HITS Daily Double


Midway through 2022, Spanish-language artists are leading the U.S. marketplace. The biggest album through 6/30 belonged to Disney’s bilingual, Latin-inspired Encanto soundtrack. But RimasBad Bunny is nearly a lock to become 2022’s best-seller as his smash album Un Verano Sin Ti, which is at 1.6 million in total activity since its 5/16 release, overtakes Encanto to snag the top spot YTD.

Even before Bunny dropped, Latin acts were making noise—topping DSPs, going viral and triggering bidding wars. Following is a breakdown of Latin music’s biggest moments in the U.S. during the first six months of the year.

Bad business is good business for the Rimas superstar—the world’s most-streamed artist—and that’s working out extremely well for Sony’s Latin marketshare, generated by Sony Music Latin and The Orchard, whose whopping 44.9% marketshare leads the pack. And now, breakthrough Latin producer Bizarrap is putting up #1s on Spotify’s global chart.

Afo Verde’s Sony Latin connected with smashes in 2022 by Becky G and Rauw Alejandro, while 2021 holdover hits by Maluma and Farruko continue to perform. Aside from breaking Alejandro’s solo career, SML added regional Mexican titan Christian Nodal to its roster, which is also stacked with award-winning acts like Shakira, Ozuna, Residente, Camilo and Romeo Santos.

UMLE and Ingrooves are the mainstays of UMG’s 33.9% Latin share, with headliners Juanes, Luis Fonsi, J. Balvin and Alejandro Fernandez among their major acts. Under Jesús López, UMLE—which has gotten a jolt in executive leadership with the promotion of Angel Kaminsky to president—has focused on developing the next wave of legacy acts in Karol G, Sebastian Yatra and Jhay Cortez. Karol’s “Provenza” was the 10th-biggest Latin track of the first half of the year, and Ms. G is featured on the #2 Latin track, “MAMIII.” Her sophomore full-length is expected to arrive soon.

Ingrooves' deals with regional MX standouts Yahritza y Su Esencia and Eslabon Armado led to breakthrough moments for both acts this year. The latter scored a historic bow when the brother duo’s fifth album, Nostalgia, opened at #9 on the HITS Top 50 in May—making it the biggest regional Mexican debut ever. Meanwhile, Yahritza’s viral voice ignited a bidding war for the Mexican-American family trio, which eventually landed at Ron Perry’s Columbia. “Soy el Unico” (Lumbre/Ingrooves) was a Top 25 cut in the first half of 2022.

Warner Latina President Alejandro Duque’s reign was emphatically kicked off in late March when Anitta’s “Envolver” and Paulo Londra’s “Plan A” ascended to #1 and #2, respectively, on Spotify’s global chart. Duque’s mission to transform WMG’s Latin flagship label includes a new executive team, a fresh album from hot Latin rapper Myke Towers and the splashy signing of super-producer and Karol G collaborator Ovy on the Drums.

Photos: (l-r) Verde, Bunny, López