There’s no doubt Nicky Jam’s latest single is a smash hit… But it’s now thisclose to making history.
The 34-year-old Puerto Rican/Dominican American singer’s collaboration with Enrique Iglesias’ “El Perdon” is now the second-longest-running No. 1 in the 29-year history of Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, spending a 26th consecutive week at No. 1.
“I don’t believe it yet. It’s hard to digest,” Nicky Jam tells Billboard.
The track shot to No. 1 in only five weeks, after debuting at No. 50 on the chart dated Feb. 21. A music video, released in conjunction with the YouTube Music Awards (March 23), has garnered more than 229 million global views on YouTube. In addition, a lyric video on Jam’s YouTube channel has amassed 325 million views.
The 26th week at No. 1 trails only Iglesias’ own “Bailando,” featuring Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona, which shattered the record for most weeks at the top, when it spent 41 consecutive weeks at No. 1 (on the charts dated May 17, 2014, through Feb. 14, 2015). “El Perdon” surpasses Shakira’s 25-week No. 1 run with “La Tortura,” featuring Alejandro Sanz, attained in 2005.
Seemingly unaware of the track’s reach, a humble Nicky Jam says, “My manager scolds me because he said that I don’t know how big I am, and that maybe that’s the key.” He adds, “I try not to think about the success, because it’s pressure to continue making music. If I write songs trying to top other songs, it’s a lot of pressure.”
While Nicky Jam had his first three Hot Latin Songs-charted tracks between 2005 and 2008, “El Perdon” is his breakout international smash and follows a six-year chart hiatus. His return to the chart came in 2014 with “Travesuras,” also a sizable hit, reaching No. 4 on the list (Dec. 27).
An English version of the track, “El Perdon (Forgiveness),” has given the song extra legs in recent weeks — helping the crossover hit to scale the Billboard Hot 100. On the Sept. 12-dated chart, it hops 72-68 in its 23rd week (nearing its No. 66 peak). A music video for the new version was released Sept. 1 via a live stream at YouTube Space NYC, hosted by BuzzFeed Espanol. The clip was uploaded to Nicky Jam’s YouTube channel immediately following the broadcast.
The song’s 26th crowning week on the hybrid chart (which measures radio, sales, and streaming of the Spanish version only) is supported mostly by streams, accounting for 56 percent of total points contributing to its rank. It racked up 2.5 million U.S. clicks during the week ending Aug. 28, (up 6 percent, according to Nielsen Music), with the Spanish version receiving 89 percent of total clicks.
Any bumps in sales and streaming for “Forgiveness” are expected to impact the Hot 100 rank on the Sept. 19-dated charts.