For the first time since 1996, a Spanish language song his number one in English speaking countries like Canada and the United States this year. But it wasn’t a one-off.
In 2017, we saw Spanish influence, including lyrics and melodies, make its way into mainstream English music and even inspire some of the biggest pop artists in the world to sing outside their comfort zone. It’s a change we’re hoping is here to stay.
Here are some of the songs that made the biggest Spanish splash in 2017.
It’s been 21 years since the Macarena was released and with this year’s huge Luis Fonsi track “Despacito,” the drought of having a Spanish-language song as the number one track on Billboard finally ended. In October, the video became the first to hit 4 billion views on YouTube and is nominated for Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. The only thing “Despacito” didn’t do in 2017 was move slowly.
Camila Cabello’s huge 2017 single “Havana” doesn’t actually contain any Spanish lyrics, but the singer does pay homage to her birth country of Cuba in both the song and the visuals. Between the catchy single and the cinematic video, which is full of stunning colours and sexy dance clubs, we’re already booking the next flight out to Havana as we download Duo Lingo.
At this point, we’ve come to expect that Pitbull will infuse a Spanish influence into his chart topping hits, but we loved hearing Fifth Harmony sing in Spanish for the first time. Muy caliente.
If there was any doubt that the Spanish invasion has arrived, Becky G’s “Mayores” has now surpassed Taylor Swift’s mainstream hit “Look What You Made Me Do” for YouTube views.
Originally released with J Balvin and Willy William, Beyoncé pulled a Bieber and jumped on “Mi Gente” post-release with her own verses. The pop star added her own spin on the Spanish track following the devastation of Hurricane Irma, with proceeds from the song going to survivors in Houston, Florida and the Caribbean.
Luisi Fonsi and Demi Lovato’s late 2017 collaboration yielded yet another infectious Spanish single on the English pop charts this year. The song went to number one in Spain and became the fifth-fastest music video to hit 100 million views on YouTube. Here’s hoping we’ll be hearing more Spanish music from Lovato in the future.