G loria Estefan becomes the first woman in the 25-year history of Billboard's Latin Songs chart to debut at No. 1, as "Hotel Nacional" launches at the summit.
The second single from Estefan's first album in four years, "Miss Little Havana," was serviced to stations with new mixes the week of Dec. 26 and storms onto the radio airplay survey with 12.3 million in audience, according to Nielsen BDS. "Hotel" blasts in spurred by massive first-week airplay at six stations in the Spanish Broadcasting System chain: WPAT (115) and WSKQ (96) New York; KXOL (121) Los Angeles; WXDJ (130) Miami; and, WODA (138 plays) and WMEG (124) San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Carlos Perez, of the 360 Group Inc., which spearheads Estefan's radio promotion efforts, says that SBS was the only large-scale ownership group to commit to playing "Hotel" before the New Year. "SBS loved the song and wanted it as the first cut (from 'Havana') anyway," he says. ("WEPA" led off the set and peaked at No. 28 on Latin Songs two weeks ago).
"SBS liked the song's blend of English and Spanish and wanted that 50/50 split. Gloria is a perfect fit for that. So, they came onboard.
"And, because stations (owned by other groups) weren't going to program ('Hotel') until the New Year, SBS effectively ended up with an exclusive and capitalized on it," Perez says.
"Hotel" is the first song by a female artist and just the 11th overall to bow at No. 1 in the Latin Songs chart's archives. Here is a look at the tracks to make such grand entrances:
Title, Artist, Chart Date
"El Palo," Juan Gabriel, July 15, 1995
"Enamorado Por Primera Vez," Enrique Iglesias, Feb. 1, 1997
"Solo En Ti," Enrique Iglesias, May 3, 1997
"La Venia Bendita," Marco Antonio Solis, Oct. 11, 1997
"Por Que Te Conoci," Los Temerarios, Feb. 7, 1998
"Tal Vez," Ricky Martin, April 12, 2003
"Labios Compartidos," Mana, Aug. 5, 2006
"Me Enamora," Juanes, Sept. 29, 2007
"Lluvia Al Corazon," Mana, March 21, 2011
"You," Romeo Santos, May 28, 2011
"Hotel Nacional," Gloria Estefan, Jan. 14, 2012
"Hotel" is Estefan's 15th Latin Songs No. 1. Dating to the chart's Oct. 4, 1986, inception, only Enrique Iglesias (22) and Luis Miguel (16) have more.
"Hotel" concurrently starts atop Tropical Songs, where it's Estefan's seventh No. 1. On Latin Pop Songs, it arrives at No. 6. In its fourth week on the Dance/Club Play Songs survey, the cut climbs 16-8 to become her 17th top 10.
All charts will be refreshed Thursday (Jan. 5) on Billboard.com.
Additional reporting by Leila Cobo, Billboard executive director of content and programming for Latin music and entertainment.