On the new Hot Latin Songs chart dated Aug. 17, “China,” by Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna and J Balvin, rises 2-1 in just its third week on the list. It’s the fastest climb to the top in 2019 and the quickest ascent since Bad Bunny’s “MIA,” featuring Drake, jumped 9-1 in its second week (Oct. 27, 2018).
“I’m extremely happy, blessed and grateful to God and my fans,” Anuel tells Billboard. “I thank my colleagues for trusting me, my team for their great work and giving their 200% to make this dream come true.”
“China’s” reimagination of Shaggy’s 2000 hit “It Wasn’t Me,” was produced by Tainy and co-written by the five artists on the track. It opened at No. 2 just three weeks ago, on the Aug. 3-dated list.
“The artists on this track give it an elevated presence right out of the gate given the caliber of each individually and the power they present here collectively,” Ismael Santa Cruz, Vice President, Managing Director Radio Strategy at Univision Communications, tells Billboard. “The fact that the track samples a hit from 19 years ago also helps it build a foundation from which to grow on.”
Despite the song’s decline in streaming activity and digital sales (in the week ending Aug. 8, according to Nielsen Music), “China” moves thanks to 6% boost in audience impressions (to 8 million) earned in the week ending Aug. 11 (The Hot Latin Songs chart ranks the most popular Latin songs of the week, blending streaming, sales and airplay data.)
“‘China’ is the strongest song of my career up to date,” Anuel told Billboard on July 12. “It’s the mix of different cultures with each of the collaborators contributing with its own flow. I had been looking to revive a classic and when I heard Shaggy’s mix, it hit me.”
“China” is Anuel’s third leader, Daddy Yankee’s seventh, Karol G’s second, Ozuna’s fourth, and J Balvin’s sixth. Notably, Karol G becomes the first core Latin female artist to secure a No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs tally in over a year — since Karol herself led the list. Her first No. 1 arrived on May 12, 2018, with “Dame Tu Cosita,” a co-billed track with Pitbull and El Chombo, featuring Cutty Ranks. It topped the list for two weeks.
“The inclusion of Karol G helped the track,” Santa Cruz adds. “It was important to include a female artist in the song. This is a great time for female artists in the Latin rhythmic space as they are driving a lot of momentum and bringing a fresh sound.”
Prior to Karol, when was the last time a core Latin female artist ranked at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs? Way back in early 2017, when Shakira’s “Chantaje,” featuring Maluma, wrapped up 10 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Feb. 11, 2017-dated list.
Since then, three women who traditionally have only charted with English-language recordings have claimed the crown: Selena Gomez and Cardi B (featured on DJ Snake‘s “Taki Taki,” alongside Ozuna; 13 nonconsecutive weeks starting Oct. 13, 2018) and Beyoncé (featured on J Balvin and Willy William’s “Mi Gente”; 10 consecutive weeks starting Oct. 21, 2017).
On the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, “China” lifts 44-43.