Women in Music 2016

Daddy Yankee Celebrates 'Shaky Shaky' Hitting No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs Chart

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Daddy Yankee performs at Universal Orlando on July 9, 2016 in Orlando, Fla.

"I did not expect that a one-take improvisation was going to become an anthem," the reggaeton giant tells Billboard.

Daddy Yankee earns his fourth No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs as “Shaky Shaky” vaults 7-1 in its 25th charting frame (on the list dated Nov. 5). A new remix released Oct. 14, featuring Nicky Jam and Plan B, triggers the climb. The Hot Latin Songs chart blends airplay, sales and streams to rank the top 50 most popular Latin songs of the week in the U.S.

Yankee spoke to Billboard about the track, which was not originally intended to be a single. “It was an improvisation in the studio. We recorded it in one take, like it used to be done,” he says. Last year, Yankee posted a Facebook Live video from the recording session (with producers DJ Urba and Rome), sharing the beginning stages of the song. The post was viewed over 1 million times and shared over 8,000 times. The video sparked a series of fan-uploaded clips, using the track. From there, Yankee says, “This song grew very organically.”

“I simply decided to improvise and created a blend of the old-school [reggaeton] sound and incorporating the sound of the new generation [of the genre]. The viral impact of this track was so big that I had to release it as a single even though I was preparing to release another song.”

The original song’s music video has amassed over 357 million global views on YouTube, becoming his third-highest-viewed video on the platform (behind “Sigueme y Te Sigo,” with 376 million and “Limbo,” with 607 million). “With the video,” he says, “we incorporated the element of dance, and a lot of the success had to do with that. It’s the root of the reggaeton movement, and it hasn’t been done in a while.”

The new version -- which is combined with the original version of the song for charting and tracking purposes -- causes a 20 percent jump in streams (to 2.8 million U.S. clicks in the week ending Oct. 20, according to Nielsen Music), thrusting the track 2-1 on the Latin Streaming Songs chart, where he scores his first No. 1. A lyric video released Oct. 14 has collected nearly 7 million views so far. A 46 percent lift in digital sales (to over 3,000 downloads, according to Nielsen Music) also supports the song’s rise to the top of the chart. Of those sales, 56 percent stem from the new version.

When asked how the remix came to be, the reggaeton pioneer says, “I tried to get collaborators that know this sound and that were pillars of reggaeton, so I called Nicky Jam and Plan B.”

The latest version has even spawned plans for a completely new song from the three urban acts. “The fans are already requesting a new track based on the ‘hula hoop’ hook from the remix, which we are going to release in the near future.” A representative for Daddy Yankee confirms that he is currently working on the new track. The artist predicts the song “promises to be viral by the response that we are seeing on social networks.”

In all, Yankee has dotted Hot Latin Songs with 44 hits since debuting in 2004, more than any other urban act. He previously crowned the chart with “Rompe” (15 weeks in 2005), “Lovumba (Prestige)” (one week in 2012), and “Limbo” (15 weeks in 2013). He first appeared on the then-radio-based chart with his breakout hit “Gasolina,” which reached No. 17 (and peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100).

When asked about how it feels to have earned his latest No. 1 hit, he says, “I am very surprised. I did not expect that a one-take improvisation was going to become an anthem. Everything has been very spontaneous, organic.”

Since the chart began in 1986, only five other songs have taken 25 weeks or more to reach the peak; the longest trek was when Marco Antonio Solis topped the chart with “Mas Que Tu Amigo” after a 32-week ascent in 2004. Most recently, J Balvin’s “Ay Vamos” spent 26 weeks marching to No. 1, reaching the top on the March 7, 2015-dated chart.