Despite Sales Surge, Latin Music Still Overlooked By US National Recording Registry

Although revenues are growing at a rate that surpasses those of the total music market, the Latin music genre remains underrepresented in the US Library of Congress National Recording Registry

Bad Bunny and Shakira, two stars of Latin music that sell millions of records in the US.
December 06, 2022 | 11:05 AM

Bloomberg Línea — The increase in revenues generated by Latin music in the United States is higher than that of the total US market, however, the genre is still underrepresented. The Library of Congress has only about 23 titles in its National Recording Registry, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) is seeking to reverse this situation.

The arguments are strong. According to data from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Latin music generated $510 million during the first half of 2022, a 6.6% market share, and which is a 23% year-over-year increase, more than double the total market’s growth, according to the RIAA.

Latin Grammy Awards 2022: Who Are the Richest Latino Artists?

The CHC recently presented a list of 33 songs and albums to be considered and incorporated into the Library of Congress’ registry in 2023.

The list, being touted by Texas Democrat representative Joaquín Castro, includes songs such as “Amor Eterno” by Juan Gabriel; “Las caderas no mienten” by Shakira; the eponymous album by Rage Against the Machine; “El Rey” by Vicente Fernández and “Feliz Navidad” by José Feliciano, among others, according to Axios.


As officially communicated by the Caucus, “the list of works (...) was drawn from hundreds of public suggestions submitted through social media. The list was drawn up to highlight musicians with no previous songs on the Registry and the works were intentionally chosen to represent the diversity of the Latino experience, including bilingual and Spanish-language tracks, tracks by Afro-Latino and LGBTQ+ Latino musicians, and musicians from across the Latino diaspora.

For his part, Steve Leggett, a member of the selection board, said the proposed titles must be at least 10 years old.

“The registry currently reflects a time when “Latinos were not given commercial opportunities” and were a smaller portion of the population, Leggett told Axios via email.


The National Recording Registry is the nation’s preeminent archive of recorded sound that was established by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. It aims to maintain and preserve sound recordings and collections of sound recordings that have cultural, historical, or aesthetic significance to life in the United States.

The Registry currently contains 600 works, of which only 23 (3.8%) were recorded by Latino musicians.

The National Recording Preservation Board will meet this week and the songs chosen will be announced in March or April 2023.

Latinos’ Presence on Boards of Directors in US Firms Shows Slow Advance, KPMG Says