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In U.S., Latin music popularity spikes

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Natalie Gutierrez
Staff Writer

Latin music, especially reggaeton and trap, has grown in popularity among Americans within the last few years.

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of Spanish-language entries on the Hot 100 jumped from four to 19. So far this year, there have been at least 16 more charting singles.

BuzzAngle, a site specialized in measuring music consumption, recently published the results of an investigation that gathers data on the overview of music in the United States during the past year.

According to BuzzAngle’s year-end report, Latin music has surpassed country music and EDM and is considered the fifth most popular genre in America.

“I don’t know much about Latin music nor do I listen to it often, but I do enjoy the rhythm of it when my friends sometimes play it,” Rebecca Buckingham, junior psychology major said.

Popular English artists have started to branch out to Spanish and Latin music in recent years.

“God’s Plan” singer Drake raps and sings in Spanish in this Latin hit, however, this is not the first time he has done this. In 2014, Drake joined the self-proclaimed “King of Bachata,” Romeo Santos, on a song called “Odio” where he sings in Spanish.

“I mostly listen to Spanish music when I listen to the radio or when I go out to a bar or club,” said Karen Barragan, junior kinesiology major at Cal State San Marcos. “I have no idea what they’re saying but I love the beat and It’s great music to dance to.” 

Artists like Puerto Rican reggaeton and Latin trap singers, Bad Bunny and J Balvin have gained popularity in the United States, with collaborations from today’s hottest artists.

Bad Bunny collaborated with Canadian rapper and singer Drake to create Billboard nominated top Latin song, “Mia.”

Bad Bunny and J Balvin also recently collaborated with Cardi B to create an award-winning song, “I Like It”. 

“I turn on the radio and I hear Bad Bunny, Maluma, Becky G on almost every single radio station, even the ones that don’t typically play Spanish music,” said Briana Villareal, junior sociology major at University of La Verne. “This is a big deal for the Latinx community.”

The 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival featured more Latinx artists than ever before such as chart-topping artists J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Rosalia and Los Tucanes de Tijuana. 

These artists had the crowds on their feet dancing at this past Coachella.

Jacqueline Alvarado, sophomore at Fullerton College, attended this year’s Coachella festival and said her favorite sets were those performed by Latinx artists.

“It is amazing to see the amount of people show up and have a good time at the stage without even knowing the artist sometimes,” Alvarado said. “The festival comes to show we are all equal and can come together at the end of the day to sing, dance and have fun.”

J Balvin and Bad Bunny are now part of the top 10 most streamed artists worldwide, and other artists will join them.

A new mainstream for music is being created with the rise in popularity of Latin and Spanish music.

Natalie Gutiérrez can be reached at natalie.gutierrez2@laverne.edu.

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