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New Around the World: Kep1er & More Bring International Diversity to Global Charts to Start 2022

New tracks by artists from South Korea, Panama, India and more debut on the Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. chart.

Based on global streams and sales from Dec. 31 through Jan. 6, the Jan. 15-dated Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. charts reflect the fade out of the holiday season (with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” hanging on at Nos. 186 and 188 on the respective lists, down from No. 1).

With the exodus of seasonal titles, both charts welcome a flurry of newer songs that set the stage for 2022.

One particularly new entry is “Wa Da Da” by Kep1er, one of two songs to hit this week’s global charts that was released in 2022, premiering online Jan. 3. With four days of activity during its first tracking week, the song bows at No. 171 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart with 10.6 million streams and 1,900 downloads sold outside the U.S,. according to MRC Data.

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Kep1er is a nine-member pop group formed via the reality show Girls Planet 999. The ensemble combines singers from South Korea, Japan and China, the last of which nabs a rare global chart entry. The country’s only previous appearance was via Lexie Liu’s featured role on “More” by virtual K-pop supergroup K/DA in late 2020.

Other multinational acts such as Fleetwood Mac and Van Halen have charted, but Kep1er stands out for its pan-Asian membership. “Wa Da Da” is performed in a mix of Korean and English.

The other 2022 release that debuts on this week’s global charts is GOT the Beat’s “Step Back,” at Nos. 87 and 126 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart and Global 200, respectively. Like Kep1er’s track, the K-pop septet’s first single was released Jan. 3.

Halfway around the world, “Se Le Ve” enters the Global Excl. U.S. chart at No. 167. The Spanish-language track is by Dimelo Flow and Sech, from Panama; Lenny Tavarez, Arcangel and De La Ghetto from Puerto Rico; and Justin Quiles and Dales, from the U.S.

Plus, Sid Siriam’s “Srivalli” arrives at No. 157 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart. Siriam, from India, sings the song in Telegu, the third Indian language to impact the global charts, following entries performed in Hindu and Punjabi.

All four of these tracks draw more than 90% of their global streams from outside the U.S., explaining their better performance on the Global Excl. U.S. chart than the Global 200, if they cracked the latter chart at all.

Meanwhile, a host of songs from the last decade-plus crash the global party. Bruno Mars’ 2012 single “Locked Out of Heaven” debuts at Nos. 116 and 133 on the Global 200 and Global Excl. U.S. chart, respectively, while Black Eyed Peas’ 2009 mega-smash “I Gotta Feeling” enters at Nos. 142 and 145.

Those two songs were long-lasting No. 1 hits on the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100, but Kid Cudi’s No. 59-peaking “Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare),” featuring MGMT and Ratatat, also hits the Global 200, at No. 180. (Enhancing his profile as of late, the Amazon Prime documentary A Man Named Scott premiered in November.)

Bridging the gap between these new, internationally diverse debuts and older hits returning to the charts, Mexico’s Natalia Lafourcade debuts at Nos. 182 and 188 on the Global Excl. U.S. and Global 200 charts, respectively, with “Hasta La Raíz.” The 2015 track is experiencing a digital revival, in large part thanks to a viral boost on TikTok.