Chart Beat

Ask Billboard: Nicky Jam & Enrique Iglesias' 'El Perdon' Is on the Year-End Hot 100 … After Peaking at No. 56?

Nicky Jam Enrique Iglesias El Perdón
Courtesy Photo

Nicky Jam and Enrique Iglesias in the video for "El Perdón."

A look at how the Latin smash ranks among 2015's top 100 hits despite its modest Hot 100 peak.

As always, submit questions about Billboard charts, as well as general music musings, to askbb@billboard.com. Please include your first and last name, as well as your city, state and country, if outside the U.S. Or, tweet @gthot20

Just ahead of this week's mailbag, a reminder that the last "Ask Billboard" of the year is all about your personal favorites of 2015! Email your top songs, albums, concerts and more from 2015 to askbb@billboard.com and we'll celebrate the best of the year, in your own words (and personal year-end tallies), in the final "Ask Billboard" of 2015.

First, this week's Qs and As, about Billboard's year-end charts for 2015, even more history for Adele and a pair of new superstar holiday songs.

'EL PERDON' IS ON THE YEAR-END HOT 100 … AFTER PEAKING AT No. 56?

Hi Gary,

I have followed the Billboard charts faithfully throughout the years and I noticed something in this year's year-end Billboard Hot 100 that's rather odd.

At No. 96 for the year is Nicky Jam and Enrique Iglesias' "El Perdon." However, the song never even hit the top 40 of the Hot 100, peaking at No. 56 on the weekly chart. Yet, it made the year-end Hot 100. There were plenty of other songs that peaked much higher but are not on the final 2015 list.

What factors came into play so that this song is among the year's top 100 hits after not logging a high Hot 100 peak?

Thanks,

Joe (a big fan of Billboard!)

Hi Joe,

Other readers have noticed the song's relatively high year-end placement, considering its relatively low peak on the weekly Hot 100. I remember the first year I listened to Shadoe Stevens count down the top hits of the prior 12 months, for 1988, on American Top 40 (which was then based on the year-end Hot 100) and noticing how all but one song (Brenda K. Starr's No. 13-peaking classic "I Still Believe") was a top 10 hit and how almost all were top five hits. A song peaking at No. 56 and making the year-end chart in 2015 takes a little getting used to.

But, if we look deeper into the numbers, it becomes clearer. In 1988, for instance, chart turnover was much greater, as prior to Nielsen Music data fueling the chart (in 1991), top 10 hits generally came and went at a steady rate. In 2015, it's common for the biggest hits to remain embedded in the upper reaches of the chart much longer, as Nielsen data, which replaced estimated reports from radio stations and retailers, has shown more accurately that huge hits have longer lives than was long ago believed. The more recent addition of streaming figures has also helped keep the biggest songs on the chart higher longer, as the top sales and airplay smashes tend also to stream the most. (That 10 of the 16 longest chart runs in the Hot 100's 57-year history occurred since 2010 also played into Billboard's recent decision to remove songs from the chart after 52 weeks if below No. 25.)

How much has chart turnover changed? Let's compare rates for 1988 vs. 2015:

1988: 477 total Hot 100 hits / 160 top 10s / 105 top fives
2015: 496 total Hot 100 hits / 74 top 10s / 44 top fives

So, there were actually more total songs on the Hot 100 this year than 27 years ago, but fewer than half as many top 10s and top five hits. (The stat reflects the peak position of any song on the chart each year, even if it peaked at the tail end of 1987 or 2014, or in the early going of the 2016 chart year.)

Let's also look at the peak positions of the bottom 10 songs on the year-end 2015 Hot 100:

No. 91,  "Heartbeat Song," Kelly Clarkson, Peak: No. 21
No. 92,  "Don't," Ed Sheeran, Peak: No. 9 (Nov. 15, 2014, three weeks before the start of the 2015 chart year)
No. 93,  "Ghost," Ella Henderson, Peak: No. 21
No. 94,  "Here," Alessia Cara, Peak: No. 8 (but not until the third week of the 2016 chart year)
No. 95, "Waves," Mr. Probz, Peak: No. 14
No. 96,  "El Perdon," Nicky Jam & Enrique Iglesias, Peak: No. 56
No. 97,  "She Knows," Ne-Yo feat. Juicy J, Peak: No. 19
No. 98,  "Night Changes," One Direction, Peak: No. 31
No. 99,  "Back to Back," Drake, Peak: No. 21
No. 100, "How Deep Is Your Love," Calvin Harris & Disciples, Peak: No. 27

Of those 10 songs, six never reached the top 20, again a stark evolution from the chart's behavior in 1988 (which is, of course, inarguably the greatest year ever for music, so I don't see a problem mentioning it so much).

Here's where "El Perdon" made its year-end case: despite its peak outside the weekly Hot 100's upper half, with 30 total weeks, it tied for the 23rd-longest chart run of the year. (One of the other songs to spend 30 weeks on the Hot 100 in the 52 weeks of the 2015 chart year? OMI's "Cheerleader." It spent six weeks at No. 1, however, so it wraps at a much loftier No. 11 for the year.) Thus, a lengthy chart stay played into the year-end rank for "El Perdon," as it ranked in the top one-fourth of the year's titles by chart life. By year's end, its 30 weeks of sales, streaming and airplay chart points were enough to place it in the hallowed heights of 2015's top 100 hits.

(The math is essentially the opposite of the cast of Fox's Glee not placing among the top 100 artists when Billboard recently tabulated the Greatest of All Time charts. The act boasts the most Hot 100 hits – 207 – but since most of its entries spent a mere week on the chart, it didn't total enough points to place in the top 100, ranking below many acts with fewer hits, but many of which both peaked higher and stayed on the chart much longer.)

As for the appeal of "El Perdon," which crowned Hot Latin Songs for 30 weeks (and has since spent two more months at No. 2 each week), the second-longest reign in the chart's history (behind Iglesias' own "Bailando," at 41 weeks), Jam marveled at it in a September interview with Billboard. "Normally, people listen to a reggaeton song and the lyrics have more to do with sex or other reggaeton themes," he mused. "This is a love song. It's a song about sadness, but it transmits happiness at the same time."

"I have to write pretty songs. That's what gets them on the charts."

MORE RECORDS FOR ADELE

Hi Gary,

In this week's Hot 100 recap story, you noted that Adele has notched her second seven-week No. 1, as "Hello" has matched (and could very well surpass, by Monday) the rule of "Rolling in the Deep" in 2011.

But, there's more. Adele is the first British solo artist with two No. 1s with at least seven-week commands apiece, and the only British act other than the Beatles to do so. The Fab Four led for seven weeks with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (1964) and for nine with "Hey Jude" (1968).

Adele was also the first British female soloist to debut at No. 1, and only the second British act overall after Elton John ("Candle in the Wind 1997" / "Something About the Way You Look Tonight").

And, Adele's 21 total weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 are the most by any British-born female artist, as she has bested Olivia Newton-John's 18. Among all British acts, she trails only the Beatles (59 weeks at No. 1), Elton John (34), Paul McCartney (solo; 30) and the Bee Gees (27).

Thanks,

Jeff Lerner
Long Island, New York

Hi Jeff,

21 continues to be a trademark number for Adele, while 25 weeks atop the Hot 100 is in sight.

Regarding more of Adele's chart future, back on March 3, I made a prediction in "Ask Billboard":

There's a really, really good chance that, by year's end, "Uptown Funk!" will be the Hot 100's No. 1 song of 2015. I know it's only March 3 … but the race might already be over.

Given the monstrous streaming, airplay and sales for "Funk" at the time, it was actually a safe guess, and one proven correct by December.

While it's not 2016 quite yet, is it too early to anoint "Hello" as the top song of next year? Probably, as we should let 2016 actually, um, happen. But, "Hello" is drawing numbers extremely far ahead of the competition like "Funk" did last year. (Then again, the first three chart weeks for "Hello" counted toward the 2015 chart year; it ranked at No. 35 on the 2015 year-end Hot 100 from those three weeks alone.) At the moment, though, "Hello" has no serious competition. We'll see how long the song can stay in the upper reaches of the Hot 100 and continue to pad its lead. (The next big threat to the reign of "Hello"? It might be Adele's own "When We Were Young.")

'COLD' IS HOT

Hey Gary,

I have fallen in love with the Lady Gaga/Tony Bennett duet of "Baby It's Cold Outside" from the new Barnes & Noble commercial. Are there any plans to release a full-length version of this song as a digital single?

Thanks,

Jonathan Williams
Malvern, Arkansas

Hi Jonathan,

After reaching out to Interscope Records, the official answer is no. In fact: "It was just performed for the spot. So, it's not even a recorded full song," a label source says.

Meanwhile, Katy Perry has also unwrapped a new seasonal song, "Every Day Is a Holiday." While Gaga and Bennett's carol touts Barnes & Noble, Perry's is from an H&M ad. What about its availability? Says a contact at Capitol Records: "It was recorded for the H&M commercial and there is not a full-length version or any plan to release the song commercially. Katy specifically wrote it for the H&M campaign and has decided that's where it will live."

Still, we've got new holiday songs by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, both easy to find and stream.

Perry Christmas!