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Throwback: Santana-Smooth Feat. Rob Thomas

Carlos Santana’s “Smooth” featuring Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas was from his band’s 18th studio album Supernatural which reintroduced his music to the world of pop and gave him a mighty comeback. Itaal Shur and Rob Thomas co-wrote “Smooth” which was originally Shur’s creation called “Room 17” until Thomas changed the lyrics. The song took off and gave Santana his first number one hit and was one of the factors in the huge success of the album. “Smooth” topped the charts internationally and a whole new audience became aware of Santana who started his career in the late ’60s. He was mostly known for his version of “Black Magic Woman” which was released in 1970 but “Smooth” became his new signature song. Billboard recognized the song as the number one rock song in the history of the Hot 100 Singles chart.

Supernatural became the best-selling album by a Hispanic artist and won nine Grammy awards including Album Of The Year which was a first for a Latin performer. All of the accolades for Supernatural were also unusual because Santana was 52 when the album came out and he had already experienced ageism in the music industry. Clive Davis signed him to a deal with Arista Records after he had been turned down by other labels because who considered him too old. Supernatural went diamond status times three with 30 million sold and the distinction of being one of the most sold albums in recording history. “Smooth” remains a timeless listen and presence in popular music even becoming an internet meme in 2016. Santana’s 26th album, Blessings and Miracles was released in 2021.