By LARRY ROHTER
JULY 10, 2014
Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” couldn’t do it, Jay Z got help from Justin Timberlake and Eminem, and Metallica didn’t try. Selling out consecutive shows at Yankee Stadium, with its capacity of roughly 50,000, is nearly impossible for any pop music artist not named Paul McCartney. But Romeo Santos, who will perform there Friday and Saturday nights, is about to achieve that feat.
Mr. Santos, who grew up in the Bronx a Yankee fan, calls himself the king ofbachata, a genre born in the sugarcane fields of the Dominican Republic, refined in New York City and characterized by rippling guitars, a gently pulsating beat and, in contrast to salsa, an absence of horns. But despite his enormous popularity — one video from his most recent CD has been viewed 345 million times on YouTube, compared with 185 million for Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” — he is all but unknown to Americans who speak only English.
Mr. Santos’s success is a testament not only to the growing influence the nation’s Hispanic population of more than 50 million and his own two decades in the music business, but also to a new kind of music he has pioneered and mastered. By infusing a traditional Latino sound and its subject matter — romance — with R&B and inflections of hip-hop, Mr. Santos, 32, has created a genre that bridges traditional differences of taste between the Caribbean and Mexican-American worlds while appealing to young Latinos growing up listening to American music.