The set logs the biggest week of 2019 for a Latin album.
Santana crowns the Top Latin Albums chart as the band returns with Africa Speaks, its 25th studio album, which debuts at No. 1 on the June 22-dated chart. It also launches at No. 3 on the all-genre Billboard 200 — the group's highest-charting effort on that list since 2015's No. 2-peaking All That I Am.
“It is an honor to share my heart’s music with the world,” the band's leader Carlos Santana tells Billboard of the new album. “This music gives people hope and courage. We call it mystical medicine music for a twisted, crooked world.”
Africa Speaks earned 57,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending June 13, according to Nielsen Music. Its starting sum represents the biggest week for any Latin album in 2019, and the largest since the charts began ranking albums by equivalent album units in late 2014.
Nearly all of Africa Speaks' overall starting sum was comprised of album sales — the biggest sales week for a Latin album since Romeo Santos' Formula: Vol. 2 bowed with 85,000 on the March 15, 2014-dated list. (Africa Speaks' big week was driven by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with the act's summer tour.)
The band was last No. 1 on Top Latin Albums with Corazon, which spent six weeks atop the list in 2014.
Africa Speaks was released June 7 Starfaith/Suretone/Concord and produced by Rick Rubin. The album features vocals by Spanish singer Buika, who is also credited as one of the writers of the album, British singer Laura Mvula, as well as Cindy Blackman Santana, Carlos Santana’s wife, on drums.
“The incredible synergy between Buika, Cindy Blackman Santana, the magnificent Santana Band, Rick Rubin and Concord Records made this masterpiece of joy come to fruition,” Santana adds. “Now more than ever, this is the consciousness that the world needs.”
The 11-track African Speaks set also launches at No. 1 on Latin Pop Albums, Latin Album Sales, Top Rock Albums and World Albums.
Almighty’s Maiden Visit: Meanwhile, Puerto Rican rapper Almighty, scores his first Latin Rhythm Albums chart top 10 as La Bestia debuts at No. 9.
Almighty is the sixth act to notch its first top 10 in its first chart visit in 2019. He follows Bad Bunny who secured his first top 10 in his first visit when X100Pre opened at No. 1 on the Jan. 5-dated chart, Natti Natasha’ IllumiNatti (March 2, No. 3), Sech’s Sueños (May 4, No. 6), Dalexx's Climaxxx (May 25, No. 8) and Paulo Londra’s Homerun (June 8, No. 10).
La Bestia secures a top 10 debut with 3,000 equivalent album units collected in the week ending June 13, with most of its initial sum generated by streaming activity.
The album concurrently arrives at No. 12 on the Top Latin Albums chart.