The Decade in Latin Charts: ‘Despacito’ Dominated & Romeo Santos Found the ‘Formula’ for Success


Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s record-breaking “Despacito,” featuring Justin Bieber, is the 2010s’ No. 1 hit on Hot Latin Songs.

While Latin urban music is at a seemingly never-ending phase of expansion, the 2010s illustrate a disparate scenario in which Latin pop and tropical acts defined the decade on Billboard's charts. Three of the top five hits on the Hot Latin Songs decade-end recap share a pop flair, while four of the top five titles on Top Latin Albums belong to tropical acts.

As the end of the 2010s approaches, Billboard has compiled 30 charts encompassing the decade, including the all-genre Billboard Hot 100, Billboard 200 and those covering Latin; all-genre streaming, radio airplay and song sales; all-genre social and touring activity; and the top songs and albums in country, rock, Christian, gospel and dance/electronic. (See below for decade-end chart methodologies.)


It's vital to acknowledge the brawny international contribution to Latin culture during the past decade. Influential Canadian acts got a brew of the Latino flavor, as, in 2017, pop superstar Justin Bieber jumped onto a remix of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito," while Drake gave a fresh perspective to Bad Bunny's "MIA" in 2018. While Drake had made his initial Latin crossover in 2014 through his featured role in Romeo Santos' "Odio" (a 13-week Hot Latin Songs ruler), Bieber's contribution earned him his first taste of Latin chart domination, as well as numerous unprecedented feats, and the collaboration finishes the decade as the top Hot Latin Songs hit.

The Latin-pop, urban-tinged "Despacito" generated a new level of commercial success for all involved, as the song claimed the all-time longevity mark atop Hot Latin Songs: 56 weeks. It also became the first hit to hit triple-digit weeks overall on the chart (which blends streaming, radio airplay and sales data).

"When I wrote 'Despacito,' I never would have thought that two years later it would still be on the charts," Fonsi told Billboard on its chart-week centenary. "It's something that makes me feel proud but, more so, grateful for the support I've received from all over the world."

Meanwhile, the song commanded the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 for a then-record-tying 16 weeks. It now ranks second (with Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day"), after only Lil Nas X's "Old Town Road" (featuring Billy Ray Cyrus), which dominated for 19 weeks this year.

Santos, a.k.a. the "bachata king," takes the No. 2 spot for the decade with "Propuesta Indecente." The track reigned for four weeks in 2013-14 and became his longest-charting entry: 125 weeks.

The No. 3 slot for the decade on Hot Latin Songs goes to Nicky Jam and Enrique Iglesias' "El Perdón." The song, imbued with urban essence, spent 30 weeks at No. 1 in 2015. It is Iglesias' second-longest-leading title, trailing only the No. 4 song for the 2010s, the dynamically propulsive "Bailando" (featuring Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona), which ruled for 41 frames.

Meanwhile, Bad Bunny's pure urban smash "MIA," featuring Drake, wraps at No. 5 for the decade, after the all-Spanish-language single led for 16 weeks in 2018-19.


While Latin pop commands the upper reaches of the decade-end Hot Latin Songs chart, tropical makes a splashy influx on the Top Latin Albums review.

Romeo Santos ranks at Nos. 1 and 3 with Formula: Vol. 2 and Formula: Vol. 1, his second and first studio albums, respectively, as a solo artist. While Vol. 1 is Santo's longest-leading title, with 17 weeks at No. 1 in 2011-12 (and 235 weeks overall to date), the cross-genre collaborative Vol. 2, with Drake, Kevin Hart, Nicki Minaj and Carlos Santana as featured acts, led Top Latin Albums for 11 weeks in 2014-15. With 241 weeks on the chart, and counting, Vol. 2 trails only Marc Anthony's 3.0, the longest charting title ever (253 weeks so far) and the No. 2 title on the decade-end survey. Anthony's 2013 all-Spanish-language salsa effort reigned for seven weeks.

Prince Royce finishes at No. 4 with his 2011 eponymous album, the Dominican-American's first leader. While the five-week ruler debuted in the top 20, it wasn't until almost a year later that it reached the top. It has locked up a total of 121 weeks on the tally to date.

Plus, it's no surprise to see a Latin pop act in the top five of Top Latin Albums for the decade, as Latin pop music is a hybrid that has drawn in a variety of genres, and a cultural mainstay despite its genre-bending sounds. Mexico pop group Camila places at No. 5 with its second studio album, Dejarte de Amar, the act's 2010 two-week leader that stands as its longest-charting title (157 weeks).


For overall Top Artists and genre-specific artist recaps, including Top Latin Artists, acts ranked Nos. 11 through 50 on each are viewable in our decade-end charts menu, while those at Nos. 10 through 6 will be revealed monthly leading up to the Billboard Music Awards, airing live on NBC on April 29, 2020, when No. 1 for each category will be announced from among five remaining finalists.

How We Charted the Decade: Billboard's decade-end recaps encompass chart performance from Dec. 5, 2009, through Sept. 28, 2019 (except for those for the Social 50, which began on Dec. 11, 2010, and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and Streaming Songs, each of which launched on Jan. 26, 2013).

On the decade-end Hot Latin Songs and Top Latin Albums recaps, titles are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 on weekly charts earning the greatest value and weeks at lower positions earning the least. Due to changes in chart methodology and title turnover rates over the decade, certain periods were weighted differently.

Top Artists recaps are ranked based on a formula blending performance, as outlined above, of all their chart entries. Specifically, the overall Top Artists category ranks the best-performing artists based on activity on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and the Billboard 200 albums tally, as well as social media data and touring revenue from Billboard Boxscore, while genre-focused Top Artists rankings blend acts' decade-spanning performance on each genre's main song and album charts (such as, for Latin, Hot Latin Songs and Top Latin Albums).

Billboard's decade-end touring charts are based on Billboard Boxscore data for performances between Dec.7 1, 2009, and Sept. 30, 2019.