There was a time before the performances with Will Smith, the chemistry with J.Lo, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Puerto Rican governor pleading for more concert dates on the island. There were entire epochs before we all knew the intricate details of his manicures, print preferences, and well-sculpted head of graphics. We know this pre-Bad Bunny era existed, but as if to celebrate the point in 2018 when it officially drifted away from our easily-accessed memories, Apple Music has announced that Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio is the Latino artist with the most streams on the platform worldwide.
To celebrate, Apple Music shared details running down the trapero’s greatest achievements over the past three years of making his music available on the platform. The list is a reminder of how how curation correlates to an artist’s rise.
Here’s how we got to this point, Apple Music-wise. Bad Bunny hosted six episodes of Trap Kingz, Apple Music’s first Spanish-language Beats 1 radio show last year. This spring, they featured him on their Up Next series, looping in an international publicity campaign and Miami fan event. His curated Essentials playlist is consistently one of the 10 most popular on the platform, and his mug has popped up repeatedly on the cover of Apple Music’s most listened-to Latino global playlist, which is called ¡Dale Play!
Those curations took place around BB songs that subsequently popped off anywhere music is sold. Cardi B’s “I Like It” featuring Bad Bunny & J Balvin was selected by Apple Music’s editorial team as the Best Song of the Year for 2018, a track that was already a standout from Cardi’s Invasion of Privacy the weekend it was released. Benito’s Drake collab “MIA” racked up over 16 million streams in seven days, breaking the platform’s record for largest first-week U.S. debut for a Spanish-language track. The honor was surely aided in the fact that Drake is Apple Music gold — Drizzy has won the service’s top album two years in a row, for More Life and this year’s Scorpion. He was also the most popular artist on the site in 2018.
Congrats to Benito on the year-end number climax. Here’s hoping that 2018’s support and success will be a good motivator to finally drop his debut album, which is rumored to be titled La Nueva Religión.