Leila Cobo Talks ‘Decoding ‘Despacito” Oral History Book on Latin Songs That Have Stood the Test of Time

Tracking the stories behind some of the biggest Latin songs of the past fifty years that have stood the test of time – from José Feliciano’s 1970 “Feliz Navidad” to Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s 2017 “Despacito” – was the goal of Leila Cobo, Billboard’s vp of Latin music, with her new book Decoding “Despacito”: An Oral History of Latin Music.

The collection gives behind-the-scenes looks at 19 anthemic songs that “defined movements and moments,” as Cobo writes in her book. “All these songs, they have several things in common — one of them being that they are very different to what was playing at the time,” she says. “None of them sounded like anything [else] at the time and I think that was key to their success.”

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In a span of nearly two years, Cobo … Read the rest