The Year in Latin Charts: Juan Gabriel & Nicky Jam Lead

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Juan Gabriel performs onstage during the 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards held at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Nov. 5, 2009 in Las Vegas.  

As 2016 comes to a close, we take a look back at the top artists, songs, and albums that excelled on the Billboard charts. Not surprisingly, the iconic Juan Gabriel is crowned top Latin artist of the year, due to his performance on the album charts before and after his death. Elsewhere, Nicky Jam dominated various song lists with his monster hit, “Hasta El Amanecer.”

Juan Gabriel was having his best chart year yet before his sudden passing on August 28. His duets album, Los Duo 2, had already spent seven weeks at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums between January and February, becoming his longest-running chart-topper. It went on to spend a total 15 weeks atop the chart, returning to No. 1 after his death. Furthermore, just three days before he died, he earned his fifth career No. 1 with Vestido De Etiqueta: Por Eduardo Magallanes. He takes the trophy of top Latin artist due to the sustained chart performance of his albums and songs on both Top Latin Albums and Hot Latin Songs throughout the chart year.  The late Mexican singer-songwriter also soared in streams, logging over 428 million on-demand U.S. streams this year, with 65 percent coming after his death. 

Click Here for All the 2016 Year-End Charts

In terms of trends, urban songs ruled the Hot Latin Songs chart, with seven of the top 10 Hot Latin Songs of the year stemming from the genre. J Balvin’s reggaeton banger, “Ginza,” finished a consecutive 22-week No. 1 reign in March, spilling over from 2015, and finishes as the No. 3 Hot Latin Songs track of the year. Balvin also becomes the top Latin rhythm airplay artist of the year bolstered in part by four No. 1s on the Latin Rhythm Songs airplay chart.  His album Energia finishes as the top Latin rhythm album of 2016 – it spent 15 weeks atop the Latin Rhythm Albums chart, longer than any other set this year. The Colombian star ends the year as the No. 3 Latin act overall.

Closing with the No. 2 title on the year-end Hot Latin Songs chart, Enrique Iglesias notches his spot on the list with his pop anthem “Duele El Corazon,” featuring Wisin. The track spent 14 weeks atop the chart and furthered Iglesias’ lead for most chart-toppers ever, becoming his record-extending 27th. No. 1. It also leads the year-end Latin Pop Songs airplay roundup.

The top Hot Latin Songs track of the year belongs to Nicky Jam’s “Hasta El Amanecer.” It also scores the No. 1 year-end spot on the Latin Airplay, Latin Pop Airplay, Latin Rhythm Airplay, Latin Rhythm Digital Song Sales, and Latin Digital Song Sales charts. A remix featuring Daddy Yankee and an English version (“With You Tonight”) helped the song to spend 19 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 (peaking at No. 73). Combined, all versions of the track have amassed over 110 million U.S. streams since its January release.

The top new Latin artist this year is CNCO, a five-member pop-urban boy band formed on Univision’s reality competition show La Banda, developed by Simon Cowell’s SYCO Entertainment. CNCO’s debut album, Primera Cita, had the best sales week of any Latin album this year, while the group placed three Hot Latin Songs hits on the chart.

Last year’s top new act, regional Mexican group Los Plebes del Rancho de Ariel Camacho, comes in at No. 2 this year on the overall Top Latin Artist yearly list. The revamped group, which took on a new lead singer following Ariel Camacho’s death in 2015, released Recuerden Mi Estilo in March, which spent six weeks at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums. Between both incarnations of the band, Los Plebes had 10 entries on the weekly Hot Latin Songs chart in 2016, matched only by Juan Gabriel for most songs on the tally this year.

Shakira is the top female artist on the overall year-end Top Latin Artists recap, aided in part by her collaboration with Carlos Vives on “La Bicicleta.” Since its release in May, the track has amassed over 42 million U.S. streams, with 61 percent coming solely from YouTube views, where the official music video has nearly half a billion views to date.  

The top artists in the tropical genre are Gente de Zona, Prince Royce, and Victor Manuelle. Gente de Zona’s Visualizate crowns the year-end Tropical Albums list, thanks to a 17-week No. 1 run on the chart. The Cuban act’s “La Gozadera,” featuring Marc Anthony, released in 2015, ends 2016 as the top tropical digital song.

Victor Manuelle takes the top Tropical Airplay track with “Imaginar,” with Yandel, while Prince Royce is the Tropical Airplay artist of the year aided by his bachata smash “La Carretera.”

Billboard’s year-end music recaps are based on chart performance between the Dec. 5, 2015 and Nov. 26, 2016 charts. Data registered before or after a title's chart run are not considered in these standings. That methodology detail, and the December-November time period, account for some of the differences between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are compiled independently by Nielsen Music.

Billboard Year in Music 2016