6 Bilingual Crossover Songs Proves Latin Music Was King In 2017

By Carolina Moreno

Latino artists dominated 2017, breaking language barriers and records with some of the most popular singles of the year worldwide.

It’s no surprise that when YouTube released its top 10 music videos of 2017 earlier this month, Latino artists like J Balvin and Nicky Jam were responsible for seven of the year’s biggest hits, and six of the videos were for Spanish-language songs. 

Meanwhile, English-language stars like Justin Bieber and Beyoncé collaborated with some of the biggest names in Latin music to turn global hits like “Despacito” and “Mi Gente” into infectious remixes that reached new heights of popularity in the United States. 

Take a look at some of the most notable bilingual crossover songs of 2017:  

1. “Despacito” ― Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee Ft. Justin Bieber 

“Despacito” was originally released by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee in January and slowly took over global charts. Bieber added his voice to the single, releasing a remix in April that at the time became YouTube’s biggest debut of the year.

The single sped past “song of the summer” status to “song of the year” as the original version and the remix broke multiple records. “Despacito” was the first mostly Spanish-language single in the U.S. to hit No. 1 since the “Macarena” in 1996, its music video is the most viewed video in YouTube’s history and the single became the most streamed song of all time.

2. “Mi Gente” ― J Balvin, Willy William Ft. Beyoncé

Beyoncé surprised fans in September when she released a remix of J Balvin and Willy William’s already uber-popular “Mi Gente.” With her help, the Colombian and French singers’ hit slayed the U.S. charts, reaching No. 3 in Billboard’s Hot 100. In October, “Despacito” and “Mi Gente” marked the first time in 59 years that two non-English-language singles were simultaneously in the chart’s top 10.

The single’s success was for a great cause, too. Queen Bey promised to donate proceeds from the song to “hurricane relief charities for Puerto Rico, Mexico and the other affected Caribbean islands,” she wrote on Instagram.

 3. “Hey Ma” ― Pitbull, J Balvin Ft. Camila Cabello 

Before Havana oh na na, Camila Cabello returned to her Cuban roots for “Hey Ma.” The former Fifth Harmony star was featured in the bilingual version (above) and the English version of the single, both of which were recorded by Pitbull and J Balvin as part of the “Fate of the Furious” soundtrack. 

See the other 3 Songs >>>

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