Ah, Miami. That city of hot sun and icy drinks, beautiful people and even more beautiful beaches, charming art deco architecture and captivating nightlife, sizzling salsa and sexed-up, sleaze-drenched booty bass. Oh yeah! Like the South Florida city itself, Miami's musical heritage is complicated, to say the least. With the possible exception of Miami bass (much of which was made in Jacksonville), it doesn't have a musical movement you automatically associate with it, like Detroit and Motown or Seattle and grunge. But music pours out of Miami's every pore, from the blaring nightclubs to the bump 'n' grind of Calle Ocho.
And, of course, the city's perfect climate, dreamy beaches, bumping nightlife and proximity to Latin America have made it a compelling destination for many an artist and a musical event, from electronic music's hot Winter Music Conference to Latin record labels, indie folkster Iron and Wine to professional ladies' man Julio Iglesias. So we've put together a little musical tour of just a few of the stars who either grew up in Miami, made the "magic city" their home, or spent enough time there to significantly alter the musical landscape -- and it's a list as complexly layered and deliciously satisfying as a cubano. (Rick Ross is the pickle, of course.) OK, we cheated a little with the opening track, but come on, what better way to usher you into the hot nonstop party that is Miami? Like the song says, "Party in the city where the heat is on/ All night on the beach till the break of dawn."