Singer Selena Gomez celebrates heritage with first Spanish EP

The pop star is the latest star to celebrate her heritage in song

FILE - In this Jan 11, 2020 file photo, Selena Gomez attends the premiere of "Dolittle" in Los Angeles. Gomez says she was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The 27-year-old spoke about her diagnosis in a 20-minute conversation Friday while on Miley Cyrus' “Bright Minded" series on Instagram. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
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Selena Gomez explores her roots in a new project.

After first stating her interest to record a Spanish song back in 2011, the US singer, whose parents share Mexican and Italian heritage, fulfilled that ambition with the release of Revelacion.

After teasing the EP over the last six weeks with the release of singles De Una Vez and Baila Conmigo, with Puerto Rican rapper Rauw Alejandro and Selfish Love with DJ Snake, Gomez unveiled on Friday the full selection of seven songs.

"This new music is a labour of love for all of my Latin fans," Gomez said. "Whether you speak Spanish or not, I hope you can feel the emotion and passion. For me, that is the beauty of Latin music."

With the US concert industry shut down by the pandemic, Gomez said to Apple Music's Zane Low that the extra time allowed her to complete the project.

"I think if anything, I’ve learned just that during this pandemic is that allowed me to be patient with my choices,” she said.

“You know what’s funny? I actually think I sing better in Spanish. That was something I discovered. It was a lot of work and you cannot mispronounce anything. It is something that needed to be precise and needed to be respected by the audience I’m going to release this for.

“I want everyone to enjoy the music, but I am targeting my fan base and my heritage, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Gomez is not the first pop-star, with a Latin American background, celebrating her culture in records.

In 1999, Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin brought Latin pop music to American and global audiences with hit songs like Maria, The Cup of Life and Livin' La Vida Loca. In 1999, his album Vuelve won a Grammy award for Best Latin Pop Performance and the following year Martin received four Grammy nominations.

US singer Marc Anthony did the same with the success of his albums, which had both tracks in English and Spanish.

In 2007, Jennifer Lopez, who is also of Puerto Rican descent, released her first Spanish album Como Ama una Mujer and scored a hit with Que Hiciste. The track was nominated for the 2008 Billboard Latin Music Award Song of the Year.

Singer Enrique Iglesias switched languages frequently throughout his career with four of his 10 albums recorded in his native Spanish. His 2016 Spanish sung single Duele el Corazon was global smash and topped the charts in the US, Spanish and Mexican charts.

Meanwhile in 2019, Cuban American rapper Pitbull released his 11th album Libertad 548 which saw him return to Spanish rapping after a decade of English pop hits.