Pop culture in Puerto Rico, it can be said, has been historically affected both by the political changes the island has gone through, and by the changes in popular culture around the world.

Timeline of changes in Puerto Rican pop cultureEdit





  • Menudo becomes a worldwide sensation, hitting record sales in many countries around the world. Soon, many other teen bands try to imitate Menudo's success.
  • Los Chicos become Menudo's top competitors. Female groups like Las Cheris and Monedas aim to become the "female version" of Menudo.
  • Many meeting places like restaurants, bars and entertainment have the "Viernes Social" (Social Friday) which planned activities right after 5pm.
  • Deborah Carthy Deu becomes the second Miss Puerto Rico to win the Miss Universe crown.
  • Neon's Discotheque in San Juan becomes a popular dance club.
  • Popular TV showman Luis Vigoreaux is murdered in 1983. Actress Lydia Echevarría is accused and jailed for the murder of Vigoreaux.
  • Television show A Millon obtains the biggest ratings in Puerto Rican television history.
  • In 1984 Lou Briel reached popularity with the song: "Yo puedo" ("I Can"), an inspirational song about perseverance.

In 1988 Boricua Giannina Braschi first published "El imperio de los sueños" (Empire of Dreams), the postmodern poetry classic inspired by the Puerto Rican Day Parade.



  • Teenage Spanish pop/rock makes a comeback, and singers such as Belinda Peregrin and Melody enjoy large success in Puerto Rico.
  • Reggaeton becomes a popular music genre among young people, with artists such as Daddy Yankee and Don Omar crossing over to U.S. markets.
  • Dreuxilla Divine becomes the first Puerto Rican female impersonator, to host a daily talk show in Televicentro alongside journalist Milly Cangiano, called Sacando Chispa.
  • José Miguel Agrelot dies at the age of 77, in January 2004. His death had been preceded by a few weeks by that of popular Ponce mayor Rafael Cordero.
  • Concert comeback of many 70s and 80s performers such as Van Halen, Chicago, Scorpions, Elton John among others.
  • Denise Quiñones becomes the fourth Puerto Rican to win Miss Universe by annexing the crown in 2001.
  • In 2006, Zuleyka Rivera becomes the fifth Puerto Rican to win Miss Universe.


  • Celebrated Puerto Rican author Giannina Braschi publishes her first novel written in English entitled "United States of Banana" (2011), which is launched world-wide through the Fortune 500 company Amazon.
  • Miguel Cotto, who debuted during the previous decade, is one of Puerto Rico's most popular boxers during the decade.
  • Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro is a popular Puerto Rican writer during the decade.

See alsoEdit


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