Maria is a Latin name often used in Spanish speaking countries, including Spain. Maria comes from the Latin “Maria” which was derived from the Hebrew “Miryam.”
There have been several famous songs written about Maria over the past century that have made it into the top 20 of popular music charts. Some different genres of music include hip hop/rap, rock/pop and even country.
Countless Marias have served as muses to some of the most popular songs in history. Here’s a list of 20 of the best!
Maria – Blondie
Blondie first burst onto the scene in 1978 with their seminal number one single, “Heart of Glass.” Two years later, lead singer Debbie Harry released her debut solo album. On that album was a song titled “French Kissin’ in the USA,” which happened to feature not only Debbie Harry but (you guessed it) “Maria.”
Maria – Marvin Gaye
The legendary Marvin Gaye covered many songs throughout his career, but one of his most notable covers was a rendition of the 1965 hit originally performed by the band Checkmates Ltd. The song may be called “Maria,” and Maria (in this case) was a girl that Marvin Gaye dated, but the song is anything but romantic.
Sancta Maria – Enya
Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin, better known simply as Enya, is an Irish singer and songwriter whose four distinct studio albums sold more than 20 million copies worldwide by 2008. Enya found extra success by recording multiple songs for various films and television series, with “Sancta Maria” being featured on the soundtrack to the 1999 film Quest for Camelot.
Maria (I Like It Loud) – Scooter
Scooter is a German dance-music group founded in Hamburg in 1992. The song “Maria (I Like It Loud)” was released on the group’s debut album, and it reached number six on the German singles chart. Interestingly enough, even though Scooter is a German band, they sing in English.
Dear Maria Count Me In – All Time Low
All Time Low burst onto the scene in 2003 with their album The Party Scene. Since then, the band has sold more than 1 million albums worldwide and found success on both sides of the Atlantic (they are based out of Baltimore but also maintain a fan base in Europe). “Dear Maria Count Me In” is one of two songs the band has named after the popular American television show 7th Heaven.
Maria Maria – Santana
Carlos Santana is a Mexican and American musician who has been nominated for 23 Grammy Awards and won 10. He often performs with his band, Santana, but he also occasionally performs solo as well. In 2000, the song “Maria Maria” became his biggest success in years after appearing on the soundtrack of The Fast and the Furious.
Ave Maria – David Bisbal
David Bisbal hails from Spain, but his debut album gained popularity all across Latin America. On the album, one of the most notable songs is the track “Ave Maria.”
Is This The Way To Amarillo – Tony Christie
Tony Christie is best known for his 1971 number one hit, “Is This the Way to Amarillo.”, in which he is journeying to Amarillo Texas to be reunited with his love, Maria. However, he has enjoyed success outside of the UK with songs like “Amarillo,” which appeared on the movie soundtrack in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Maria (You Were The Only One) – Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson wrote this song in 1972 while he was still part of the band The Jackson 5. It was never officially released but it did find its way on to several bootlegs over the years before being officially released in 2014.
Maria – Rage Against the Machine
Before forming the band Rage Against the Machine, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk met at a concert in Los Angeles. The two crossed paths again later on when they both auditioned for Lock Up, a heavy metal band that was looking for a new guitarist and drummer. With Morello on lead guitar and Wilk behind the kit, the two formed Rage Against the Machine and released their breakout album in 1992. One of the songs on that album was the hidden track “Maria,” a cover of an oldie originally performed by a band called Spirit.
Maria, Shut Up and Kiss Me – Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson has been performing since the 1950s, but his career really picked up steam in the 1970s with his classic “Red Headed Stranger” album. Originally released as a single, this particular song became one of Nelson’s most successful songs to date.
Maria – Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin is a Puerto Rican pop star who has enjoyed success across the world, but especially in Latin America. “Maria” was released as the third single for his album Vuelve and became one of his most successful singles to date.
Maria – Brooks and Dunn
Brooks and Dunn are an American country music duo that was formed in 1990 by Ronnie Dunn and Terry Brooks. The two found early success with their debut album “Brand New Man” which peaked at number 4 on the Billboard 200 chart. One of their most popular songs is “Maria,” which contains a synthesizer intro played by Mark McGuinn who also co-wrote the song.
Take A Letter, Maria – R.B. Greaves
Originally released as a single in 1969, “Take A Letter Maria” was written and performed by R&B singer R.B. Greaves. The song is about a one night stand that results in an unplanned pregnancy and the protagonist is asking his lover to marry him so he can avoid embarrassment.
Ave Maria – Beyonce
Beyonce’s song “Ave Maria” was recorded on her 2008 album, I Am… Sasha Fierce. The song is actually a cover of the Schubert classic, but Beyonce’s version features slightly modified lyrics. Five years after its release, Beyonce performed this particular song live during her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in 2013 where it received high praise from critics.
Ave Maria – Michael Buble
Michael Buble has won several awards during his career, including four Grammy Awards and numerous Juno Awards. His 2008 album of the same name, “A Buble Christmas,” included the song “Ave Maria” which was originally released on Buble’s second studio album in 2005.
Maria – Green Day
Green Day is an American punk rock band that has enjoyed tremendous success with over 85 million albums sold worldwide. “Maria” was originally released as a B side to their 2001 hit, “Waiting”, but was then featured on their 2011 greatest hits collection “International Superhits”.
Maria – Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber is a Canadian pop star who has been active in the music industry since 2008. His song “Maria” was written by Bieber alongside Kevin Rädd and Mason Levy. In 2013, the song appeared on his live album “Believe”.
Maria – Men at Work
Men at Work is a new wave pop rock band that formed in Australia and was active from 1979 to 1985. “Maria” was originally released as a single in 1982 and became one of the most successful songs for this particular line up. The song was later remixed by Wendy Matthews and Yothu Yindi for a 1992 single release.
Maria (West Side Story) – West Side Story
Maria is an extremely popular track from the musical West Side Story. The song was originally performed by Carol Lawrence, but has since been covered on multiple occasions including a performance from Barbra Streisand in the 1990’s.