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Pop goes an explosion

August 29, 2004

Agustin Gurza should be commended for writing about the bogus event that was the Latin music "explosion" ( "1999 was the Year ...," Aug. 15). Ricky Martin and Shakira may have been media darlings, but their life on the pop charts was based on just that, pop, and less on being Latin. They did, however, expose a greater number of people to things Latin. Enough people were intrigued, opened the door, and saw that there was more interesting Latin music than what was being pushed by the likes of Sony.

The general populace has been discovering Hispanic culture on their own terms, discovering Latin sounds through TV shows, commercials, and on the dance floors of the trendiest nightclubs. The Latin explosion has morphed into the Latin diffusion. Any nation will throw tantrums as it confronts new cultures that differ from its dominant one. It will be interesting to see what America turns to Wednesday: the third night of the Republican convention or the Latin Grammys on CBS.

Manny Gonzalez

New York

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