J Balvin has been on a mission to blow reggaeton into a global phenomenon since he started making music at 14. The Latin pop superstar, now 33, has done it at last. Today, Balvin snagged Spotify’s top spot with the Most Monthly Listeners Globally, surpassing Drake’s long-held record. With over 48.1 million monthly listeners, he is officially the most popular artist on our platform.
“It is so rewarding to have achieved this goal,” says Balvin. “I’ve spoken often about my belief that we can change the concept of what is ‘mainstream’ – that people around the world can vibe with the rhythms of our Latin culture, and this special moment continues to prove that point. I have the utmost gratitude to Spotify for the long support for my music, and I am beyond honored to join the ranks of Drake and others that have been able to connect with people of so many nationalities through Spotify playlists. We’ve proved that Reggaeton HAS gone global, and that songs in Spanish can stand alongside the best pop music on the planet.”
With musical roots steeped in rap, R&B, bachata, reggae and champeta, the Colombian-born José Álvaro Osorio Balvín is a crossover king who understands the multiplicative power of partnership. The proof: his growing list of chart-topping collabs with today’s hottest pop and hip-hop artists including Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Ariana Grande, Pharrell Williams (he has also toured with Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull).
And who can forget “Mi Gente,” his smash-hit summer jam? The multicultural dance anthem rocketed to Number One on the Spotify Global Top 50 Chart last August. Just one month later, the “Mi Gente” Beyoncé remix—in which Queen Bey sings in Spanish, English and French—landed on the U.S. Top 10 Songs Chart. The breakthrough single further catapulted reggaeton into the global spotlight. During this landmark year in Balvin’s career, Latin music listening increased by 110 percent on Spotify.
The Latin Grammy Award-winning singer blasted into 2018 on a collaborative roll, churning out a string of hit dream-team singles: “Machika” with Brazilian funk star Anitta, “X” with Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Nicky Jam, “Familiar” with former One Direction member Liam Payne and “I Like It” with Cardi B and Bad Bunny.
Balvin’s meteoric rise on the global charts and Spotify—the leading music streaming service in the world—is a testament to not only his barrier-breaking body of work, but also to the explosion of Latin music around the globe. With his Spanish language-only hit “Mi Gente,” the bilingual sensation showed that Spanish-language music is conquering pop on a global level, in both English and Spanish speaking regions alike.
To explore J Balvin’s eclectic array of hypnotic multicultural rhythms, check out the This Is: J Balvin playlist on Spotify.