The Year In Latin 2012: Romeo Santos, Prince Royce, 3BallMTY Join Don Omar Atop Charts
Uptempo hits, collaborations galore and a smattering of high-profile new sounds stand out on the year-end Latin chart recaps.
Following 12 months of continuous radio hits, Don Omar -- who has also been a major online presence -- nabbed the No. 1 spot on the Latin Artists recap, which is based on sales, Billboard Boxscore touring revenue, airplay and social activity, including streaming.
Omar's standing was helped by his airplay performance. He scores on the Latin Songs recap with "Dutty Love," featuring Natti Natasha, at No. 2 and "Hasta Que Salga el Sol" at No. 11.
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On the Latin Albums recap, "Don Omar Presents MTO2: New Generation" (Orfanato/Machete/UMLE) lands at No. 5, behind the banda version of Jenni Rivera's "Joyas Prestadas" at No. 4 (Fonovisa).
But what ended up in the first three rungs of that chart reaffirms the bigger story.
Romeo Santos' "Formula: Vol. 1" (Sony Music Latin) at No. 1, Prince Royce's "Phase II" (Top Stop/AG) at No. 2 and 3BallMTY's "Intentalo" (Fonovisa/UMLE) at No. 3, along with Omar's album, represent a rhythmic trend in Latin music that has remained steady.
Although other names populated the charts in different ways, these four always hovered near the top. While Shakira follows Omar at No. 2 on the Latin Artists recap, Santos is No. 3, Royce No. 4 and 3BallMTY No. 7.
Conversely, with the exception of Omar, these names also represented fans' eagerness to embrace newer acts. 3BallMTY is on its debut album and Royce on his sophomore stint. Santos' set is his debut solo outing after a decade with Aventura, but his tracks are often quirky and off the beaten path.
Are Latin audiences ready for a change? Perhaps, but beyond the top spots, the charts belonged to veterans like Ricardo Arjona and Maná in pop; La Arrolladora Banda el Limón, Rivera and Gerardo Ortiz (already a veteran at age 23) in regional Mexican; and Omar and Wisin & Yandel in the urban realm.
The names shift slightly on the Latin Songs recap, with La Arrolladora's "Llamada de Mi Ex" claiming the top spot, thanks in part to the preponderance of regional Mexican radio stations.
Beyond that, the chart's top 20 boasted some new names ( Michel Teló, Gocho, 3BallMTY, Juan Magán) and an avalanche of collaborations -- seven out of the 20 tracks.
The volume of collaborations, which mirrors a trend on the Hot 100 Songs recap, isn't nearly as worrisome as the lack of women -- new or established -- on any chart.
Save for Shakira and Rivera, a multimedia powerhouse, testosterone overwhelmed the charts. So much so that among the top 20 tracks on the Latin Songs tally, there are only two females -- Natasha and America Sierra -- both featured guests on tracks by male artists.
Among the 50 titles on Latin Albums, only seven -- including Jesse & Joy -- are female.