With a high-profile cameo in ‘Furious 7’ and co-signs from Usher and Drake, the bachata star may finally be crossing over — but strictly on his own terms. Romeo Santos is in the cover of Billboard and is the focus of a lengthy article by Leila Cobo.
On May 31, 2014, at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Romeo Santos brought a girl in her 20s out of the crowd to join him onstage in front of 19,000 fans. Wearing tight jeans and a cropped top, she balanced on high heels and constantly pushed her long, blonde hair back from her face.
Santos was dressed all in red — red pants, red jacket — and behind him was a bed draped in red velvet. He asked the girl — tonight’s girl, because Santos does this every night he plays, whether it’s for 19,000 people in Miami or 90,000 in Buenos Aires — her name. Mariana.
“Mariana,” Santos repeated into the microphone. “Do you like wine, Mariana?” he asked, holding forth a huge gold goblet. Mariana — eyes wide, smiling — drank obediently. “How many drinks do you need to lose control?” he asked. “There’s always a limit, before you go crazy. One, two, three?” Mariana lifted two fingers in reply.
“Then have another drink,” said Santos, as his band launched into “Propuesta Indecente” (Indecent Proposal), one of the biggest songs in Latin music for most of the last two years. The track has spent a record-setting 89 weeks in the top five of Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart (as of May 2). Like all of Santos’ hits, it nods to traditional music — in this case, a bit of accordion tango — but its attitude is drawn from modern R&B. “If I lift up your skirt, would you allow me to measure your sanity?” go the lyrics. Call it Latin pop’s Fifty Shades Of Grey, a worldwide sensation that pushes eroticism to the limits of mainstream acceptability.