A Brief History of Bilingual Charts Hits, From Los Del Rio's 'Macarena' to Cardi B's 'I Like It'
A brief history of bilingual hits that have made splashes on the charts -- including a diverse slew of new entries from the last year.
"RICO SUAVE" Gerardo (1991)
Interscope Records’ first-ever release, Ecuadoran rapper Gerardo’s boastful (and borderline vulgar: “I eat ’em raw like sushi”) track reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 -- his only top 10 hit.
"LA MACARENA" Los Del Río (1996)
Buoyant and earworm-y, it became a global smash -- and launched an inescapable dance craze -- after the release of a Spanglish remix, dubbed the Bayside Boys Mix, which spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100.
“BAILANDO” Enrique Iglesias featuring Sean Paul, Descemer Bueno & Gente de Zona (2014)
Eighteen years after “La Macarena,” Iglesias’ irresistible track notched 41 weeks atop Hot Latin Songs (a pre-”Despacito” record), helped along by a Spanglish version with Sean Paul.
Thanks in part to what Fonsi calls Bieber’s “Canadian-American special sauce,” it set the standard for crossover success, soaring to record reigns on the Hot 100 and Hot Latin Songs (51 weeks and counting topping the latter).
“REGGAETÓN LENTO” CNCO & Little Mix (August 2017)
Rising Mexican boy band CNCO’s romantic single first dropped in 2016; a year later, adding hot British girl group Little Mix made for a bilingual smash, hitting No. 6 on Hot Latin Songs.
Queen Bey broke out her español (shouting out daughter Blue Ivy as “Azul”) when she hopped on a remix of this global hit, which dethroned “Despacito” atop the Hot Latin Songs chart and peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100.
“ÉCHAME LA CULPA” Luis Fonsi and Demi Lovato (November 2017)
After the upbeat duet debuted at No. 3 on Hot Latin Songs and topped Latin Airplay, the sultry video racked up over 1 billion global YouTube views.
“I LIKE IT” Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin (2018)
The boisterous track from Cardi’s new Invasion of Privacy reworks Pete Rodriguez’s 1967 classic, “I Like It Like That”; adds verses from Bad Bunny and J Balvin; and earns Bunny his first top 10 hit (and Balvin his second) on the April 21 Hot 100.