Latin music (música latina in Spanish and Portuguese) is a genre that is used by the music industry as a catch-all term for any music that comes from the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking areas of the world (including Spain and sometimes Portugal) as well as music sung in either language. In the United States, the term is used by the music industry to denote any music that is mostly sung in Spanish regardless of genre or the artist's nationality. Both the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Billboard magazine use this definition of "Latin music" to track sales of Spanish-language records in the US.
The term "Latin music" originated from the United States (US) due to the growing influence of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the American music market, with notable pioneers including Xavier Cugat (1940s), Tito Puente (1950s), Antônio Carlos Jobim and Carlos Santana (1960s), and accelerating especially since the 1980s. As one author explained the rising popularity from the 1940s: "Latin America, the one part of the world not engulfed in World War II, became a favorite topic for songs and films for Americans who wanted momentarily to forget about the conflagration." Beginning in the late 1970s, an influx of balladeers from Spain such as Julio Iglesias, Camilo Sesto, and Raphael had established their presence on the music charts both in Latin America and the US Latin market.
Major record labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music, and Warner Music often have two divisions dedicated to the Latin market: one which focuses on Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, and the other for the Hispanic market in the United States. Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States are the largest Latin music markets in the world