ANA BARBARA

Recognized for her music as well as her spellbinding sex appeal, Ana Bárbara skyrocketed to celebrity in Mexico in the mid-’90s and was quickly crowned “La Reina Grupera,” for she not only dominated the grupero movement, but she was one of the driving forces behind the style’s realization. Bárbara’s music is often categorized as ranchera, which is indeed a key component of her style, but grupero is a more apt description, because it accounts for the many other aspects of her music, including elements of norteño as well as Latin pop. In particular, it’s common for Bárbara’s music to be awash in synthesizers, with the drums and keyboards accented electronically, and while accordion is a staple of her songs, so are guitars, strings, and horns. As is characteristic of grupero, Bárbara’s songs are almost always romantic and are intended to be catchy, sometimes to the point of being written off as “ear candy” (and she herself as “eye candy”) by some critics.