Linda Bell Viera Caballero (born March 9, 1969), better known as La India, is a Puerto Rican singer and songwriter of salsa, house music and Latin pop. La India has been nominated for both Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, winning the Latin Grammy Award for Best Salsa Album for the Intensamente La India Con Canciones De Juan Gabriel album.[1]

La India
La India performing at the Festival de la Salsa in Nicaragua in 2008.
La India performing at the Festival de la Salsa in Nicaragua in 2008.
Background information
Birth nameLinda Bell Viera Caballero
Also known asIndia
Born (1969-03-09) March 9, 1969 (age 55)
Río Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1985–present

Early life


Viera was born in Río Piedras, San Juan. Both her parents moved to New York City soon after her birth, settling in the South Bronx area of the city. Initially, they lived with Viera's grandmother, a woman who served as an important influence on Viera's life.[2] Viera began singing as a young girl, even taking opera training for a brief time.[3] Her stage name, La India, was given to her by her grandmother because of her dark features and long, straight, black hair.[4] La India describes herself as a feminist, having witnessed domestic violence from her father.[5]



1985: Early career


In 1985, when Caballero was 16 years old, she joined the Latin freestyle group TKA, a fact not widely known. Credited as "Linda," she appeared in the group photo on the back cover of TKA's second single, "Come Get My Love." She left shortly thereafter.[6]

Caballero signed a record contract with Reprise/Warner Bros. Records, who planned to market her as the Latin version of Madonna (who recorded for sister label Sire Records).[7] India's debut album was titled Breaking Night. Three singles were released (“Dancing on the Fire,” “Right from the Start,” and “The Lover Who Rocks You All Night”), which all became big hits in the dance clubs. She also added her vocals to the Jellybean-produced single "Mirage". After recording the album, Caballero decided that she didn't want to take that route in her career.[4][6] She decided to switch to salsa because she believed that she needed to "cross over to [her] people."[3]

1992–1994: First salsa album


An important event took place when she accompanied her husband "Little" Louie Vega to a studio session. Salsa bandleader Eddie Palmieri happened to visit the studio, and was impressed with Caballero when he heard her singing. In 1992, Palmieri produced Caballero's first Spanish-language salsa album Llego La India via Eddie Palmieri (The India has Arrived via Eddie Palmieri),[3][8] which was acclaimed as one of the best salsa albums of the year. From then on, Caballero became known to all as La India.[6] India received a Lo Nuestro Award nomination in 1993 for Best Female Performer, Tropical/Salsa.[9]

In 1994 La India, together with Louie Vega, recorded the house-music single "Love and Happiness" (Yemaya y Ochún), which paid tribute to Santería (a syncretic religion based in the Caribbean). This up-beat track was played heavily in dance clubs internationally. La India's involvement with Santería drew much criticism. Sergio George produced La India's 1994 album Dicen Que Soy, a 2× gold-certified Billboard hit that added to her legend in the Latin-American music realm.[3] The album also included her cover of Cuba’s Adalberto Alvarez Y Su Son’s hit song "Vivir Lo Nuestro[10]," featuring a duet with Marc Anthony. Later this same year, Combinación Perfecta was released.[4]

1996–present: La India, the Princess of Salsa

External audio
  You may listen to La India sing "Seduceme" here.
  You may listen to La India sing "Jazzin" with Tito Puente here

In 1996, La India worked with Tito Puente on Jazzin, an English-language album of swing classics with a Latin twist, on RMM Records. That same year she contributed the song "Banderas" to the album titled Voces Unidas (United Voices), a multi-artist tribute to the 1996 Summer Olympics. She also released India: Mega Mix that same year before divorcing Vega. La India sang a duet titled "La Voz de la Experiencia" (The Voice of Experience) with Celia Cruz, the late Queen of Salsa.[3] It was then that Cruz gave Caballero her longer name: La India, the Princess of Salsa. In 1997, La India recorded "Sobre el Fuego" (Over the Fire) with Puerto Rican salsa singer Kevin Ceballo as backup vocalist. The song was nominated for Best Latin Tropical Performance Grammy Award. In 1998, she won an ACE Award.[6]

On May 31, 1998, La India performed two sold-out concerts at the Luis A. Ferre Performing Arts Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She returned to the United States, and television network UPN aired one of her shows. With training provided by New York's famed choreographer Sara D'Arce India was also able to perform concerts in New York's Madison Square Garden and in El Festival de la Calle Ocho in Miami, Florida. In September 1999, La India released her album Sola, which earned positive reviews for the single Sola and for covers of two hits by the late Cuban sensation La Lupe, Que Te Pedi and Si Vuelves Tu.[4]

On February 5, 2000, a full-page ad in Billboard Magazine congratulated La India for her second Grammy Award nomination. In March 2000, she was featured in Vibe Magazine. On November 26, 2003, La India released Latin Songbird: Mi Alma y Corazón.[3] The album's lead single "Sedúceme" became a hit on the Latin charts, and topped the U.S. Billboard Hot Latin Tracks for several weeks. This romantic salsa hit single was La India's first number-one song. Latin Songbird brought her a new fan base with many awards and nominations, including two Latin Grammy nominations for Best Salsa Album and Best Tropical Song in 2003, and her third Grammy Award nomination for Best Salsa Album in 2004.[11]

In 2005, La India participated in the musical presentation Selena ¡VIVE!, a tribute to the late Tejano sensation Selena Quintanilla-Perez. In 2006, La India released the album Soy Diferente, which contained two songs that became award-winning hits. The 2007 Annual Latin Billboard Awards honored La India with Best Tropical Album of the Year Female for "Soy Diferente" (I Am Different), and Latin Dance Club Play Track of the Year for "Solamente Una Noche" (Just for One Night). In 2007, La India collaborated with Latin sensation Gloria Estefan in a duet titled "90 Millas."[11]

On June 11, 2006, La India was honored by Union City, New Jersey with a star on the Walk of Fame at Union City's Celia Cruz Park.[12]

La India released her ninth studio album in 2010. La India mentioned to the Associated Press, "I am reinventing myself ... changing my physical image. La India will return to become a Barbie. But more than that, I feel like a new woman because I have been blessed with many beautiful things. After many years, I have my family with me, and I am not separated from my mother, in which I suffered greatly. I have her in my life, and that brings inner peace that I haven't had in a long time."

On February 23, 2010, La India's hit single "Estupida" was released on iTunes. The single was a cover of the 2009 Italian version "Stupida" by Alessandra Amoroso. La India's ninth studio album, Unica, was released June 1, 2010.

In 2011, La India continued to release new music. She performed a duet with Issac Delgado titled "Que No Se Te Olvide." In 2011, La India released a new house track titled "Tacalacateo," on which she worked with Italian DJ Peppe Citarella. "Tacalacateo" peaked at #13 on Billboard's dance music chart.

In 2012, La India performed as part of UNITY : The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson, along with other Latin artists such as Tito Nieves and Kevin Ceballo.[13]

In 2014, La India once again signed with the record label Top Stop Music, also joining the Salsa Giants project with Sergio George. La India released her tenth studio salsa album "Intensamente Con Canciones de Juan Gabriel" on Top Stop Music in 2015. It includes duets and solo pieces by both artists. This album was number one on Billboard's tropical chart for a consecutive four weeks. One song in particular, "Ahora Que Te Vas" quickly rose to number one on Billboard's tropical chart. With this song, La India became the Latino woman with the most-ever number ones, a record previously held by Gloria Estefan.[14]

In 2023, Rolling Stone ranked La India at number 113 on its list of the 200 Greatest Singers of All Time.[15]



Studio albums

Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications
US Tropical[citation needed] US Latin[citation needed] Heatseekers[16]
1990 Breaking Night
1992 Llego La India, Via Eddie Palmieri
  • Label: Soho Sounds
  • Format: LP • CD • cassette
1994 Dicen Que Soy
  • Label: RMM
  • Format: LP • CD • cassette
1 4
1997 Sobre el Fuego
  • Label: RMM
  • Format: CD • cassette
1 4 33
1999 Sola
  • Label: RMM
  • Format: CD • cassette
4 7 20
2002 Latin Songbird: Mi Alma y Corazón 1 7 19
2006 Soy Diferente 1 11 9
  • RIAA: Gold (Latin)[17]
2010 Unica
  • Label: Top Stop Music
  • Format: CD
180 1 4
2015 Intensamente Con Canciones de Juan Gabriel
  • Label: Top Stop Music
  • Format: CD
1 3
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released in the region.

Compilation albums

Year Title Peak chart positions
US Tropical[citation needed]
US Latin[citation needed]Billboard Top Latin Albums
1996 Lo Mejor de India
  • Label: RMM
  • Format: CD
1997 Mega Mix
  • Label: RMM / Soho Latino
  • Format: CD • cassette
2001 The Best...
  • Label: RMM
  • Format: CD
2005 Grandes Exitos +
  • Label: RMM
  • Format: CD
7 11
"—" denotes album that did not chart or was not released in the region.
Year Title
1994 Love and Happiness (w/ River Ocean)
  • Label: Strictly Rhythm
  • Format: LP • CD

Contributions on other recordings

  • 1988 - Mirage
  • By Jellybean & Little Louie Vega (Featured on the "B" side of the 12" Single of 'Just A Mirage')
  • With Tony Humphries
    • Keith Thompson – Rhythm of Life
  • With Masters at Work
    • 1992 – Ride On The Rhythm by Louie Vega & Marc Anthony (wrote/background vocals)
    • 1993 – When You Touch Me and I Can't Get No Sleep (from The Album)
    • 1994 – Voices In My Mind by Voices (India, Carol Sylvan, Michael Watford)
    • 1994 – Vibe P.M. (Masters at Work Remix) (featured with Mondo Grosso)
    • 1998 – To Be In Love (MAW Remix) (from MAW Records: The Collection Volume I)
    • 1996 – Runaway (from Nuyorican Soul)
    • 2002 – Backfired (from Our Time Is Coming)
  • RMM Combinacion Perfecta
  • Li'l Mo Ying Yang
    • 1995 Reach (samples "Love & Happiness")
  • Voces Unidas: The Atlanta Olympics
    • 1996 – Banderas
  • JohNick – Play The World EP
    • 1996 – Play The World (samples "Love & Happiness")
  • With Oscar D'León
    • 1997 – Hazme El Amor (from En Nueva York)
  • Puff Daddy & the Family – No Way Out
    • 1997 – Senorita (samples India's "No Me Conviene")
  • The Last Days of Disco Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • The 24-Hour Woman Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    • 1999 – India Con La Voe (Viva Puerto Rico)
  • Haus-A-Holics – Latin Spice EP
    • 2001 – Que Pasa by Haus-A-Holics (samples "Oye Como Va" with Tito Puente Jr.)
  • Empire Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    • 2003 – Empire, Imperio
  • With Tito Nieves, Nicky Jam, and K-Mil
    • 2004 – Ya No Queda Nada
  • With Ivy Queen
    • 2004 – "Tócame" (from Real)
  • Tribute to Selena
  • With Marlon Fernández
    • 2006 – Usted Abusó (from Mi Sueño)
  • With R.K.M & Ken-Y, Polaco, Nicky Jam, and Carlitos Way
    • 2006 – Tocarte Toda
  • With Gloria Estefan
  • With Michael Stuart
    • 2007 – Un Amor Tan Grande (from Sentimiento De Un Rumbero)
  • With Yolandita Monge
    • 2008 – Mala (Tropical Remix) (from "Mala")
  • With Tito "El Bambino"
    • 2009 – El Amor (Salsa Remix) (from "El Patron")
  • ' 2010 – "Un Verano En Nueva York" (from Banco Popular De PR – Salsa, Un Homenaje A El Gran Combo Album)[18]
  • With Issac Delgado
    • 2011 – Maxi single "Que No Se Te Olvide"
  • With Peppe Citarella
    • 2011 – Maxi single "Tacalacateo"
  • With Tito Rojas
    • 2011 – "Maldito y Bendito Amor" (Salsa version)
    • 2011 – "Maldito y Bendito Amor" (Ballad version)
  • ' 2013 – "Tu no tienes alma" (from the "Y Si Fueran Ellas" albuml[19])
  • With Sergio George's Salsa Giants
    • 2014 – "Bajo La Tormenta" (from Sergio George Presents: Salsa Giants Plus)
  • With Tony Succar – Unity the Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson
    • 2015 – "Earth song"
  • With Tony Succar - Mimy Y Tony
    • 2023 - "Sin Fronteras"

Awards and nominations

Year Nominee / work Award Result
2016 Intensamente con Canciones de Juan Gabriel Best Salsa Album Won
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2016 Intensamente con Canciones de Juan Gabriel Favorite Album—Tropical Nominated
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2004 La India (herself) Tropical Female Artist Nominated
2004 La India (herself) Best Salsa Performance Nominated
2004 Seduceme Best Tropical Song Nominated
2004 Mi Alma Y Corazon Best Tropical Album Nominated
2005 La India (herself) Female Artist Of The Year Nominated
2007 Soy Diferente Best Tropical Album Nominated
2007 La India (herself) Female Artist Of The Year Nominated
2007 La India & Cheka Group Or Duo Of The Year Nominated
2011 La India (herself) Female Artist Of The Year Nominated
2011 Estupida Best Tropical Song Nominated
2016 La India (herself) Female Artist Of The Year Nominated
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2003 Latin Songbird: Mi Alma Y Corazon Tropical Album Of The Year Won
2004 La India (Herself) Seduceme (Remix) Won
2006 Grandes Exitos Tropical Album Of The Year Nominated
2007 Soy Diferente Tropical Album Of The Year Won
2007 Pura Salsa Tropical Album Of The Year Nominated

See also



  1. ^ a b "Latin Grammy Winners 2016: Complete List". Billboard.
  2. ^ "India | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "La India and Marc Anthony | The Legends | Latin Music USA". La India and Marc Anthony | The Legends | Latin Music USA. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  4. ^ a b c d "Cengage Learning – Education – Engaged with you". Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  5. ^ Valdes-Rodriguez, Alisa (April 9, 2000). "Commanding Respect". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 9, 2022. Retrieved June 9, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d "pf – La India – Latin Music Artists – Corporate Event Booking Agent". Archived from the original on 2016-03-21. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  7. ^ "La India – Supreme Princess of Salsa". Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective. 2012-06-07. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  8. ^ Aparicio, Frances R. (26 November 2013). "La India". doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.A2093294. ISBN 978-1-56159-263-0. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  9. ^ Lannert, John (March 30, 1993). "Secada Lead Latin Noms Following Grammy Win". Billboard. Vol. 105, no. 10. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 10. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  10. ^ "Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, Discografía, Salsero del mes".
  11. ^ a b "La India's About More Than Just Salsa". Puerto Rico Herald. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  12. ^ Rosero, Jessica. "Viva la comunidad Cubano North Hudson celebrates at the annual Cuban Day Parade" Hudson Reporter June 18, 2006
  13. ^ "Unity – The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson | 2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival | PBS Arts". Unity – The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson | 2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival | PBS Arts. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  14. ^ Mendizabal, Amaya (15 July 2015). "India Passes Gloria Estefan for Most Tropical Song Charts No. 1s Among Women". Billboard.
  15. ^ "The 200 Greatest Singers of All Time". Rolling Stone. 1 January 2023. Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  16. ^ a b "India". Billboard. Retrieved 2022-06-25.
  17. ^ a b "American certifications – India". Recording Industry Association of America.
  18. ^ "Banco Popular De PR – Salsa, Un Homenaje A El Gran Combo Album Lyrics". Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  19. ^ "Site is down for maintenance – [Client Name]" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-01-31. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
  20. ^ Valdez, Maria G. (August 31, 2016). "Latin American Music Awards 2016 On Telemundo: Yandel, Nicky Jam Among Top Nominees [FULL LIST]". Latin Times.