Bilingual pop group Aventura plays the American Airlines Arena Saturday

Aventura is one of the most successful Latin music acts in the world at the moment. Not "arguably" and not "possibly" — it's simple fact. How else do you categorize a group whose most recent album is the biggest Latin seller of 2009, breaking sales records for most consecutive weeks at number one? That's exactly what double-platinum-selling The Last has done. It has even made its way from the Latin Billboard charts to the Billboard Top 200, where it sat alongside mainstream blockbusters such as Lady Gaga's The Fame and Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. And even though the album was released some 26 weeks ago, it's still going strong.

The Last has also spawned a handful of very successful singles over the past year. "Por un Segundo" reached number one on Billboard's Top Latin Songs. Then there was "All Up to You," featuring reggaeton powerhouses Wisin y Yandel as well as Akon, and most recently "Dile al Amor."

Still not impressed? Check out the schedule for Aventura's current U.S. tour, which kicked off in late November. Thus far, the group has sold out nine major venues, including Chicago's Allstate Arena, Boston's Agganis Arena, L.A.'s Staples Center, and New York's Madison Square Garden — twice.

That's not too bad for four kids out of the boogie-down Bronx who decided to play music something like their Dominican parents' bachata. Blending the D.R.'s most traditional genre with urban and cosmopolitan influences, Aventura came up with something new. Their form of bachata still features those distinct high-pitched, syncopated, staccato guitar lines, but it's modernized and made marketable to their peers by the inclusion of R&B, hip-hop, and bilingual lyrics.

That's not to say people who'd argue that lead singer Romeo's vocals sound like a cat food commercial don't have a point. But the millions upon millions of fans in the U.S. — never mind across the world — would tend to disagree. And they would probably insult your mother if you said so. Which is why we won't.

 
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