HITS Daily Double


THE GLOBAL GAME: The colossal success of Bad Bunny leads the reshaping of the music-biz paradigm. Even the most parochial exec must acknowledge that we are in a global marketplace—and that Latin acts currently dominate the streaming ecosystem. Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti holds the #1 spot on our chart for the ninth non-consecutive week. It’s without question the year’s biggest album, on track to do 3m in 2022; the artist will rack up 5m in activity when his other albums are added in. Verano has so far amassed 6.5b global Spotify streams and shows no sign of slowing down. Bunny won Artist of the Year at the MTV VMAs, and his appearance on the telecast during his Yankee Stadium show got primo airtime—another indicator of his pop-cultural reach.

Will Grammy honor Bunny with at least an Album of the Year nom? Will the Secret Committee let him be part of this year’s story or find some arcane rule to block him? Top Academy Grammy insiders say they are leaning toward crowning Kendrick Lamar and/or Beyoncé—not that one could really argue with either given the strong performance by their latest releases.

As of 8/23, 33 of the Top 100 songs and 51 of the Top 200 songs on Spotify’s global chart were Latin. Bizarrap has been perched at #1 on Spotify’s global chart for weeks; Rosalía has one single in the Top 10 and another breaking; Manuel Turizo is also Top 10 and growing; and Karol G is threatening to be next. (We might also note that Brazilian breakout Anitta won the VMA Latin trophy for her giant hit "Envolver.") Indeed, six of the global Top 10 at the Spot are Spanish-language tracks. One of the few that isn’t, BLACKPINK’s “Pink Venom” (#3 as of this writing), could represent the latest K-pop breakout following the global explosion of BTS.

K-pop’s fierce stans drive incredible touring, sales and merch business for their favorite acts, though huge streaming hits have typically proven elusive for its standard-bearers. BTS bucked this trend with “Dynamite” and "Butter," and if “Venom” holds, BLACKPINK could move to the next level.

What territory might next produce a wave of world-rocking hits? The majors have certainly committed to a big development push in Africa. As just a few acts have shown real promise, this continues to look like a long-term project.

NEVER BROKE AGAIN: Ethiopia Habtemariam and team are rumored to have scored a big win as word has it that NBA YoungBoy’s new deal is done and that he'll be making the move to Motown. The rapper, whose team includes Alex Junnier, Montana and Fee Banks as well as attorney Vince Phillips, delivered his final 300/Atlantic set earlier this month, scoring a #1 chart debut. YoungBoy has garnered some 28.2b career streams, with total activity north of 16m. We’re told Cash Money was also in this signing contest to the very end. YoungBoy was inked to Mike Caren’s APG, which Atlantic acquired last year; Caren’s company retains the artist’s publishing.

Will YBNBA’s fellow free agent Megan Thee Stallion’s situation get resolved in Atlantic’s favor, or is she too on her way to a new label destination?