No one knows more about reggaeton’s rise to the top of global charts than Daddy Yankee. Ever since 2004, when he dropped his beloved Barrio Fino album and “Gasolina” became an inescapable fact of daily life, the Puerto Rican vocalist is indisputable proof that an urbano artist could endear themselves to worldwide listeners singing in Spanish.
This weekend he confirmed his reign yet again. According to Billboard, Spotify sent an email to the Associated Press announcing that Daddy Yankee is now the most streamed artist on the platform. He’s the first Latino artist to hold that position, and unseats Ed Sheeran, who soared to the top of Spotify’s charts in February.
Yankee’s recent mega hit “Shaky Shaky” and his feature on “Despacito,” combined with the evergreen popularity of “Gasolina” and other tracks put him at over 44,735,586 monthly listeners. (That’s over 10 times the population of Puerto Rico).
Spotify asserted that the milestone underlines the streaming service’s commitment to promoting Latin music. The artist himself announced that he sees the honor as positive news not just for his career, but for the music industry as a whole. “The musical digital revolution has unified the world and this is the proof,” he said. “We are all in the same boat with no labels or stereotypes.”
Some may find room to question this declaration — after all, Justin Bieber’s appearance on the mega popular remix of “Despacito” couldn’t even be bothered to learn the lyrics in a live performance, incurring the rage of fans and raising questions about how this new representation of Latinos in the music industry is benefiting the community.
But there’s no doubt that the news will give confidence to artists currently making music in Spanish — and most certainly will add more to reggaeton’s current standing in global music boardrooms. “Today, this genre is the most listened to in the world,” stated Daddy Yankee.