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From ‘Volare’ to ‘Mi Gente,’ Every Foreign-Language Top 10 Hit on the Billboard Hot 100

As J Balvin and Willy William's Spanish-language smash "Mi Gente," featuring Beyonce, scores its first week in the Billboard Hot 100's top 10, vaulting from No. 21 to No. 3 (on the chart dated Oct…

As J Balvin and Willy William‘s Spanish-language smash “Mi Gente,” featuring Beyonce, scores its first week in the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10, vaulting from No. 21 to No. 3 (on the chart dated Oct. 21), we wondered: how many non-English language songs have hit the top 10 in the Hot 100’s 59-year history?

Thanks to the analysis of Paul Haney at Joel Whitburn’s Record Research, it turns out that, of the 4,763 singles that have reached the Hot 100’s top 10, “Mi Gente” is just the 16th non-English-language hit. And, of those select 16 songs, “Mi Gente” and “Despacito,” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (at No. 9 this week after a record-tying 16 weeks at No. 1), make for the only pair to chart in the top 10 together.

Note that the list below of 16 songs includes songs sung entirely or mainly in a foreign language and does not include songs with minor foreign-language parts, such as Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailamos” or Bobby Vinton’s “My Melody of Love,” for example.


Impressively, seven of the 16 songs rose all the way to No. 1 on the Hot 100, including “Despacito.”

And, the most common non-English language among these globally-minded hits? Si, Español. Six of the 13 songs below are in Spanish, while three are in German. (One top 10, in fact, Enigma’s “Sadeness (Part 1),” is sung in both Latin and French.)

In chronological order, here are all 16 non-English-language singles to hit the Hot 100’s top 10.

Every Foreign-Language Top 10 Hit on the Billboard Hot 100
Artist, Title, Peak Date, Peak Position (weeks at No. 1), Language

Domenico Modugno, “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare),” Aug. 18, 1958, No. 1 (5 weeks), Italian

Lolita, “Sailor (Your Home Is the Sea),” Dec. 19, 1960, No. 5, German

Emilio Pericoli, “Al Di La’,” July 7, 1962, No. 6, Italian

Kyu Sakamoto, “Sukiyaki,” June 15, 1963, No. 1 (3 weeks), Japanese

The Singing Nun (Soeur Sourire), “Dominique,” Dec. 7, 1963, No. 1 (4 weeks), French

The Sandpipers, “Guantanamera,” Sept. 17, 1966, No. 9, Spanish

Mocedades, “Eres Tu (Touch the Wind),” March 23, 1974, No. 9, Spanish

Nena, “99 Luftballons,” March 3, 1984, No. 2, German

Falco, “Rock Me Amadeus,” March 29, 1986, No. 1 (3 weeks), German

Los Lobos, “La Bamba,” Aug. 29, 1987, No. 1 (3 weeks), Spanish

Enigma, “Sadeness (Part 1),” April 6, 1991, No. 5, Latin/French

Los Del Rio, “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix),” Aug. 3, 1996, No. 1 (14 weeks), Spanish

PSY, “Gangnam Style,” Oct. 6, 2012, No. 2, Korean

PSY, “Gentleman,” May 4, 2013, No. 5, Korean

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber, “Despacito,” May 27, 2017, No. 1 (16 weeks), Spanish

J Balvin & Willy William featuring Beyonce, “Mi Gente,” Oct. 21, 2017, No. 3 (to date), Spanish