Mi Gente & Despacito Mark First Double-Up of Two Non-English-Language Hits in Hot 100s Top 10

Xander Zellner | October 12, 2017

On the latest Billboard Hot 100 chart (dated Oct. 21), J Balvin and Willy William's "Mi Gente," now featuring Beyonce, surges 21-3 after the first full week of tracking for its new remix. The song also dethrones Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito," featuring Justin Bieber, as the top Latin music hit in the U.S., as the former (and record-tying) 16-week No. 1 falls 5-9. (On Hot Latin Songs, "Mi Gente" supplants "Despacito" after the latter's 35-week reign.)

Thanks to the predominantly Spanish-language "Mi Gente" and "Despacito," this week marks the first time that two primarily non-English-language songs have appeared in the Hot 100's top 10 simultaneously, dating back to the list's Aug. 4, 1958, inception.

In fact, it's rare for any non-English language song to reach the Hot 100's top 10 at all, never mind two to score positions in the top 10 together.

Still, multiple other times, two Latin hits (defined as those that have charted on Hot Latin Songs) ranked in the Hot 100's top 10 concurrently, with several such occurrences since 1999, when the likes of Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias began to cross over with mainstream hits.

But, unlike the songs featured in the list below, "Mi Gente" and "Despacito" make history, as they are sung almost entirely in Spanish (with their original, pre-remix versions, in fact, in all Spanish). Songs such as Martin's "Livin' La Vida Loca," for instance, were released in both English and Spanish versions, for their respective radio and overall audiences).

Concurrent Hot 100's Top 10s That Also Charted on Hot Latin Songs, Last 20 Years
Ricky Martin, "Livin' La Vida Loca" & Jennifer Lopez, "If You Had My Love," for 10 weeks beginning May 29, 1999
Enrique Iglesias "Bailamos" & Jennifer Lopez "If You Had My Love," 2 weeks, Aug. 28, 1999
Enrique Iglesias "Bailamos" & Ricky Martin "She's All I Ever Had," 3 weeks, Sept. 18, 1999
Sean Paul "Temperature" & Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean "Hips Don't Lie," 2 weeks, June 10, 2006
Enrique Iglesias feat. Ludacris & DJ Frank E "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You) & Pitbull feat. T-Pain "Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)," 3 weeks, Feb. 5, 2011
Enrique Iglesias feat. Ludacris & DJ Frank E "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You) & Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull "On the Floor," 3 weeks, March 12, 2011
Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer "Give Me Everything" & Jennifer Lopez Feat. Pitbull "On the Floor," 6 weeks, May 21, 2011
J Balvin & Willy William feat. Beyonce "Mi Gente" & Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee Feat. Justin Bieber "Despacito," 1 week, Oct. 21, 2017

The new remix of "Mi Gente" finds even Beyonce singing in Spanish. The Bieber remix of "Despacito" begins with a verse of him singing in English, before the song segues to almost entirely Spanish the rest of the way.

The concurrent Latin hits in the Hot 100' top 10 this week are the latest evidence of Latin music's domination in 2017. So far this year, 11 predominantly Spanish-language songs have debuted on the Hot 100, compared to just two in 2016 (Carlos Vives and Shakira's "La Bicicleta" and Nicky Jam's "With You Tonight"/"Hasta El Amanecer"); five bowed in 2015.

Looking ahead, should "Mi Gente" top the Hot 100, it would mark the first time that two Spanish-language songs ruled in the same year in Hot 100 history. Meanwhile, two predominantly non-English-language songs haven't reigned in the same year since 1963, as, 54 years ago, Kyu Sakamoto's "Sukiyaki" led for three weeks and The Singing Nun's "Dominique" ruled for four. They were recorded in Japanese and French, respectively.

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About the author: Xander Zellner is an Associate Charts Manager at Billboard.