The ‘Despacito’ Effect: The Year Latino Music Broke the Charts

Both the Spanglish “Despacito,” by Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, and “Mi Gente,” by Colombian-born J Balvin and French artist Willy Williams in full-on español, brought into clear view this year Latino artists' rising influence in the American and music scene, NBC News reported.

This year marks only the third time that Spanish-language songs have hit #1 on Billboard’s Top 100 Chart in American history, after 1987’s “La Bamba” by Los Lobos and “La Macarena” by Los Del Rio in 1996.

“We never in our wildest dreams saw this coming,” said Fonsi about “Despacito.” “We knew we had a big song in the Latin market … I didn’t know it was going to be #1 in Russia [and] huge in Asian countries!”

But for most Latino artists, it's a tough road to make it to the top of the U.S. charts.

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