Linda Ronstadt

Previous generations of Mexican American artists felt compelled to disguise their ethnic roots. However, by 1987 Linda Ronstadt—one of the biggest-selling singers in U.S. pop music—had the commercial clout to feature her roots on an album of traditional Mexican songs, Canciones de Mi Padre. Backed by Mariachi Vargas, one of Mexico’s finest mariachi bands, Ronstadt’s Spanish-language records broadened the audience for Latino music.