Alejandro Escovedo Earns First Entry on a Billboard Latin Chart with “La Cruzada”

Alejandro Escovedo is celebrating a special first…

The 69-year-old Mexican American rock musician has notched his first entry on any Billboard Latin chart as La Cruzada, with Don Antonio, arrives at No. 8 on the Latin Pop Albums chart (dated November 7) with 1,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending October 29, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

La Cruzada is the Spanish version of Escovedo’s 2018 album The Crossing, with Don Antonio, which bowed at No. 6 on the Heatseekers Albums chart and at No. 28 on the Rock Albums Sales charts in September 2018.

Alejandro is a member of the storied Escovedo music family, which includes his brothers Pete and Coke, and niece Sheila E.

“It’s been a while since I was on the charts,” Escovedo tells Billboard from his home in Austin, Texas. “To have this record on the chart is very rewarding, such a beautiful thing for me. It seems my whole lifetime has led to this record. This is kind of the epitome of what I always wanted to do and express. I love the concept of an album, I love the storytelling of an album, this one gave me an opportunity to fully express in a way that I don’t think I had in previous records.”

Escovedo’s The Crossing, with Italian band Don Antonio -fronted by multi-instrumentalist Antonio Garmantieri, was co-written with Garmantieri and recorded in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Its Spanish version, La Cruzada, was released via Yep Roc/Redeye and pressed on red, white and green striped double vinyl exclusively for Record Store Day.

Two years after the release of its original English version, La Cruzada secures a spot on the Latin charts. “I thought the message had to be heard,” Escovedo adds. “My father was born in Saucillo, Mexico and crossed the border in 1907 when he was 12. I come from a musical family, my brother Pete and Coke Escovedo played for Santana, and Sheila E is my niece. The story of The Crossing and La Cruzada is really about my family, my father.”

He continues, “When (Donald) Trump came down the escalator and announced that some Mexicans were rapists and drug dealers I really took a stand, of course, as a lot of us probably did. I thought this is something that needs to be addressed. I’ve always tried to tell my Dad’s story, but I’ve never had a large Latin audience because I come from rock-and-roll, punk rock, and I sing in English.”

About La Cruzada’s 1,000 limited copies, Escovedo adds: “The record was just going to be a Record Store Day release in vinyl with the special packaging. Then the label was supposed to put it out as a general release for everyone on CD and vinyl, but because of Covid our tour was cancelled, and the release of the record was delayed. Not sure where that hangs right now with but hopefully with this Billboard attention they see there’s potential for a larger audience.”

“We used the same backing tracks we recorded for The Crossing,” Escovedo adds. “We translated the lyrics and Alex Ruiz, lead singer of band Del Castillo, recorded the vocals in Spanish at Rick del Castillo’s studio. I did some of the background vocals with him. I wanted Alex’s voice, though, I thought he could articulate the words in a way I probably wouldn’t because my Spanish isn’t that great.”

About the production of The Crossings Escovedo remembers: “My wife and I flew to Italy and spent a month making this record out there with Don Antonio. The distance somehow gave me the way of seeing the story and America in a different eye. Traveling is something I recommend, to see the world through other people’s eyes, to have a different view point.”

The album tells the tale of two boys — Diego from Mexico and Salva from Italy — who meet while working in a restaurant in Galveston, Texas to chase their American rock-and-roll dreams. La Cruzada gets the same treatment en español and earns Escovedo and Don Antonio their first top 10 on any Latin chart.

“It’s crazy!” Escovedo muses. “When my manager Randy gave me the news, it just went over my head and I didn’t understand it. I thought, ‘Oh, we’re going to do an interview with Billboard on the record,’ which I thought was wonderful, any attention is great. Then at the end of the conversation I said, ‘Tell me that again, what happened with the record?’ and he says: ‘You are No. 8 — in the top 10 — on the Latin Pop Albums chart.’ I flipped out; that’s something that’s never happened for me and this is a real blessing for us, it brought a lot of joy to another wise strange and dark and uncertain day.”

Maluma to Appear on Telemundo’s Pre-Billboard Latin Music Awards Special “Detrás de la Fama”

Maluma is about to get deep…

Telemundo has announced extensive coverage for the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards, with three television specials surrounding the highly anticipated ceremony set to take place Oct. 21, including one featuring the 26-year-old Colombian superstar.

Maluma, MichelobULTRA

Detrás de la Fama will air on October 17 at 10:00 pm ET and will feature exclusive and in-depth interviews with some of the stars of the Billboard Latin Music Awards, including Maluma, PitbullCarlos Vives and Becky G.

La Alfombra de Premios Billboard will air live on October 21 at 7:00 pm ET, showcasing the arrival of the stars on the red carpet.  For the first time in its history, La Alfombra will also feature musical performances with Dalex and Dímelo Flow set to perform.

To wrap up the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards coverage, Billboard: Acceso VIP will broadcast after the awards ceremony at 11:35 p.m. ET to present exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the awards show.

The complete list of finalists was announced earlier this year, with Bad Bunny and Ozuna leading the list with 14 mentions each. Daddy Yankee and J Balvin both have 12 finalist mentions; Anuel AA has 11; and Farruko has 10. See the complete list of finalists here.

J Balvin’s Collaboration with Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny & Tainy, “Un Día (One Day),” Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs Chart

It’s a perfect Day for J Balvin

The 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer’s bilingual collaboration with Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy, “Un Día (One Day),” surges to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs survey dated August 8.

J Balvin

The track, released July 24, dethrones another bilingual collaboration, ending the Black Eyed Peas, Ozuna and J.Rey Soul’s three-week reign with “Mamacita.”

“I’m so thankful and blessed for the early reaction to ‘Un Día’ and its arrival on the charts,” said J Balvin. “It’s one we’ve been talking about for a while now, so I’m happy it’s out in the world for everyone to enjoy. Much Love to Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, and Tainy for being a part of this special moment with me. Stay tuned for more fire coming soon!”

“Un Día” is Dua Lipa’s first Hot Latin Songs entry and first No. 1 on any Billboard Latin chart. Her foray into the Latin charts began in January 2018 as all-English language track “New Rules” opened at No. 40 on the Latin Pop Airplay list. 

The new song isn’t available on her current album Future Nostalgia, which arrived at No. 4 on the overall Billboard 200 chart (April 11-dated tally).

“Un Día” was produced by Tainy and arrived with a music video directed by Colombian Stillz, which features Spanish actress Úrsula Corberó (Netflix’s Money Heist).

The song’s coronation on Hot Latin Songs, which blends airplay, streams and digital sales, is mainly attributed to streaming activity and airplay. It earned 10 million U.S. clicks in the week ending July 30, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, which yields a No. 1 debut on the Latin Streaming Songs list and a No. 45 arrival on the overall Streaming Songs chart.

“Un Día” concurrently opens at No. 1 on the Latin Digital Song Sales chart and at No. 49 on the overall Digital Song Sales chart supported by its 4,000 downloads logged in its first tracking week.

J Balvin, meanwhile, posts an eighth No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs. “Un Día,” however, earns him his first No. 1 debut.

With the song’s arrival atop the list, J Balvin places three songs in the top 10: “Ritmo (Bad Boys For Life),” with Black Eyed Peas at No. 3 and “Agua,” with Tainy which rises 11-7. The latter is featured on The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run soundtrack.

“Un Día” is just the second song to arrive at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs in 2020. It follows Bad Bunny’s “Si Veo a Tu Mamá” (March 14-dated survey). While he secures his sixth No. 1, producer and songwriter Tainy claims his first.

Beyond its Hot Latin Songs chart-topping arrival, “Un Día” bows at No. 24 on Latin Airplay, No. 13 on Latin Rhythm Airplay and No. 17 on Latin Pop Airplay.

Christian Nodal to Announce This Year’s Latin American Music Awards Nominees on Telemundo

Christian Nodal is ready to read the names…

The 20-year-old Mexican singer-songwriter will join forces with Puerto Rican rising star Lunay to announce the nominees for the 2019 Latin American Music Awards live from Billboard Studios.

Christian Nodal

On Wednesday, Telemundowill reveal the nominees for the 2019Latin AMAsstarting at 7:00 am ET on the network’s morning show Un Nuevo Dia.

At 9:00 am ET, the announcement will be extended to digital platforms for the first simultaneous live broadcast. From Telemundo Centerin Miami and Billboard Studios in New York, some categories will be revealed through the official Twitteraccounts of Billboard(@billboard), Billboard Latin(@billboardlatin), Telemundo (@telemundo), Latin AMAs(@latinamas), AMAs(@amas) and Premios Billboard(@latinbillboards).

While Nodal and Lunay will be in New York, Mau y Ricky and Mariahwill be performing at Miami’s Telemundo Center.

The 2019 Latin AMAs nominees will be based on key fan interactions with music, including sales, streaming and social activity according to Billboard‘s analysis through their data allies of Nielsen Musicand Next Big Sound, covering the period from August 10, 2018, to July 25, 2019.

The awards will broadcast live on Telemundo from the Dolby Theaterin Hollywood on Thursday, October 17, 2019, at 8:00 pm ET.

Becky G Collaborates with Akon on New Single “Como No”

Becky G is helping Akonmake his return to music…

The 22-year-old Mexican American singer/rapper appears on “Como No,” Akon’s new song from his Latin collaborations albumEl Negreeto.

Akon & Becky G

Becky G and Akon teased the new track on Billboard Latin’s Instagram account.

Akon and Becky G shared behind-the-scenes photos and short clips on the account while filming the “Como No” video in Miami. 

“The Latin culture, it’s amazing,” Akon previously told Billboard. “Growing up in New Jersey surrounded by this culture. I love this culture, and ever since the beginning of my career I’ve been wanting to always collaborate.”

“Como No” follows Akon’s “Get Money” with Anuel AA, released in May.

See Akon and Becky G’s story takeover here.