Happy Birthday to Enrique Iglesias, a pop star who has entered the Hot 100 Top 10 numerous times—as well as topping the US Latin charts 24 times—with hit singles such as "Hero," "Bailamos" and "I Like It." Music Times is celebrating four decade of the younger Iglesias by counting down his most successful singles on the Hot 100.
07) "Escape" (2002)...no. 12
We'll get this list started with "Escape," the title track of his 2002 album. This served as the second single from the record, but we'll get to the first soon enough. One of the lamer parts about being an internationally recognized celebrity is that the paparazzi and media never leave you alone, especially if you're in a relationship with another star. Some use this to their advantage whenever possible—such as how Jay Z and Beyoncé have used their marriage to hype both of their musical careers. Iglesias did the same thing while promoting "Escape." The music video stars himself and his then girlfriend, tennis pro Anna Kournikova, and includes a steamy scene of the pair hooking up in a ladies restroom (those of you who followed tennis during that period know that she wasn't neccesarily famous for her tennis ability). The song may have halted at no. 12 but the video got to no. 1 on MTV's Total Recall, eventually retiring in the top spot.
06) "Bailando" (2014)...no. 12
It's somewhat defeats the purpose for us to discuss Iglesias' success in the United States music industry...as with other Spanish-language performers, he also commands a huge fan base beyond our borders. By the time he released his single "Bailando" during 2014, the vocalist was well aware of where he needed to market himself and therefore he went beyond the regular two—Spanish and English—versions of the single, marketing separate Portuguese versions for listeners in Brazil and Portugal, respectively. The song may have peaked at no. 12 in the United States but that sort of international appeal aided his commercial cause worldwide. The IFPI (the international version of Nielsen) reported "Bailando" was the no. 10 bestselling single worldwide during the year.
05) "Tonight (I'm F**kin' You)" (2010)...no. 4
There was plenty of controversy from folks who couldn't imagine Iglesias having a lusty side when he released "Tonight (I'm F**kin' You)" along with guests Ludacris and DJ Frank E. This track didn't have the family-friendly vote that some of his biggest singles (which we'll get to later) had, perhaps resulting in the single stalling out at no. 4 instead of becoming his biggest hit ever. That said, the controversy didn't stop the single from becoming a radio smash. Analysts suggest that "Tonight" is realistically the performer's biggest success in terms of radio play, noting that it was his first song to reach no. 1 on the Top 40 radio charts (also known as the pop chart) as well as the Radio Songs. The music video, which featured strip club scenes and women fighting over Iglesias in bed, didn't hurt its popularity either.
04) "I Like It" (2009)...no. 4
You might not remember this now that it's been five years since Iglesias releases the single "I Like It," but there was actually a prolonged period where he wasn't the successful pop star that we've always seen him as. Following the release of "Escape," it had been nearly eight years since the vocalist had broken into the Top 20 of the Hot 100, and many of his singles failed to even crack into the chart at all. "I Like It" was somewhat a shot of adrenaline to the heart of his career, in part delivered by his partner in crime Pitbull. The single was also noteworthy because, while not topping the Hot 100, it did manage to get to no. 1 on the Hot Dance Songs chart, tying him with Michael Jackson and Prince for the most all time. Later that year he would break the record with his next single, "Tonight." Part of its success was, unfortunately, due to MTV's use of it when promoting Jersey Shore, even shooting a separate music video.
03) "Hero" (2001)...no. 3
"Hero" is probably the song that many listeners associate with Iglesias, as it seemed almost inescapable around the time it debuted. The single's success was thanks to its popularity on the adult contemporary charts, as it doesn't feature the more lascivious elements featured in some of the singles we've seen thus far. The song would top that chart for more than 15 weeks, and then return to the Top 10 more than a year later, marking a first for the chart. The song is actually his bestselling single ever, and has even received more radio play than the next two songs on this list...it just happened to come during a busy period on the Billboard 200, peaking at no. 3. There's one simple explanation for the amount of success "Hero" saw in the United States: He performed the song, appropriately, as part of the "A Tribute to Heroes" concert that was broadcast following the September 11 attacks.
02) "Be With You" (2000)...no. 1
Iglesias was at his hottest right off the bat early in his career. Upon jumping to the English market with Enrique, he immediately found success with two of his first three singles going to no. 1 on the Hot 100. That makes "Be With You," the second of those singles, his last no. 1. Although it had that initial success, it's far from being one of his bestselling singles. Huh...seems like we've milked a lot of negative energy from a song that went to no. 1. The good news is that this song also won him his first Grammy that didn't specify "Latin" in the award title. "Be With You" would go on to win Best Dance Recording (Pre-publishing update: Further research indicates that "Be With You" was only nominated, but didn't win Best Dance Recording. "Who Let The Dogs Out" by The Baha Men was the actual winner. The moral: Don't trust Wikipedia and don't trust the Grammy for Best Dance Recording).
01) "Bailamos" (1999)...no. 1
Iglesias was one of many musicians who struck gold right off the bat and struggled to get back there. OK, admittedly he's done pretty well for himself even if he hasn't reached the chart highs of his first single, "Bailamos." The song had to be a huge moment for the vocalist, although it's understandable that Iglesias may have become jaded regarded no. 1s at that point in his career. Although it was his first single to chart on the standard Billboard Hot 100, Iglesias had released ten singles that had topped the US Latin charts, dating back to 1995...and "Bailamos" would become the 11th. The single would spend two weeks at no. 1 on the Hot 100.