music industry, but the question of why select Spanish-language music has gained traction at particular moments in history remains unanswered. In response, this project argues that “Despacito,” “Macarena,” and “La Bamba” were the only Spanish-language songs to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in its 64-year history because of their movimiento, or musical, physical, and political movement. This project’s historical-textual analysis demonstrates how the songs’ musical, physical, and political movimiento—captured in references to rhythm, dance, and power, respectively—allowed them to cross geographic borders and genre charts.



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