This year, Shakira didn't have the top-selling Latin album in the United States -- her "Sale el Sol" landed at No. 4 on the Top Latin Albums year-end chart. Nor did she land any singles within the top 10 on the year-end Hot Latin Songs recap.
But thanks to her formidable digital presence, including the top spot on Billboard's year-end recaps for Latin Digital Songs Artists and Latin Digital Songs -- with "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)" -- she is No. 1 on this year's Top Latin Artists and Top Latin Artist-Female list.
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Shakira's performance marks a change in the way Billboard's year-end charts measure success. For the first time, Latin rankings include general top artist categories determined not only by album sales and radio airplay, but also by boxscore touring revenue, track downloads, Social 50 chart activity, ringtone sales and streaming data.
By that metric, it's no surprise that the other top five Top Latin Artists -- Prince Royce, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias and Don Omar, respectively -- all have a strong online presence, as well as an appeal that extends beyond the traditional Latin base and reaches a more cross-cultural realm. So do Wisin & Yandel, who reign on the Top Latin Artists-Duo/Group and Latin Rhythm Albums Artists recaps, along with the Latin Rhythm Albums chart with Los Vaqueros: El Regreso.
Among this year's chart leaders is Prince Royce, a new artist who tops a stunning 10 year-end charts, including Top Latin Albums and Tropical Albums with his self-titled debut. Royce is also Top Latin Albums Artist and Tropical Albums Artist, and his combined chart performance across the board led him to rule the Top Latin Artists-Male and Top New Latin Artist lists. As a writer (under the name Geoffrey "Prince Royce" Rojas), he leads the Hot Latin Songwriters recap, while his song "Corazón Sin Cara" tops the year-end Hot Latin Songs chart.
But it was another song -- Omar's "Danza Kuduro," featuring Lucenzo -- that dominated the Latin year, topping the Latin Pop Songs, Tropical Songs and Latin Rhythm Songs charts. Omar is also the Latin Rhythm Songs Artist of the year.
In the regional Mexican realm, it was largely about youth and crossover, with big Billboard Mexican Music Awards winner Gerardo Ortiz topping the Regional Mexican Albums Artists chart while Fidel Rueda is No. 1 on the Regional Mexican Songs chart with "Me Encantaría" and Julión Alvarez y Su Norteño Banda tops the Regional Mexican Songs Artists recap.
Amid this sea of cross-cultural acts, tradition held sway most prominently with Cristian Castro, whose concept album Viva el Príncipe, an homage to José José, rules the Latin Pop Albums chart and makes Castro the Latin Pop Albums Artist of the year. Castro's set was also the second top-selling album of the year.
Similarly, it's a compilation album -- Los Bukis' 35 Aniversario -- that reigns on the Regional Mexican Albums chart, while the late Selena, still strong, was the top-selling artist on the online-only Regional Mexican Digital Songs charts.
As for Pitbull, underscoring the growing presence of English and Spanglish on Latin radio, he is No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs Artists recap thanks to his seemingly endless supply of hits. His pal -- another cross-cultural multi-language hitmaker, Enrique Iglesias, who had last year's top-selling Latin album -- this time rules the Latin tour recap.
Universal Music Latin Entertainment leads in the label realm while its fully owned regional Mexican label Disa leads among imprints.
UMLE emerges again as the top distributor, and also leads the Top Latin Albums Labels, Latin Pop Albums Labels, Regional Mexican Albums Labels and Latin Rhythm Albums Labels charts. In turn, Universal Music Latino, Fonovisa and Machete top the Latin Pop Albums Imprints, Regional Mexican Albums Imprints and Latin Rhythm Albums Imprints recaps, respectively. UMLE was only missing from the tropical albums arena, where Top Stop, Prince Royce's label, leads in imprints and Sony Music Latin leads in the label category.
Sony, in turn, rules the Hot Latin Songs Labels chart, while Disa once again dominates the Imprint category. While Sony leads the Latin Pop Songs Labels and Latin Pop Songs Imprints recaps, as well as the Tropical Songs Labels chart, Disa leads in both the Regional Mexican Songs Labels and Regional Mexican Songs Imprint categories.