Women in Music 2016

Sofia Reyes Ends 5-Year Drought of Leading Ladies Atop Latin Pop Songs Chart

Courtesy Photo
Sofia Reyes in the video for "Solo Yo" feat. Prince Royce.

"Being No. 1 on Billboard means a lot, as it's the result of the hard work and love that my team and I put in daily.”

Mexican singer Sofia Reyes becomes the first solo lead female act to hit No. 1 on the Latin Pop Songs chart in five years, with her latest single “Solo Yo,” alongside Prince Royce. It jumps 5-1 on the chart dated April 23. The last time a woman crowned the chart (as a solo, non-featured act) was in 2011 when Jennifer Lopez spent five weeks atop the chart with “Ven A Bailar,” featuring Pitbull (the Spanish version of her Love?  hit “On the Floor”).

Billboard Latin Music Conference: Sofia Reyes on the Power of the Bilingual Millennial Diva

“Solo Yo” ascends to the top with a boost of 39 percent in spins at the format in the week ending April 10, according to Nielsen Music. The climb of the ballad also gives Royce his sixth No. 1 on the list, following his most recent chart-topper, “Culpa Al Corazon,” which reigned for five weeks (first peaking on the Feb. 20, 2016 chart). 

Including featured acts, and duos/groups with female leads, only seven women have capped the Latin Pop Songs chart in the last five years:

Peak date, Artist, Title, Weeks at No. 1
April 23, 2016, Sofia Reyes & Prince Royce, “Solo Yo”, one week (so far)
April 4, 2015, Mana featuring Shakira, “Mi Verdad”, six weeks
March 31, 2012, Jesse & Joy, “Corre!”, one week
March 24, 2012, Don Omar featuring Natti Natasha, “Dutty Love”, one week
March 10, 2012, Ricardo Arjona featuring Gaby Moreno, “Fuiste Tu”, one week
July 23, 2011, Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer, “Give Me Everything”, seven weeks
June 18, 2011, Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull, “Ven A Bailar”, five weeks

The 20-year-old Reyes first landed on the chart in 2014, shortly after signing with Prince Royce’s label D’Leon Records, with her first single “Muevelo,” featuring Wisin. It peaked at No. 18 on the Jan. 3, 2015 dated chart. She followed up with “Conmigo (Rest Of Your Life),” reaching No. 31 (chart dated Aug. 22, 2015).

"Today is such a great day,” Reyes tells Billboard. "Being No. 1 on Billboard means a lot, as it's the result of the hard work and love that my team and I put in daily.”

Prince Royce also shared his joy about his signee’s success: "I am so proud of what Sofia is accomplishing! She is a gifted singer, songwriter and musician and it's so necessary for talented young artists to get a chance to shine in our industry.  I'm honored to help showcase Sofia's talent.”

Reyes, who is bilingual, also released an English version of the ballad titled “Nobody But Me.” Combined, both versions have amassed 5.7 million global views on her official YouTube channel since first being uploaded as an audio track in January, followed by an official music video on Feb. 12 and the English video on March 14.

“I am also so grateful to my So Crew for making this happen, everything is for and because of you,” Reyes said regarding her fans, “I also want to thank Billboard for supporting my career since the beginning and I can't wait for what the future holds."

Over on the Hot Latin Songs chart, which blends airplay, sales, and streaming, “Solo Yo” hops 41-36 in its fourth charting week, reaching a new peak (based on activity from the Spanish version only).

What's Behind the Drought of Current Latina Superstars?

The scarcity of women on the Latin charts has been an ongoing trend. In 2015, 22 weeks passed without one female lead artist appearing on the Hot Latin Songs chart, which runs 50 positions deep. Even on the current chart (April 23), pop singer Thalia is the only other female lead act besides Reyes on tally with “Desde Esa Noche,” featuring Maluma (dipping 18-22).

The lack of women on the chart can also be partly attributed to the steady popularity of reggaeton and regional Mexican music, which is often led by male acts. Traditional pop songs have had an increasingly difficult time rising to the top of Hot Latin Songs. In fact, only four pop songs have reached No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs in the last three years — and three of them were by Enrique Iglesias (“Bailando,” featuring Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona; “El Perdedor,” featuring Marco Antonio Solis, and “Loco,” featuring Romeo Santos). The fourth was Mana’s “Mi Verdad,” featuring Shakira, which topped the chart in 2015.

Billboard Latin Music Awards 2016