You probably don't know who this singer is. Unless you listen to Spanish-language radio or watch videos on VH-Uno.
From Brazil, Alexandre is one of the hottest voices and singers around, selling over 10 million+ CDs in his very short career. He was discovered by the Gloria Estefan crew in the late 90s, and his career has taken off since. He's big in the U.S., Central and South America, and in Europe. His ballads are sexy, sad tales of love and loss. His dance songs have bridged the poor and middle classes together, taking the infamous "pagode" from the back alleys to the VIP rooms of the hottest clubs.
The history and connection of Africans in Central and South America is pretty huge. A brief history I found here. Another here. And as hard as it might be to believe (well, because we don't get taught in public schools or in the mainstream media in the U.S.), there are more people of African ancestry in Central and South America than there are in the United States. And they're speaking Spanish, Portugese, and many other languages... while in the U.S., we're still kinda stuck on that English-only thing in many places. Our lives and histories are connected in many ways... ways that should make the black/brown divide-and-conquer wars, well... history. Or at least explored through constructive dialogue with our communities.
And definetely explored in writing, academic studies, commentaries, and in the news. Music, especially the whole reggaeton movement, definitely connects younger communities of color. Kinda explains the popularity of the new Latino 96.3 in Los Angeles.
And that's Alexandre Pires for you... someone you may want to add to your arsenal of music and pop culture today!