Latin music is and always has been a reductive label. But as the Spanish language, which is the second most popular in the world just behind Mandarin, continues to spread, its musical torchbearers will keep gaining ground. More than anything, it's a testament to the uniting power of song.


As Juanes, in the vein of other single-named stars like Bono and Sting and Prince, steadily outgrows the limitations set to trap him, music — and the people who love music — will be all the better for it. We can sit back and watch the man shine.

Juan Vidal is a writer and critic for NPR and a contributor to Esquire, VIBE, and The Daily Beast. He's on Twitter: @itsjuanlove