La India

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La India
Birth name Linda Viera Caballero
Also known as India
Born (1969-03-09) March 9, 1969 (age 49)
Río Piedras, Puerto Rico
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1985–present
Associated acts

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

Early life[edit]

Caballero was born in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. Her parents moved to New York City soon after her birth, and settled down in the South Bronx area of the city. They moved in with Caballero's grandmother, a woman who served as an important influence on Caballero's life. Caballero began singing as a young girl and even took opera classes briefly. Her stage name, India, was given to Caballero by her grandmother because of her dark features and long straight black hair.[2]


1985: Career beginnings[edit]

In 1985, when Caballero was 16 years old, she was a founding member of the Latin freestyle group TKA and was featured on the cover of TKA's second single, "Come Get My Love". She left shortly thereafter.[3]

Caballero signed a record contract with Reprise/Warner Bros. Records, which planned on marketing her as the Latin version of Madonna (who recorded for sister label Sire Records). After recording the album Breaking Night, Caballero decided that she didn't want to take that route in her career.[2][3]

1992–1994: First salsa album[edit]

An important event took place when she accompanied her husband "Little" Louie Vega to a studio recording. Salsa band leader 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), which was acclaimed as one of the best salsa albums of the year. From then on Caballero became known to all as India.[3] India received a Lo Nuestro Award nomination in 1993 for Best Female Performer, Tropical/Salsa.[4]

In 1994, India together with Louie Vega recorded a house-music single "Love and Happiness" (Yemaya y Ochún) that paid tribute to Santería (a syncretic religion based in the Caribbean). This up-beat house track was played heavily in dance clubs internationally. India's involvement with Santería drew much criticism. She later recorded Dicen Que Soy (They Say that I Am) which was a 2x gold-certified Billboard hit and included the song "Vivir Lo Nuestro", a duet with Marc Anthony. Later this same year Combinación Perfecta. was released.[2]

1996–present: India, the Princess of Salsa[edit]

External audio
You may listen to India sing "Seduceme" here.

In 1996, 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 entitled 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. India sang a duet titled "La Voz de la Experiencia" (The Voice of Experience) with Celia Cruz, the late Queen of Salsa. It was then that Cruz gave Caballero her longer name: India the Princess of Salsa. In 1997, India recorded "Sobre el Fuego" (Over the Fire) with Puerto Rican salsa singer Kevin Ceballo as backup. The song was nominated for Best Latin Tropical Performance Grammy Award. In 1998, she won an ACE Award.[3]

On May 31, 1998, India gave two sold-out concerts at the Luis A. Ferre Performing Arts Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She returned to the United States and Cable Channel UPN aired one of her shows. India also held concerts in New York's Madison Square Garden and in El Festival de la Calle Ocho in Miami, Florida. In September 1999, India released her album Sola, which earned her great 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."[2]

On February 5, 2000, a full-page ad in Billboard Magazine congratulated India for her second Grammy Award nomination. In March 2000, she was featured in Vibe Magazine. On November 26, 2002, India released Latin Songbird: Mi Alma y Corazón. 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 India's first number-one song. The song 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.[5]

In 2005, India participated in the musical presentation Selena ¡VIVE!, a tribute to the late Tejano sensation Selena Quintanilla-Perez. In 2006, India released the album Soy Diferente, which contained two songs that became award-winning hits. The 2007 Annual Latin Billboard Awards honored 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, India collaborated with Latin sensation Gloria Estefan in a duet titled "90 Millas."[5]

On June 11, 2006, India was honored by Union City, New Jersey, with a star on the Walk of Fame at Union City's Celia Cruz Park.[6]

India is set to release her ninth studio album in 2010, which will propel her music to various European and Asian countries. India mentioned to the Associated Press, "I am reinventing myself...changing my physical image. 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, India's hit single "Estupida" was released on iTunes. The single, cover of the Italian version "Stupida" by Alessandra Amoroso of 2009, was recorded in two versions, a salsa version and a ballad version. Videos were filmed for both versions of the song. "Estupida" peaked on the tropical billboards at number one, making India the female with the most number one hits on the tropical charts. India's ninth studio album, Unica, was released June 1, 2010.

In 2011 India continued to release new music. India released a duet with Issac Delgado titled, "Que no se te olvide" which has four different versions, one salsa, another an extended salsa mix, one a bachata version, and another a New York Pop version. In 2011, India released a new house track titled, "Tacalacateo" which she worked on with Italian DJ, Peppe Citarella. Tacalacateo peaked at #13 on the Billboards dance tracks.

In 2012, India recorded as part of UNITY : The Latin Tribute to Michael Jackson,a project produced by arranger Tony Succar; in which India rendered her voice for one of the songs among other all-star Latin artists such as Tito Nieves and Kevin Ceballo.

In 2014, India once again signed with the record label Top Stop Music, also joining the Salsa Giants project with Sergio George. India is set to release her tenth studio album with Top Stop Music.

In 2015, India released her new salsa album Intensamente Con Canciones de Juan Gabriel.


Studio albums and chart performance[edit]

Year Album U.S Tropical Albums U.S Latin Albums U.S Top 200 Heatseekers albums
1990 Breaking Night - - - -
1992 Llego La India, Via Eddie Palmieri 5 - - -
1994 Dicen Que Soy 1 4 - -
1996 Jazzin - - - -
1997 Sobre el Fuego 1 4 - 33
1999 Sola 4 7 - 20
2002 Latin Songbird: Mi Alma y Corazón 1 7 - 19
2005 India: Grandes Exitos 7 11 -
2006 Soy Diferente 1 11 - 9
2010 Unica 1 4 180 -
2015 Intensamente Con Canciones de Juan Gabriel 1 3 - -


  • Love and Happiness EP (with River Ocean) (1993)
  • India Megamix (1997)
  • The Best of India (2004)
  • Grandes Exitos + (2005)
  • Can't Get No Sleep EP (2009)

Contributions on other recordings[edit]

    • 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)
    • 1998 – 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)
  • Puffy 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)[7]
  • 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[8])
  • 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"

Awards and nominations[edit]

Latin Grammy[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2016 Intensamente con Canciones de Juan Gabriel Best Salsa Album Won

Latin American Music Awards of 2016[edit]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
2016 Intensamente con Canciones de Juan Gabriel Favorite Album—Tropical Nominated

Lo Nuestro Awards[edit]

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

Billboard Latin Music Awards[edit]

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[edit]


External links[edit]