Essential Merengue Artists

Dancing at a Latin Night Club
Lawrence Manning/Getty Images

The following list features some of the best Merengue artists of all time. From pioneers like Johhny Ventura and Wilfrido Vargas to contemporary stars like Juan Luis Guerra and Eddy Herrera, the following group of artists and bands have shaped the sounds of one of the most popular Latin music genres in the whole world.

10: Eddy Herrera

This Dominican artist is one of the most popular contemporary Merengue artists. However, he has been for a while in the Merengue field from the time he was a singer for the Wilfrido Vargas band in the 1980s. In the 1990s, he started a solo career that has been defined by many hits. Some of his most popular tracks include "Tu Eres Ajena," "Pegame Tu Vicio" and "Carolina." The music of Eddy Herrera fits perfectly a good Latin party.

9: Jossie Esteban y La Patrulla 15

Jossie Esteban is a name to include in any Merengue playlist. With his band La Patrulla 15, this Dominican artist has enjoyed enormous popularity in Latin music parties all over the world. Jossie Esteban has produced an immense repertoire that includes songs like "El Tigueron," "El Coco" and "Pegando Pecho."

8: Sergio Vargas

During the 1980s and 1990s, Sergio Vargas was one of the most beloved Merengue Artists. At that time, he offered a very refreshing image that appealed to Merengue fans all over the world. With his own band Los Hijos del Rey, this Dominican artist enjoyed lots of success. His hit song "La Quiero A Morir," delivered one of the most enduring Merengue singles of all time. Additional hit tracks by Sergio Vargas include "La Ventanita," "La Pastilla," and "Si Algun Dia La Ves."

7: Johnny Ventura

To many, Johnny Ventura is the most influential name in the making of Merengue music. An outstanding performer, Johnny Ventura has injected his songs with a unique voice and dance moves that have been enduring in the Merengue scene. Johnny Ventura has captured in his songs the original sound of Merengue music. Some of his most popular tracks include "Patacon Pisao," "La Suegra" and "El Mangu."

6: Los Vecinos

This New York band is part of the group of pioneers that shaped the sounds of Merengue during the 1980s. Its lead singer and soul of the band was the talented artist Milly Quezada. In fact, the band was known as Milly y Los Vecinos. After some years, however, Milly moved into a solo career. In any case, Los Vecinos left a popular repertoire of hits that include songs like "Tengo," "La Guacherna" and "Volvio Juanita."

5: Olga Tañon

For the past decades, this Puerto Rican singer has become the most influential female Merengue artist. Her career has been full of hits and different awards. Despite flirting with Latin Pop, Olga Tañon is as her best with Merengue music. Some of her most popular songs include "Es Mentiroso," "Muchacho Malo" and "Ya Me Canse."

4: Elvis Crespo

"Suavemente" is probably one of the most successful Merengue songs in history. Thanks to this single, Elvis Crespo became a Latin music superstar and a real ambassador of Merengue music around the world. Elvis Crespo is definitely one of the most influential Merengue artists today. Besides "Suavemente" some of his most popular songs include tracks like "Pintame," "Nuestra Cancion" and "Tu Sonrisa."

3: Los Hermanos Rosario

For the past decades, Los Hermanos Rosario has produced some of the finest beats in Merengue music. The Rosario brothers (Rafa, Luis, and Tony) formed this band back in 1978. Since then, this well known Dominican orchestra has produced popular Merengue songs including tracks like "Rompecintura," "Borron Y Cuenta Nueva" and "La Dueña Del Swing."

2: Wilfrido Vargas

Wilfrido Vargas literally changed the beat of Merengue. Because of this, he is one of the absolute pioneers of modern Merengue music. This Dominican artist enjoyed tremendous popularity during the 1980s thanks to his hit songs including "Volvere," "El Comejen" and "Abusadora."

1: Juan Luis Guerra

Juan Luis Guerra is probably the most influential contemporary Dominican artist. From his beginnings with the legendary 4-40 band, this singer-songwriter has shaped the modern sounds coming from the Dominican Republic. His influence on Merengue is significant and some of his most popular songs in this genre include "La Bilirrubina," "Ojala Que LLueva Cafe" and "Buscando Visa Para Un Sueño." Juan Luis Guerra is definitely one of the greatest Merengue artists of all time.