21 Sizzling Best Cha Cha Cha Songs to Spice Up Your Playlist

Updated on June 13, 2024

Do you want to add some upbeat, energizing music to your playlist? Consider the cha cha cha instead! The 1950s saw the birth of this Latin dance genre in Cuba, from where it soon expanded around the globe. 

The cha cha cha is a well-liked dance style for both novice and seasoned dancers equally due to its upbeat pace and syncopated moves. 

This article includes a list of the top 21 cha cha cha tunes that are guaranteed to get you up and dancing. These tunes, which range from timeless hits to current faves, are appropriate for any situation, whether you're dancing with a partner or just chilling out by yourself.

1. "Smooth" by Santana, Rob Thomas

Kicking off the playlist is Santana's smooth 1999 hit "Smooth" featuring Rob Thomas on vocals. Santana blends Latin rock and cha cha cha elements to create a steamy, full-bodied sound. This song went on to win three Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

The song starts with an iconic drum fill that leads into the guitar riff. Additionally, the guitar solo in the middle of the song stands out as one of the most recognizable parts of the track. It also boasts a catchy chorus that's easy to sing along to.

"Smooth" radiates a Latin rock vibe, incorporating a mix of guitar, percussion, and horns. Even today, the song remains popular and frequently graces the playlists at parties and events. Let Rob Thomas' soulful vocals and Santana's scintillating guitar licks kickstart your cha cha cha journey.

2. "Oye Como Va" by Santana 

We follow with another Santana hit: his iconic 1970 cover of Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va." Santana fuses rock and Afro-Cuban rhythms to transform this cha cha cha classic into a timeless jam. Santana's version of the song has also been covered by many other artists over the years, including Celia Cruz and Pitbull.

The song features a simple but catchy melody that revolves around a repeating riff played on the guitar. This melody is accompanied by a driving rhythm section that includes percussion, bass, and drums. Santana's rendition of the song also includes a horn section that enhances the overall energy of the track.

This track exudes a lively and upbeat vibe that is guaranteed to get people moving. The catchy melody and driving rhythm make it a timeless classic that transcends generations.

3. "I Need to Know" by Marc Anthony

Turning up the romance is Marc Anthony's sultry 1999 cha cha cha/salsa fusion "I Need to Know." Anthony's vocals ache with longing over the slinky tropical rhythms.

The song features a catchy and memorable chorus: "Tell me baby 'cause I need to know, I need to know, I need to know," making it a great sing-along song. The melody is upbeat and danceable, with a Latin flair characteristic of Anthony's music.

This song achieved commercial success, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning Anthony his first-ever Latin Grammy Award. Billboard also recognized it as one of the greatest songs of 1999. Let this track heat up your cha cha cha playlist with some passionate energy.

4. "Sway" by Michael Bublé

Michael Bublé brings his trademark old school swagger to the cha cha cha classic "Sway." His smooth vocals glide over the Latin rhythms, transporting you to a vintage Cuban dancehall.

The song's melody is based on the original mambo song by Pablo Beltrán Ruiz. Michael Bublé's version features a big band arrangement with horns and percussion enhancing the Latin-inspired sound. This rendition includes a catchy chorus that's easy to sing along to.

"Sway" by Michael Bublé is a lively and romantic song with a Latin-inspired sound. Its catchy melody and playful lyrics make it a great addition to any playlist, especially one focused on upbeat and romantic songs.

5. "Bongo Cha Cha Cha" by Caterina Valente

"Bongo Cha Cha Cha" is a song by French-Italian singer Caterina Valente, originally released in 1954 as a single. Her song became a big national and international hit, as it was translated into several languages, including Spanish, German, French, and English.

This song represents one of the first instances of Italian Cha cha cha, a Latin American dance of Cuban origins successfully imported into Europe in the 1950s. "Bongo" signifies the African influence in the rhythm and percussion, while "Cha Cha Cha" symbolizes the Latin American influence in the melody.

It's a fun and upbeat song that's perfect for dancing and singing along to. Its fusion of Latin American and African rhythms, catchy melody, and positive lyrics make it an excellent addition to any playlist.

6. "Cuban Pete" by Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey's rendition of "Cuban Pete" from the 1994 film The Mask turns up the camp. His hyperactive vocals and moves showcase the silly fun side of the cha cha cha.

The song features a lively and upbeat melody with a Latin rhythm that's perfect for dancing. The lyrics introduce us to the character of Cuban Pete, who reigns as the king of the Rumba beat. He's described as friendly and charismatic, the life of the party. The lyrics are in both English and Spanish, adding to the song's Latin flavor.

With its upbeat melody and catchy lyrics, this song exudes a fun and energetic vibe that's perfect for dancing or simply listening. Let Carrey's performance make you grin as you feel the freedom of dancing.

7. "A Cuba (Cha Cha Cha Rap)" by Amilcar Suárez y su Salsa Matriz

Amilcar Suárez y su Salsa Matriz's energetic and uplifting song "A Cuba (Cha Cha Cha Rap)" combines cha-cha-cha and rap themes. After its 2010 debut, the song immediately gained popularity in Cuba and other Latin American nations.

Its snappy cha-cha-cha rhythm and energetic, uplifting melody are sure to make your feet tap. The song takes on a new and modern vibe thanks to the rap-style vocals, infusing the classic salsa sound with a contemporary touch.

In addition to its musical appeal, the song addresses some of the difficulties Cuba was experiencing at the time, such as economic hardship and political unpredictability. However, it does so in a positive and upbeat manner. Overall, "A Cuba (Cha Cha Cha Rap)" is a fun and uplifting song that captures the spirit of Cuban culture and identity.

8. "Jack Is Back" by The Clan

The Clan brings some 90s freestyle flair with "Jack Is Back." They released this high-energy Latin pop track in 1999, layering synths and horns over a cha-cha-cha rhythm.

This track exudes an upbeat and funky vibe. Its melody is both catchy and memorable, and the lyrics, though simple, are highly effective. The song centers around a confident and self-assured man who's back in town and ready to party. 

If you're seeking a lively addition to your Sha Sha Sha playlist that guarantees movement and a good time, then "Jack Is Back" is the perfect choice. Allow its infectious melodies and hooks to draw you to the dancefloor.

9. "Sofrito" by Mongo Santamaria

Afro-Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria wrote and performed the 1976 song "Sofrito." Neal Creque, a member of Santamaria's band at the time, authored the song. The song's title, which references a traditional Cuban sauce made with garlic, onions, peppers, and herbs, celebrates Cuban culture and cuisine.

The conga beat makes a brief appearance before the timbales and vocals join in. Once the melody is introduced, a powerful horn section leads the song to its climax. Finally, the song gradually fades away, leaving the listener with a sense of happiness and celebration.

This high-energy, catchy, and soulful song is a perfect addition to your Sha Sha Sha playlist. It embodies the celebration of music and life, serving as a reminder of Cuba's rich and diverse culture.

10. "Cha Cha" by Chelo

Chelo, a Latin pop artist from Puerto Rico, released the song "Cha Cha" in 2006, and it gained popularity in the United States, reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart.

The song's melody revolves around the cha-cha rhythm and incorporates a blend of electronic and acoustic instruments. Additionally, it includes a catchy chorus that repeatedly features the phrase "cha cha."

"Cha Cha" combines elements of Latin pop and reggaeton styles, with an emphasis on the cha-cha rhythm. This versatility makes it an appealing choice that can resonate with a broad spectrum of listeners. 

11. "I Like It" by Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin

Cardi B's 2018 smash hit "I Like It," featuring Bad Bunny and J Balvin, brings us into the realm of today's Latin pop. Cardi puts her unique spin on the classic 1967 boogaloo cha-cha-cha "I Like It Like That."

The song boasts a catchy melody and spirited lyrics that celebrate the good life, infusing it with a lively and upbeat feel. Cardi B delivers her rap verses in English, while Bad Bunny and J Balvin contribute their singing in Spanish, resulting in bilingual lyrics that enhance the song's appeal.

"I Like It" received acclaim for its infectious energy and its role in expanding the reach of Latin music. The song achieved significant commercial success, topping the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and marking the first number-one hit for both Bad Bunny and J Balvin. Critics also praised its fusion of Latin and hip-hop influences. 

Feel the cha cha cha's lasting influence as it powers this contemporary summer anthem.

12. "Havana" by Camila Cabello, Young Thug

Camila Cabello's sultry 2017 Latin-pop cha cha cha hybrid "Havana" takes the spotlight next, having dominated both pop and Latin charts. This song soared to the top of the charts in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.

In "Havana," Cabello portrays the coy chorine who falls for a suitor, set against a slinky cha cha cha groove. The song features a catchy melody with a memorable trumpet riff and a chorus that encourages easy sing-alongs. It maintains a mid-tempo beat, offering a relaxed and laid-back feel.

Be sure to include this track on your Sha Sha Sha playlist, as it offers a blend of catchy melody, Latin-inspired sounds, and a romantic vibe that's perfect for dancing and singing along. Its unique sound sets it apart from other pop songs, and its global commercial success speaks to its universal appeal.

13. "Let's Get Loud" by Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez flawlessly merges pop and Latin music in her iconic hit "Let's Get Loud." Inspired by the rhythms of salsa and the Latin culture, this song features her soulful 1999 vocals delivering anthemic lyrics over mambo cha cha cha rhythms.

The melody of this track revolves around the salsa rhythm, combining pop and dance elements. It commences with a vibrant brass section, followed by an engaging percussion beat, all complemented by Lopez's vocals. The song's most memorable part is its chorus, which enthusiastically repeats the lyrics "Let's get loud, let's get loud, turn the music up, let's do it."

With a dynamic upbeat atmosphere, "Let's Get Loud" embraces a prominent Latin influence. The inclusion of a brass section, percussion, and an infectious chorus invites people to dance and have a great time. This song has solidified its status as one of Jennifer Lopez's signature tracks and stands as a classic cha cha cha anthem.

14. "Mean Spirited Sal" by David Johansen

David Johansen and Brian Koonin co-wrote the lively cha cha cha party song "Mean Spirited Sal." This track is featured on Buster Poindexter's 1997 album "Buster's Spanish Rocket Ship."

The lyrics add to the enjoyment of the music, featuring a cheerful and upbeat tone. In the song, Sal is portrayed as a vivacious and mischievous character who brings joy and excitement to everyone around.

With its blend of Latin, jazz, and rock influences, both in the melody and orchestration, "Mean Spirited Sal" offers a unique and delightful addition to any playlist.

15. "Mangolele" by Beny Moré, Peréz Prado

Beny Moré and Pérez Prado joined forces to create the exuberant cha cha cha mambo collaboration "Mangolele," bringing the Golden Age of Cuban music to life. This recording from the 1950s features Moré's silky vocals and Prado's large band trumpets, creating a delightful dance tune.

The lyrics of the song are straightforward and lighthearted, perfectly capturing the carefree essence of Cuban music. The music itself is characterized by its lively and uplifting tempo, featuring a spirited horn section and a pulsating percussion groove throughout.

No Sha Sha Sha playlist would be complete without the inclusion of the iconic Cuban tune "Mangolele." This song serves as an exceptional representation of the vibrant and energetic rhythms that define Cuban music. Its historical significance, infectious vibes, memorable melody, and engaging lyrics all contribute to its enduring popularity.

16. "Besame mama" by Poncho Sánches, Mongo Santamaria 

Mongo Santamaria composed "Bésame Mama," which was performed by Poncho Sánchez. The lyrics of this song express the celebration of love and passion.

This song radiates the vibrant and positive energy that characterizes Latin jazz.  Also, the congas, timbales, and bongos provide the foundation for the song's pulsating rhythm section. The horns, including the trumpet and saxophone, contribute to the upbeat and danceable melody.

"Bésame Mama" is perfect for a party or a night out on the town due to its joyful and exuberant vibe. Whether you're a fan of Latin cha cha cha or simply looking for an uplifting addition to your playlist, this song is an excellent choice.

17. "My 2 Cents" by Caro Emerald

In 2013, Dutch singer Caro Emerald released the jazz-pop song "2 Cents," which exudes a nostalgic feel. She confidently delivers sarcastic vocals over a lively cha cha cha beat from a large band while cleverly responding to suitors. Feel free to groove and sway while expressing your thoughts.

The song's cheerful and upbeat mood aligns with Caro Emerald's signature style. Its flirty and playful lyrics are complemented by a catchy melody that's perfect for dancing. Moreover, it possesses a contemporary charm that will appeal to fans of pop and electronic music.

Caro Emerald's unique sound and style shine through, and "My 2 Cents" serves as an excellent example of her artistry. If you're in search of a vibrant and memorable tune to add to your playlist, look no further.

18. "Tumba Pala Cocuyé" by Afro-Cuban All Stars 

Cuban band Afro-Cuban All Stars set the dancefloor ablaze once again in 1999 with their rendition of "Tumba Pala Cocuyé." Ferocious cha cha cha beats emanate from congas, horns, and the piano. Let these renowned musicians transport you to a sizzling Havana dance party.

The song boasts an exciting melody that'll compel you to hit the dance floor. Furthermore, it's a fusion of three distinct Cuban dances, which lends it a special and intriguing quality. Guajiro Mirabal's trumpet solo adds to the song's upbeat atmosphere.

For a fantastic representation of Cuban music, "Tumba Pala Cocuyé" is a must-have on your Sha Sha Sha playlist.

19. "Cha Charanga" by El Rubio Loco

Italian musician El Rubio Loco injects humor into his frenetic cha cha cha song "Cha Charanga." This contemporary salsa tune incorporates elements of Cuban charanga music and contemporary salsa sounds.

The song's energetic and positive tone makes it perfect for dancing. Salsa dancers and enthusiasts alike favor it due to its lively rhythm and captivating melody. What sets this song apart from other salsa tracks is the inclusion of traditional charanga instruments like the violin and flute.

"Cha Charanga" is a fun and upbeat cha cha cha number that's ideal for dancing. If you're a fan of Latin music in general or salsa music in particular, "Cha Charanga" is undoubtedly a must-listen.

20. "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás" by Nat King Cole

In 1958, Nat King Cole gave the ageless staple "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas" a classy cha cha cha ballad makeover. He transformed the song about tentative love into a swoon-worthy serenade with his vocals.

With a hint of doubt and longing, this song exudes a sweet and whimsical mood. Its rhythm and lyrics eloquently express the emotion of being in love but unsure whether your feelings are shared. Nat King Cole's rendition of the song has a classic appeal that continues to captivate listeners today.

Nat King Cole's interpretation of "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas" with his distinct style makes it a particularly remarkable addition to your Sha Sha Sha playlist.

21. "Rhythm" by AWOL One, Daddy Kev

AWOL One and Daddy Kev's song "Rhythm," featured on AWOL One's 2002 album "Souldoubt," concludes our cha cha cha adventure. It exemplifies underground West Coast hip hop and latin rhythms. 

The melody, although simple, possesses great power. The song's foundation rests on a captivating and repetitive synth line, complemented by AWOL One's soulful vocals. It is suitable for unwinding, working out, or simply enjoying yourself.

"Rhythm" is the perfect addition to your Sha Sha Sha playlist if you're seeking a song that will uplift your spirits and get you grooving.

With its sensual hip sways and pulsing rhythms, cha cha cha brings passion and joy to any dance floor. This diverse 21 track playlist lets you time travel through the decades, experiencing fresh takes on a classic Latin sound. From vintage roots to pop crossovers, you'll discover new favorites while revisiting beloved hits. So grab a partner, press play, and let the cha cha cha rhythm move through you!