Latin rhythm music planted its flag yet again on the charts in 2020 with reggaetón acts dominating the rankings through a blend of sounds across genres. As a result, eight of the top 10 acts on the 2020 year-end Top Latin Artists chart reside in the reggaetón sphere. And for a second straight year, Bad Bunny crosses the finish line as the Top Latin Artist and top male artist; Karol G leads the female flock closing as the top female artist for a second year in a row (and the only woman in the year-end top 10); Eslabon Armado is the top duo/group and Natanael Cano is top new artist.
Billboard’s year-end music recaps represent aggregated metrics for each artist, title, label and music contributor on the weekly charts dated Nov. 23, 2019, through Nov. 14, 2020. The rankings for Nielsen Music/MRC Data-based year-end recaps reflect equivalent album units, airplay, sales or streaming during the weeks that the titles appeared on a respective chart during the tracking year. Any activity registered before or after a title’s chart run isn’t considered in these rankings. That methodology detail, and the November-November time period, account for some of the difference between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
For a second straight year, Bad Bunny crosses the finish line at No. 1 on the Top Latin Artists year-end ranking. He logged a field-dominating 41 charting songs on the airplay-, streaming- and digital sales-blended Hot Latin Songs chart during the tracking year (five of them spent time at No. 1, seeding a booming closing year for Benito). Plus, on the Top Latin Albums chart, he spent 45 weeks at No. 1 during the chart year with three different No. 1 albums.
J Balvin is the runner-up on the year-end Top Latin Artists chart, Ozuna comes in third place, while Anuel AA, Sech and Maluma are Nos. 4-6, respectively. The male reggaetón brigade in the top 10 is closed by Myke Towers at No. 10.
Just two non-reggaetón acts reside in the top 10 year-end list, as 19-year-old newcomer Natanael Cano places at No. 7 (he’s also the top new artist) and bachata powerhouse Romeo Santos is No. 9. The former’s year-end finish was aided by his seven charting hits on the Hot Latin Songs chart during the chart year, along with his album Corridos Tumbados spending half of the year locked in the weekly top 10 of the Top Latin Albums chart, placing him as one of the trailblazers of the corridos tumbados squad. Following in Cano’s footsteps is 18-year-old Junior H, who crosses the finish line at No. 22 on the year-end Top Latin Artists list. His sophomore album, Atrapado en Un Sueño, earned the Guanajuato-bred singer-songwriter’s first entry on any Billboard album chart. The set bowed at No. 5 on the Top Latin Albums chart (dated April 11) and Junior H became the first corridos tumbados act to score a top five debut in 2020 at the time. The set closes the year at No. 35 on the year-end Top Latin Albums recap.
Female representation finds itself in a predicament for the fourth consecutive year, with only one woman among a male-commanding top 10 year-end Top Latin Artists tally: Karol G closes as the No. 8 artist; she was No. 9 for 2019. (Shakira was the lone woman in the top 10 in 2018 and 2017.)
Karol G was the only female act who mostly records in Spanish to reach No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart during the 2020 chart year. She topped the list with “Tusa,” a collaboration with hip-hop superstar Nicki Minaj, which led the list for four weeks.
With a mammoth Latin rhythm dominance on the charts in 2020, traditional tropical salsa, Latin pop and regional Mexican acts have been mostly sidelined. That said, some regional Mexican acts — particularly the new wave of trap tumbados singer-songwriters (like Cano) — have worked with the rhythmic genre, meshing streetwise regional Mexican sensibility with trap music.
Bad Bunny in the Lead: Bad Bunny continues to entertain the masses with great chart success thanks to the unique nature of his performance. He goes home as the No. 1-ranked act on five of the leading year-end Latin charts: Top Latin Artists, Top Latin Artists – Male, Top Latin Albums Artists and Hot Latin Songs Artists. He also has the Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5 titles on the year-end Top Latin Albums chart with YHLQMDLG, X 100PRE, Las Que No Iban a Salir and Oasis with J Balvin, respectively. YHLQMDLG, X 100PRE and Las Que No Iban a Salir combined spent 45 weeks at No. 1 during the tracking year on the weekly Top Latin Albums chart.
His finish at No. 1 on the year-end Hot Latin Songs Artists ranking is powered by the success of his 41 charting hits on the weekly chart during the tracking period. Five of them spent time at No. 1, including “Un Día (One Day)” with J Balvin, Dua Lipa and Tainy, which debuted atop the chart dated Aug. 8 and spent five consecutive weeks at No. 1. Bad Bunny has 16 titles on the year-end Hot Latin Songs chart, with five in the top 10: “Vete” (No. 3), “Yo Perreo Sola” (No. 4), “Safaera” (No. 5, with Jowell & Randy and Nengo Flow), “La Dificil” (No. 6) and “Si Veo a Tu Mama” (No. 9). (“Un Dia” is just outside the year-end top 10, ranked at No. 12.)
Bad Bunny is the first act to have three out of the top five titles on the year-end Hot Latin Songs chart since 2014, when Romeo Santos also had three of the top five.
Karol G’s Top Among Women: At the tail-end of the 2020 chart year, Karol G — the year’s Top Latin Artist – Female — became the first woman to debut in the top 10 on the weekly Hot Latin Songs chart as a soloist since 2012, with “Bichota” (Nov. 7-dated chart). The song is “a moment of power to those who listen to it, especially women,” Karol G told Billboard earlier in 2020.
Prior to “Bichota,” however, she found No. 1 success during the chart year with “Tusa,” with Minaj, which ruled for four weeks.
Karol’s Ocean album, released in 2019, continued its chart run through 2020 on Top Latin Albums as well, closing the year as the No. 26 Top Latin Album of 2020.
Aside from Karol G, only four other women are among the 50-position-deep year-end Top Latin Artists tally: the late Selena at No. 23, Becky G at No. 29, Natti Natasha at No. 30, and Rosalía at No. 36.
Rosalía’s “Yo x Ti, Tú x Mi,” with Ozuna, was the first of her five charted titles on the weekly Hot Latin Songs chart during the 2020 chart year. She claimed her first two top 10 hits via a featured role on Sech’s “Relacíon,” with Daddy Yankee and J Balvin, and also featuring Farruko (peaking at No. 2) and “TKN,” with Travis Scott (No. 2).
She concurrently landed her first two Latin Airplay No. 1s (“Yo x Ti, Tú x Mi” and “Relación) in the chart year.
With flamenco as the bedrock of her music, Rosalía is also the only Spaniard on the year-end Top Latin Artists chart.
Eslabon Armado & Natanael Cano Post Regional Mexican Breakthroughs: Eslabon Armado’s debut album Tu Veneno Mortal arrived in the top 10 on the weekly Top Latin Albums chart dated May 16 (peaking at No. 7 in July), and then, just a few months later, the teenage trio’s second album, Vibras de Noche, bowed at No. 1 (Aug. 1). It was the second title by a regional Mexican act to open at No. 1 in 2020, and earned the year’s biggest week — at that point — for a regional Mexican album in terms of equivalent album units. The Pedro Tovar-led ensemble leads the year-end Top Latin Artists – Duo/Group ranking.
Nineteen-year-old Natanael Cano brought a unique sound to the regional Mexican charts in 2020, as the changing textures of his street-styled corridos enabled his finish as the top new Latin artist. The Sonora-born artist released his debut set Corridos Tumbados in 2019, which peaked at No. 4 on the weekly Top Latin Albums chart and spent the rest of the 2020 chart year on the list. On the Regional Mexican Albums chart, the set spent more than 20 weeks atop the tally in the 2020 tracking period. Cano also placed seven hits on the Hot Latin Songs chart during the 2020 chart year, including his debut chart hit, a collaboration with Bad Bunny on “Soy el Diablo,” a boastful corrido tumbado.
Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin Lead Year-End Hot Latin Songs Chart: At No. 1 on the year-end Hot Latin Songs chart is Black Eyed Peas and J Balvin’s “RITMO (Bad Boys for Life).” The track was the first top 10 hit for the Peas on the weekly Hot Latin Songs chart and went on to spend 24 weeks at No. 1 — all during the 2020 chart year. The Peas’ “Mamacita,” with Ozuna and J.Rey Soul, closes the year at No. 8 on the year-end Hot Latin Songs chart, after spending three weeks at No. 1 on the weekly Hot Latin Songs tally.
“RITMO” marks the first year-end No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs for the Peas, but they are no stranger to topping year-end tallies. The act triumphed in 2009 with the year’s top Billboard Hot 100 song “Boom Boom Pow.”
As for J Balvin, “RITMO” is also his first year-end No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs recap. He previously got close to the top in 2017 and 2018 with the No. 2-finisher (in both years!) “Mi Gente,” with Willy William featuring Beyoncé. (The No. 1 in both 2017 and 2018 was Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber.)