Karol G & Nicki Minaj's 'Tusa' Becomes First Song by Two Lead Female Artists to Debut at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs

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Karol G and Nicki Minaj, "Tusa"

Colombia meets Trinidad and Tobago as Karol G and Nicki Minaj join forces in “Tusa,” their first collaboration, which debuts at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart (dated Nov. 23). The chart ranks the most popular Latin songs of the week, blending airplay, streaming and digital sales data.

“Tusa” becomes the first song to debut at No. 1 in 2019, and the first song by a female act in a lead role to bow at No. 1 since 2016, when Shakira’s “Chantaje,” featuring Maluma, bowed atop the list. It’s also the first title by two women in a lead role to open atop the chart since its inception in 1986.

“One of my biggest personal challenges was exceeding my expectations and those of my fans, following the release of Ocean,” Karol G tells Billboard. “I couldn’t be happier today seeing that “Tusa” debuts at No. 1 in the U.S. after only one week of its release. I’m especially grateful to Nicki Minaj, to my team for keeping the dream alive, and for continuing in this journey -- and to my fans who make all of this a reality.”

In addition to Shakira, Karol G and Minaj, only two other songs with women on a lead role have debuted at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs: Rocio Durcal with “La Guirnalda” in September of 1986 and Gloria Estefan with “Hotel Nacional” in January of 2012. Meanwhile, two other titles with female acts in featured roles have bowed atop the tally: “Mi Verdad” by Mana featuring Shakira (February 2015) and “Taki Taki” by DJ Snake, featuring Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B (October 2018).

“Tusa” grants Karol her third No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs. Her first leader arrived over a year ago through another collaboration: Pitbull’s “Dame Tu Cosita,” with El Chombo, featuring Cutty Ranks (May 2018).

Notably, it’s Minaj’s first No. 1 on any Billboard Latin chart. Minaj continues to expand her collection of No. 1 songs across Billboard's various genre charts, as she's previously claimed No. 1s on such charts as: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Rap Songs, Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay, Hot Gospel Songs, Reggae Digital Song Sales, World Digital Song Sales, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Dance Club Songs, Rhythmic Songs airplay, and Pop Songs airplay. 

“Tusa” is Minaj's sixth entry on Hot Latin Songs, and her second top 10, following the 2017 No. 5-peaking hit “Krippy Kush,” with Farruko, Bad Bunny, 21 Savage and Rvssian.

“Tusa,” Colombian slang for heartbreak, was released Nov. 7 in conjunction with the song’s music video and was produced by Ovy on the Drums and written by him, Karol, Minaj and Keytin. It soars in at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs mainly on the strength of streaming activity and digital sales.

The song logged 9.5 million U.S. streams in its first week (ending Nov. 14), according to Nielsen Music and bows at No. 1 on the Latin Streaming Song chart. It’s just the second song to debut at No. 1 on the list in 2019, following “China,” the former nine-week ruler, where Karol G also takes a lead role alongside Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Ozuna and J Balvin.

“Tusa” concurrently starts at No. 78 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming Karol’s fourth chart entry and Minaj’s 106th. Minaj extends her record as the female artist with the most Hot 100 hits.

The song was presented for the first time during the 2019 Latin Grammy week, as part of a Google Pixel 4 motion sense experiment alongside DJ Felo at The Palms, on November 14.

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