From Anitta to Celia Cruz, Bomba Estéreo & Maluma: A Definitive Playlist for Carnival 2024

From the vibrant streets of Rio de Janeiro to the spirited parades of Barranquilla, Colombia, Carnival is a testament to the power of music, dance and extravagant costumes, and comes together in a dazzling display of creativity and celebration.

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This year, Billboard Español presents a curated playlist that bridges the past with the present, featuring a dynamic mix of artists who capture the spirit of Carnival, from the legendary sounds of Celia Cruz with her timeless “La Vida es un Carnaval” to the invigorating rhythms of Brazilian powerhouse Anitta  alongside DENNIS and Pedro Sampaio in “Joga Pra Lua,” and the energetic MPB rhythms of Ludmilla and Ivete Sangalo’s “Macetando.”

Adding to the mix, Colombian superstar Maluma’s aptly titled “Carnaval” and Cuban Latin Collection’s “Salsa Soca,” this collection of 22 songs pays homage to the artists who have helped shape the festival’s soundscape.

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Originating from ancient traditions that predate the arrival of Europeans to the Americas, Carnival has evolved over the centuries, blending European, African and indigenous cultures into a vibrant celebration that traditionally precedes Lent, a time of indulgence before the fasting period in the Christian calendar.

In Brazil, Carnival is synonymous with its samba schools’ parades, showcasing an array of dance, music, and elaborate costumes. Meanwhile, the Caribbean offers its own unique flavor, from Trinidad and Tobago’s calypso and soca festivities to Cuba’s vibrant comparsas, with Colombia’s Barranquilla adding its own electrifying twist.

More than just a party, Carnival stands as a beacon of cultural resistance, identity, and community spirit, inviting everyone to partake in its joyous revelry.

So turn up the volume and let the rhythms transport you to the lively streets of Latin America and the Caribbean, with the rhythms of Anitta, Ludmilla, Carlos Vives, Celia Cruz, Bomba Estéreo and many more to soundtrack your way.

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