Kali Uchis Teams Up with SZA to Release New Single “Fue Mejor”

It’s all better for Kali Uchis

The 27-year-old Colombian American singer/songwriter has joined voices with SZA to release the hot new single “fue major.”

Kali Uchis

In the Daniel Sannwald-directed music video, Uchis makes a nearly empty parking lot her dance floor before hopping on top of and then inside her real-life boyfriend Don Tolivers whip.

SZA later appears and sings in Spanish for the first time when delivering her verse about getting over someone who never really felt like her person before the two singers join fiery forces for the steamy finale.

The original “fue mejor” track, which featured PartyNextDoor, is from the Grammy-winning artist’s 2020 sophomore album Sin Miedo (Del Amor y Otros Demonios), which peaked at No. 52 on the Billboard 200 and reached No. 1 on Billboard‘s Latin Pop Albums chart.

The PartyNextDoor-assisted version of “fue mejor” reached No. 46 on Hot Latin Songs in December 2020. Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) recently won Latin pop album of the year at the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

“Thank u @sza for jumping on this & taking the time to sing in a whole different language. Thank u for making Spanish speakers feel seen & for being such a loving, pure & open spirit,” Uchis wrote on Twitter. “que dios me la cuide siempre!!!”

SZA thanked Uchis in return for coaching the R&B singer with her Spanish verse, writing, “KALII!! Te amooo thank you for being patient w me and walking me through my thoughts in Spanish!! Such a nurturing cancer thank YOU FOR BEING OPEN AND HONEST W EVERY STEPP!! now u gotta help me make a Spanish ep.”

Recently, Uchis hopped on the remix of Afro-fusion artist Amaarae‘s “Sad Girlz Love Money.”

Kali Uchis Earns First No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Airplay Chart with “Telepatía”

Kali Uchis is celebrating another first on the Latin music charts…

A month after “Telepatía” reigned on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart for four weeks (May 22-June 12-dated lists), the 26-year-old half-Colombian American singer’s ubiquitous single rises 5-1 on the Latin Airplay chart dated July 3. It’s her first No. 1 on the chart.

Kali Uchis

The single is her second chart entry on the Latin Airplay chart and her first as a lead act. She previously charted via her featured role on Juanes‘ No. 23-peaking “El Ratico” in 2017.

The steady march of “Telepatía” on radio airplay sends the TikTok hit to No. 1 on the all-Latin genre radio ranking. The track climbs to the top in its 11th week on the list, and with its fourth consecutive weekly gain in audience impressions. It earned 9.6 million in audience in the week ending May 16 — up 30% from the previous week — according to MRC Data.

The song’s Latin Airplay coronation comes after it earlier reached No. 1 on the Latin Streaming Songs chart and Latin Digital Song Sales. The song ruled the Hot Latin Songs chart (which blends airplay, streams and song sales) for four weeks (May 22-June 12 charts). On the latest Hot Latin Songs chart, the track holds at No. 2.

“Telepatía” also jumps 2-1 on Latin Pop Airplay and sends Rauw Alejandro’s pop-disco “Todo De Ti” to the runner-up slot after its two-week reign.

“Telepatía” is Uchis’ first charting single on Latin Pop Airplay without an accompanying act. “El Ratico” peaked at No. 10 in September 2017 and “La Luz (Fin),” with Jhay Cortez, reached No. 16 in January.

Both “Telepatía” and “La Luz” are part of Uchis’ album Sin Miedo (Del Amor y Otros Demonios), which has spent nine weeks at No. 1 on Latin Pop Albums.

Beyond its Latin Airplay and Latin Pop Airplay No. 1s, “Telepatía” continues to climb on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart, as the track rises 30-25. It’s her second entry on the chart, following the No. 93 peak of “Get You,” by Daniel Caesar featuring Uchis.

Elsewhere, “Telepatía” rebounds 2-1 on Latin Digital Song Sales after its 11-week lead with 1,400 downloads sold in the week ending June 24.

The Late Armando Manzanero’s “20 Éxitos Originales” Reaches Top 10 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums Chart

Armando Manzanero’s legacy lives on…

For the first time in 32 years, the late Mexican Mayan musician, widely considered the premier Mexican romantic composer of the postwar era and one of the most successful composers of Latin America, ranks on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart.

Armando Manzanero

Manzanero’s 20 Éxitos Originales, a compilation set originally released in 2007, arrives at No. 10 (on the chart dated January 9), following his death on December 28 due to COVID-19 complications. He was 85.

The 20-track set follows Manzanero’s first and only entry on Latin Pop Albums up to date: 20 Grandes Éxitos earned him his first top 10 in 1988 (No. 6 debut and peak).

The Yucatán singer-songwriter collects his second top 10 ever on any Billboard chart.

20 Éxitos Originales starts with 1,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Jan. 31, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. Most of its opening sum derives from streaming activity.

Selena Returns to Top 10 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums Chart with “Selena: The Series” Soundtrack

Selena is back on the charts…

The late Mexican American singer, known as la Reina de la Musica Tejana, returns to Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart dated December 19 with her latest soundtrack Selena: The Series, Music From The Netflix’s Original Series

Selena Quintanilla

It’s Selena’s first entry and Top 10 since 2016 following the former No. 1 greatest hits compilation Lo Mejor De… (April 2016).

As Selena: The Series Soundtrack debuts at No. 8, Selena captures her sixth top 10, dating back to the 44-week ruler Dreaming of You (it debuted at No. 1 in August 1995).

Selena: The Series Soundtrack opens with 1,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Dec. 10, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, most of which stem from streaming activity. The first nine episodes of Selena: The Series premiered on Netflix on December 4.

The Latin Pop Albums chart ranks the most popular Latin pop albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). 

Selena:The Series soundtrack, which was released December 4 via Netflix/Capitol Latin/UMLE, net 1,000 SEA which equates to 1.2 million on-demand U.S. streams for the album’s songs in its opening week.

With The Series arriving in the current chart week, Selena also generates popularity with other efforts. Her last live set, Live, The Last Concert: Houston, Texas 1995, an April 2001 one-week chart ruler, re-enters at No. 7 after previously hitting No. 10 last holiday season.

Concurrently, Selena’s all-time favorite Ones (2002), moves closer to Shakira’s El Dorado’s 63-week No. 1 record holder, holding strong atop the list in its 61st week.

Elsewhere, The Series’s 20-track set sees six of its songs debut or re-enter the Latin Digital Song Sales chart. Let’s take a look:

Rank, Title

No. 4, “Como La Flor”
No. 8, “Baila Esta Cumbia”
No. 10, “Que Creías” (debut)
No. 19, “Besitos” (debut)
No. 21, “La Carcacha”
No. 24, “Dame Un Beso” (debut)

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.”

Juanes Notches 7th No. 1 Album on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums Chart

It’s Lucky No. 7 for Juanes

The 47-year-old Colombian singer has earned his seventh No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albumschart dated December 7 as Más Futuro Que Pasadoarrives at the top position. 

Juanes

It’s his fourth straight debut at the summit, which also debuts at No. 9 on the overall Top Latin Albums chart.

“I am dearly grateful to all my fans around the world who continue to allow me to share my feelings through my songs,” Juanes tells Billboard.“I am forever grateful.”

His eighth studio album becomes Juanes’ eighth straight top 10 debut on the Top Latin Albums chart,which ranks the most popular Latin albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Más Futuro Que Pasado opens with 4,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending November 28, according to Nielsen Music. Out of that sum, 2,000 were in traditional album sales while a little over 1,000 account for SEA units. The latter equates to 2 million on-demand audio streams for its songs in its first tracking week. 

Más Futuro Que Pasado follows Mis Planes Son Amarte, a former one-week ruler on both Top Latin Albums and Latin Pop Albums charts.

The new set, released November 22 via Universal Music Latino/UMLE, was preceded by three songs that hit the Hot Latin Songs chart -which blends airplay, digital sales and streaming data: “Pa Dentro” (No. 41 peak. July 21), “La Plata,” featuring Colombian reggaetón act Lalo Ebratt(No. 40, March 16) and “Bonita,” with Sebastian Yatra(No. 27 peak, Nov. 23).

Sebastián Yatra Earns Second Chart-Topper on Billboard Latin Pop Albums Chart

Sebastián Yatra is two-for-two…

The 24-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter’s sophomore album Fantasia debuts atop the Billboard Latin Pop Albums chart dated April 27, following his debut set Mantra to the top of the chart.

Sebastian Yatra

His sophomore set Fantasia launches at No. 1 with 5,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending April 18, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 3,000 were in album sales. Both figures mark the best weeks of his career, in terms of album sales and equivalent album units.

The LP concurrently debuts at No. 5 on the Top Latin Albums chart, his second entry, following the No. 3 debut and peak of Mantra.

Yatra scored his first Latin Pop Albums leader less than a year ago, when his debut set Mantra opened at No. 1 on June 2. The album also opened at No. 3 on Top Latin Albums and even reached the all-encompassing Billboard 200, at No. 192.

Yatra’s Fantasia is just the third album to be No. 1 on Latin Pop Albums in 2019 so far. Selena’s Ones ruled for the first six weeks of the year (of the set’s total 24 weeks at No. 1), followed by Luis FonsiVida for 10 weeks.

Thalia’s “Valiente” Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums Chart

It’s Lucky No. 7 for Thalia

The 47-year-old Mexican singer’s latest album Valiente debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart.

Thalia

Thalia’s 14th studio album, Valiente, released via Sony Music Latin on November 9, starts with a little over 2,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending November 15. Of that sum, 2,000 were in traditional album sales, while the remaining can be attributed to streaming equivalent album units and track equivalent album units.

Valiente is Thalia’s seventh chart leader and her first in more than two years. She’s now tied with Shakira for the most No. 1s on the Latin Pop Albums chart among women.

Thalia last reigned atop the tally with Latina (May 28, 2016), which led for two consecutive weeks.

The set has yielded one charting title on the Hot Latin Songs tally, which blends airplay, digital sales, and streaming activity: “No Me Acuerdo” with Natti Natasha ranked in the top 20 for ten weeks (No. 14 peak, September 22).

Concurrently, Valiente debuts at No. 7 on the Top Latin Albums and No. 1 on the Latin Album Sales charts.

 

Draco Rosa’s “Monte Sagrado” Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums Chart

Draco Rosa is back at the summit…

The 49-year-old Puerto Rican musicianhas earned his second No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Pop Albums chart as Monte Sagrado, his 13th studio album, debuts in the top spot, on the chart dated November 10.

Draco Rosa

The album debuts with 2,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending November 1, according to Nielsen Music. Most of those units can be attributed to traditional album sales.

Monte Sagrado is a celebration of life and gratitude,” Rosa tells Billboard.  “I’m overwhelmed with the amount of love it has received from everyone.”

Rosareturns to the top of the list after five and a half years. He first landed atop the tally with Vida, his 12th studio album, which opened at the summit in April 2013 and reigned for two weeks. Vida is Rosa’s longest-charting title among eight entries; it remained on the chart for a total of 25 weeks, 17 of which were in the top 10.

Monte Sagrado, released via Sony Music Latin on October 26, benefits from sales generated by an in-store album-signing appearance in Puerto Rico on October 27, as the set also scores a No. 1 debut on the Latin Albums Sales chart. It opens at No. 9 on Top Latin Albums and No. 17 on Rock Album Sales.

Chucho Valdés to Pay Homage to His Late Father Bebo Valdés at the Voll-Damm Barcelona International Jazz Festival

Chucho Valdés is preparing to honor his late father…

Renowned Cuban pianist Bebo Valdés would’ve turned 100 this coming October. His son, Chucho, of Irakere fame, and Diego El Cigala, the flamenco singer with whom Bebo recorded the remarkable 2003 album Lagrimas Negras, are among the artists who will pay homage to one of Cuba’s most celebrated musicians at this fall’s Voll-Damm Barcelona International Jazz Festival.

Chucho Valdés 

Cigala will honor both Bebo’s centennial and the 15th anniversary of the Grammy-winning album, performing the evergreen boleros and Cuban classics he piercingly inflected with Spanish song on the recording, on which he was accompanied by Bebo’s timeless stylings. The album by the unexpected pair — which reached no. 4 on the Billboard Latin Pop Albums chart — vaulted Cigala to international stages, and was the centerpiece of Bebo’s fabulous late career comeback. He was 84 years old when Lagrimas Negras was released. Bebo died in 2013.

At the just-announced concert on November 14 at Barcelona’s Palau de la Música, Cigala will perform with Jaime Calabuch, known as Jumituson piano. Cigala and Jumitus have also been announced for U.S. concerts at the Fillmore Miami Beach (November 9), and at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex in Los Angeles (March 2019).

Chucho Valdés, who was named the Barcelona Festival’s “godfather” in 2014, will open the festival October 26 with music from his 1972 vanguard Cuban jazz album, Jazz Batá, which was influenced by Bebo’s earlier experiments with the sacred Afro-Cuban batá drums. In 1952 in Havana, Bebo premiered his new rhythm called batangá, featuring the batá, which at that time had yet to make the jump from their hallowed place in religious ceremonies to popular music stages. The combination of ritual rhythms and Cuban orchestral arrangements was before its time.

Chucho will perform with a group of next-generation musicians: Yaroldi Abreu y Dreiser Durruthy Bambolé and Yelsy Heredia, whose playing carries on the innovation characterized by both Chucho and Bebo throughout their careers.

Chucho and his band will also perform Jazz Batá in other European cities this fall, and on a jazz cruise from Ft. Lauderdale scheduled for January 2019.

Bassist Javier Colina, who recorded a live album with Bebo at New York’s Village Vanguard in 2005, and Cuban pianist Harold Lopez Nussa, are also part of the jazz festival’s Bebo Valdés tribute, which is a piece of the extensive program of the festival’s 50th anniversary edition. Flamenco guitarist Tomatito, Brazil’s Tribalistas, bassist Avishai Cohen, Malian music duo Amadou & Mariam, jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux, the John Scofield Combo, the Bad Plus and Grupo Compay Segundo are among artists on the event’s October-December concert schedule.