It’s been a long time coming, but Juan Gabriel is back at the top of the charts…
The iconic 65-year-old Mexican singer/songwriter climbs to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums (dated March 7) with Los Duo, scoring his first chart-topping set in 18 years, after debuting last week at No. 2.
The new duets album — which features a variety of guests like Juanes and Marco Antonio Solis — is helping Gabriel cover his own classics — sold 9,000 units in its second week, according to Nielsen Music.
Rising to the top despite a 61 percent decline in sale, the album opened with 23,000 copies (Gabriel’s biggest sales week since Nielsen started tracking sales in 1991) but was bested by Ricky Martin’s No. 1-debuting A Quien Quiera Escuchar, which arrived with 25,000. Both sets saw an expected second-week dip, with Martin dropping 72 percent (to 7,000), allowing Gabriel to take the top spot with the smaller sales decrease.
Gabriel, whose career launched in the early 1970s, last claimed the top spot in 1997 (with his only other No. 1 album) when Juntos Otra Vez, a collaborative set with Spanish singer Rocio Durcal, spent a week at the top.
It garnered a similar second-week climb to No. 1 after debuting the prior week at No. 7. (The Top Latin Albums chart launched in July of 1993.)
Over on Latin Pop Airplay, the new album’s lead single “Querida,” featuring Juanes, steps 26-25 with a two percent increase at the plays-based format.
Among Los Duo’s collaborations is “Se Me Olvido Otra Vez” with Solis, as the pair team up for a cover of Gabriel’s classic song that was first released in 1974.
Other artists from multiple Latin genres that join Gabriel on the set include regional Mexican singer-songwriter Espinoza Paz (duetting on “Siempre En Mi Mente,” the title track from Gabriel’s 1978 album) and Italian pop star Laura Pausini. The latter lends her powerful voice to “ Juan Gabriel,” the title track from a No. 2-peaking Gabriel album released in 2000.
Additional duets with the likes of Vicente Fernandez, Natalia Jimenez, Alejandra Guzman and Fifth Harmony also help to shape Gabriel’s chart-topping set.