Following in 2016’s footsteps, urban music overwhelmingly ruled Billboard’s Latin charts in 2017, as eight of the top 10 Latin artists of the year fit the genre. Familiar faces like Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Nicky Jam and Maluma rub elbows with relative newcomers Becky G, Bad Bunny, Ozuna and Karol G, thanks to hit tracks that maintained steady spots within the Hot Latin Songs chart’s top 10 this year.
Daddy Yankee finishes 2017 as Billboard’s top Latin artist of the year, largely due to the success of a dozen hits he placed on the Hot Latin Songs chart during the year’s tracking period (Dec. 3, 2016-Nov. 25, 2017) — including his enormous hit with Luis Fonsi, “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber. In Daddy Yankee’s 15-year chart career, this is the first time he has finished the year on top—though he ruled at No. 2 in his “Gasolina” year, 2005 (behind Juanes), and in 2006 (behind Wisin & Yandel).
Among its many other accolades, “Despacito” earns the distinction as the Top Latin Song of 2017. The track spent 35 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart during the tracking period, the second-longest reign in the chart’s 31-year history, behind Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando,” featuring Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona (41 weeks).
Shakira Soars… Again!: Shakira is the No. 3 Latin artist of the year and is the top female Latin artist for the second year in a row, thanks in part to the success of her eleventh studio album El Dorado, which spent four weeks atop the weekly Top Latin Albums chart.
In addition, Shakira racked up multiple hits on the weekly Hot Latin Songs chart. She spent the first part of 2017 at No. 1 with “Chantaje,” featuring Maluma, then clocked three more top 10s with “Deja Vu” (a duet with Prince Royce), “Me Enamore” and “Perro Fiel,” featuring Nicky Jam.
A Promising Newcomer: Ozuna is the top new Latin artist of 2017, following his debut studio album Odisea, which debuted at No. 1 on the Top Latin Albums chart dated Sept. 16, and his enormous presence on the Hot Latin Songs chart. The Puerto Rican and Latin trap singer charted 19 songs on the Hot Latin Songs chart in 2017, more than any other artist—Bad Bunny has the second-most, with 14. The 25-year-old Ozuna landed five of those 20 songs in the chart’s top 10, with Wisin’s “Escapate Conmigo,” on which he was featured, reaching the highest at No. 3. Ozuna also broke the record for most concurrent entries on the Hot Latin Songs chart, as he placed 12 simultaneous entries on the chart dated Oct. 7.
Banda’s Best: Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga is the top Latin duo or group of 2017, and rules as the No. 1 Regional Mexican Albums artist. The group placed six titles on the weekly Top Latin Albums chart during the chart year – more than any other group. (Two of those sets finish among the top 20 on the year-end Top Latin Albums chart: Que Bendicion, at No. 15, and En Vivo: Monterrey, at No. 16.) Further, the act collected another four hits on the weekly Hot Latin Songs chart, including the top 10 hit “Tengo Que Colgar.”
Romeo Rocks: Romeo Santos is the No. 1 Tropical Albums Artist of the year, with three charted titles, including Golden, which finishes as the year’s top tropical album. The set marked the singer’s fourth consecutive No. 1 on the weekly Tropical Albums chart. Santos also claims the honors of Top Latin Albums Artist of 2017 as well. The singer landed two songs in the top 10 of the weekly Hot Latin Songs chart, with “Heroe Favorito” nearly reaching the summit at a No. 2 peak (chart dated March 4), and “Imitadora” reaching No. 5 (chart dated Aug. 12).
Nicki Jam, ‘Mi Gente,’ & the Newcomers: Among other notable year-end accolades, Nicky Jam finishes at No. 2 on the Top Latin Artists ranking. In 2016, he ranked at No. 4. His Fenix album — his first studio album in a decade — spent eight weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Top Latin Albums chart, and finishes the year as the top Latin album. He also notched a pair of top 10 hits on the Hot Latin Songs chart – including the No. 2 hit “El Amante.”
J Balvin & Willy William’s “Mi Gente,” featuring Beyoncé, is the No. 2 Hot Latin Songs title of 2017, following its 19-week run in the top three of the weekly Hot Latin Songs chart during the tracking period. The song hit No. 1 on the Oct. 21-dated list, and continued atop the tally on into the 2018 chart year. (Watch this space in Dec. 2018: “Mi Gente” just might be among the year’s biggest songs two years in a row.)
Outside of Ozuna, fresh faces Becky G and Karol G end the year as the Nos. 4 and 5 top female Latin artists of 2017, respectively. In a genre that has traditionally been male dominated, 2017 saw these Latinas find success on the charts. Pop singer Becky G spent multiple weeks inside the top five of the Hot Latin Songs with “Mayores,” while Colombia pop/urban artist Karol G hit the top 10 with “Ahora Me Llama.” The latter also hit No. 2 on the weekly Top Latin Albums chart with her debut studio effort, Unstoppable.
Billboard’s year-end music recaps are based on chart performance between the Dec. 3, 2016 and Nov. 25, 2017 charts. Data registered before or after a title’s chart run are not considered in these standings. That methodology detail, and the December-November time period, account for some of the differences between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are compiled independently by Nielsen Music.