Spotify: who are the top Latin artists of the year?

One of the biggest music streaming services has released its yearly top playlists and statistics: who made the list and why?

Spotify: who are the top Latin artists of the year?

Spotify, one of the top music streaming platforms available worldwide, has released playlists and statistics to celebrate the most played artists of the year. As published in the Statista portal, “As of July 2017, Spotify had 60 million paying subscribers worldwide, up from 30 million paying subscribers in March 2016”. What do all of these users listen to on the app?

Worldwide, Ed Sheeran took the cake, with Divide being the most played album of the year. However, who were some of the most successful Latin American musicians in this platform? Here, we break it down to the most outstanding artists:

Daddy Yankee: proclaimed the “King of Reggaetón” by the New York Times, it is no surprise to see this Puerto Rican top the list. He has been in the music industry since the 90’s, and is considered one of the pioneers of the genre. To his work in the early 2000’s we owe hit songs that could now even be considered classics, like “Gasiolina”, and “Mayor que yo”. This year, he topped the list with “La Rompe Corazones” and, of course, “Despacito”.

Ozuna: also from Puerto Rico, this reggaetón and Latin trap singer could be considered the biggest newcomer of the year. Although he has been active in the music industry since 2012, it wasn’t until this year that he really gained international fame. As any Latino will tell you, or anyone who enjoys reggeaton parties, there is no big Latin party where at least one of his hit singles is not played, and he has plenty. “La Rompe Corazones”, “Se Preparó”, and “Escápate Conmigo” (a collaboration with another pioneer of reggaetón, Wisin) are a few of his songs that stand out the most. 

Luis Fonsi: another Puerto Rican, Fonsi has been in the music industry for a while. This year, his most outstanding work is “Despacito”, and his most recent single “Échame La Culpa” is a collaboration with leading pop artist Demi Lovato.

J Balvin: as one of the most outstanding Colombian reggeaton artists, he makes the list mainly thanks to his collaboration with the French DJ Willy William, “Mi gente”. Even before this hit song was remixed by Beyoncé, it was another song that was everywhere during the year. As Vogue put it, in their article “‘Mi Gente’, (…) is not only Balvin’s first song to make it onto the Billboard top 10, it’s also the first time many American listeners have heard his name. But the Colombian singer, née José Álvaro Osorio Balvin, is nothing short of a global superstar. He’s currently the third most streamed artist on Spotify in the world, behind only Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift. He has 18 million followers on Instagram, and his most watched music video on YouTube (for “Ay Vamos”) has clocked in more than 1.4 billion views. Balvin has also collaborated with Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Pitbull, and Pharrell”. If you have not been paying attention to Balvin, perhaps it is time you should.

Shakira: this Colombian, specifically from Barranquilla, does not really need a major introduction. She is probably the biggest Colombian star, and is another one that has been in the music industry for years, always active. This year, “Perro Fiel”, featuring Nicky Jam, is probably her most popular single from her latest album, “El Dorado”. With a sound heavily influenced by Reggeaton, Shakira’s sound is far from her early days of a rocky, rebellious, angsty teenager (the most glorious days of her career, those of albums like “Pies descalzos” and “Servicio de lavandería” if you ask me). However, clearly the Colombian has learned how to create hit singles, and will no doubt continue to do so in the years to come.

Pitbull: from Cuban descent, this American rapper earned the title of global superstar a while ago. He has worked in hit singles that have been outstanding not only in Latin America but also in the United States and in the rest of the world, and has collaborated with most major pop stars. This year, he made the list thanks to “Por Favor”, his collaboration with Fifth Harmony.

Maluma: this Colombian artist is one of the biggest names in reggaetón currently. This year, his most successful song according to the Spotify list was “Felices los 4”. Maluma is from Medellín, the second biggest city in Colombia, and one of the musical capitals of the country and of the continent. Although Maluma has been in the center of controversy for being one of the judges in the 2014 season of The Voice Kids Colombia – parents argued that his lyrics were not appropriate for children, and therefore he should not be a judge in a show for children – he still holds one of the best known voices in Colombian and Latin American music.

Bad Bunny: another one of the newcomers, Bad Bunny began releasing music with a label only last year, and this year he is one of the strongest voices in Latin music. The Puerto Rican has dedicated his music carreer mostly to trap and reggaetón, and has collaborated with big names in the industry, like J Balvin, which has propelled him towards success. He makes the list thanks to hits like “Sensualidad” and “Mayores”.

Nicky Jam: this American singer, of Dominican and Puerto Rican descent, collaborated in a few of the biggest songs of the year in Latin music, such as Shakira’s “Perro Fiel” and Zion and Lenox’s (also reggaetón royalty, although less influential than Daddy Yankee or Wisin and Yandel) “Mi Tesoro”. Nicky Jam is not precisely a newcomer: in 2015 he won the Latin Grammy for Best Urban Performance, and this is simply the fruit of many years in the industry. Although his collaborations are some of his most successful releases, he has also made it on the list with a song of his own, “El Amante”.

Who were some of your favorites of this year?


Latin American Post | Laura Rocha Rueda

We use cookies to improve our website. By continuing to use this website, you are giving consent to cookies being used. More details…