Luis Figueroa is celebrating another chart-topper…
The 34-year-old Puerto Rican singer and songwriter has notched his second No. 1 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplay chart as “Bandido” lifts to the top of the October 21-dated ranking.
“I am so excited with the reaction from everyone with this song … it has become a fan favorite!” Figueroa tells Billboard. “I am also proud to represent this new salsa movement. Salsa es lo que hay!”
“Bandido” rises to the summit with a 23% gain to 5.7 million audience impressions on reporting radio stations during the October 6-12 tracking week, according to Luminate. The song was released on August 17 via Magnus Media/Sony Music Latin, with Figueroa one of its six writers.
“It was amazing to work with so many talented musicians and lyricists on this song,” Figueroa adds. “I have been looking forward to putting this record out for a while, so for everyone to finally listen to it, and the reaction it has received, is so gratifying.”
Notably, “Bandido” becomes the first salsa track to crown Tropical Airplay among the five tropical tunes that have notched their first weeks at No. 1 in 2023. Let’s look at the winners, by core style:
Peak Date, Artist, Title (style) February 4, Romeo Santos & Rosalia, “El Pañuelo” (bachata)
April 8, Marshmello & Manuel Turizo, “El Merengue” (merengue)
July 8, Prince Royce, “Me EnRD” (bachata)
August 5, Chayanne, “Bailando Bachata” (bachata)
October 21, Luis Figueroa, “Bandido” (salsa)
“Bandido” is the first salsa No. 1 on Tropical Airplay since Marc Anthony’s “Mala” in March 2022.
“Bandido” concurrently translates into a new No. 1 for Magnus Media. The label last ruled Tropical Airplay through another Figueroa song, “Hasta El Sol de Hoy,” for one week in July 2021.
Beyond its Tropical Airplay coronation, “Bandido” rebounds to its No. 18 high on the overall Latin Airplay chart. It became Figueroa’s second top 20 entry there, following the No. 15-peaking “Todavía Te Espero” in 2022.
Figueroa’s new achievement follows his first-time nomination for a Billboard Latin Music Award this year, for tropical artist of the year, solo.
The 54-year-old Puerto Rican Latin pop singer and actor has returned to tropical music with “Bailando Bachata,” the third single from his highly-anticipated new album which debuts on Thursday, May 25 at 8:00 pm ET via Sony Music Latin.
Chayanne’s new single follows the previously released tracks:
reggaeton-pop single “Tú y Yo” and ballad “Te Amo y Punto.”
“I love the genre,” Chayanne told Billboard Español ahead of the bachata single’s premiere, noting that he has visited Santo Domingo countless times and that “anywhere in the world, when they play Caribbean music like salsa, merengue, bachata, one enjoys dancing to it very closely, so I am very excited.”
“How lucky I am that I can see you when I wake up every day/ And when I travel I miss you/ I have your photograph in my wallet”, begins the romantic Spanish-language song, co-written by Chayanne, Yasmil Marrufo, Andy Clay CruzFelipe and Mario Alberto Cáceres Pacheco. “We are like the glass and the wine/ We go together since the moment we saw each other,” says part of the chorus.
Just as romantic is the music video, directed by Katherine Díaz and produced by Guacamaya Films.
Set in the 1970s, the clip stars Venezuelan actress and model Veronica Schneider. Upon arriving home, she lies down to watch her favorite series — starring Chayanne, of course — when she notices that the artist can see her from the screen.
“When I’m on TV, beware, because I’m watching you!”, he warns Billboard Español with a laugh.
“Bailando Bachata” is not Chayanne’s first foray into bachata — he “flirted” with the genre almost a decade ago with his pop-fusion song “Bailando Dos Corazonas.”
The new song, he explains, “is something more faithful, more complete, which makes me very excited.”
The 3-minute track is part of his forthcoming eight-song album. When asked if he’ll include any regional Mexican music — a genre currently enjoying significant global success — Chayanne couldn’t contain himself and revealed eagerly: “Yes! That too!”
“I started flirting with a lot of rhythms without leaving the backbone of pop,” he said. “But yes, the Mexican regional, you guessed right. There is also a song of that genre and it is beautiful”.
As for the release of his highly anticipated new set — his first studio album since 2014’s En Todo Estaré, which reached No. 1 on Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums chart — he said that he finished recording and hopes to make an announcement very soon. “Right now we are mastering, so it’s a matter of setting a date,” he says.
The 58-year-old Guatemalan singer-songwriter will be among the artists taking part in the first-ever edition of Vegas Latin Summer Beach Fest, presented by 360 Worldwide Entertainment.
The festival will offer a “one-of-a-kind” experience in Las Vegas throughout the spring and summer, according to the company
The concept, dubbed the “Caribbean Edition,” is a concert series composed of 11 shows: nine three-day beach festivals at the Mandalay Bay Beach, and two concerts at the T-Mobile Arena.
“As the company that established the Latin music festival format, we are proud to innovate the live music experience once again,” said Lucas Piña, founder, 360 Worldwide Entertainment. “After an exhausting pandemic, we are again the first to advocate and support our Latin culture in general, providing the city of Las Vegas with a truly enriching cultural experience for its community and tourism,” added the former SBS Entertainment executive who helped conceptualize the company’s marquee events such as Calibash and Miamibash.
The Vegas Latin Summer Beach Fest: Caribbean Edition will “transport you to the beautiful islands of the Caribbean: Cuba, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico through an impressive cultural display,” according to a press release.
The weekend-long festivals at the Mandalay Bay will kick off with Havana Nights (April 15-17) — headlined by Yotuel, Jacob Forever and Osmani García — followed by Dominican Republic Carnaval Nights (May 20-22) and Noches de San Juan (June 17-19).
Artists set to perform at Carnaval and Noches de San Juan will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
The two concerts at the T-Mobile Arena include Arjona — who’ll make a stop there as part of his Blanco y Negro Tour on April 23 — and the July 16 show that will wrap up the series which will “feature 21 artists and special guests.”
“We have been working tirelessly for a long time on this concept, and the vision of offering something different, far from scaring us, invigorates us,” said Camilo Gonzalez, 360 Worldwide Entertainment’s president. “Back in 2007, when the industry said it was impossible to create a rotating stage, Lucas Piña challenged them. Now, we are returning the focus to Latin music genres that also deserve recognition, such as salsa, merengue, bachata, and urban music.”
He may not be old enough to drive, but Luis Vázquez is already making a splash in the music world…
The 15-year-old Puerto Rican singer has notched his first No. 1 on Billboard’s Tropical Airplaychart as “Tu Fan” rises 3-1 on the July 3-dated survey.
At 15, Vázquez becomes the youngest soloist to arrive at the summit since the chart began in October 1994. He beats out previous record-holder Leslie Grace, who was 17 when “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” topped the chart in October 2012.
“I’m beyond happy that at the beginning of my career I already have a No. 1 on the Tropical Airplay chart,” Vázquez tells Billboard. “Thankful to God for helping me achieve this dream with my first song and to my family for all the support and love. Grateful also to the public who has supported the song from the beginning and to my second family, JAK Entertainment.”
“Tu Fan” tops the chart with 3.8 million in audience impressions earned in the week ending June 27, up 39%, according to MRC Data. The song is Vázquez’s first entry on any Billboard chart.
“We, at JAK Capitol, are extremely proud of Luis’ great achievement!“ Andy Martinez, CEO, JAK Entertainment tells Billboard. ‘We believe in his talent and our mission is to continue working hard so the tropical genre sees more young talent.”
As it lands atop the summit, “Tu Fan” joins a list of five other tracks that have topped the Tropical Airplay chart in 2021.
Song, Artist, Debut/ Peak Date “De Vuelta Pa’ La Vuelta,” Daddy Yankee & Mark Anthony, Jan. 2
“Travesuras,” Nio García, Casper Mágico, Ozuna, Wisin & Yandel, Myke Towers, Flow La Movie, March 6
“Un Amor Eterno,” Marc Anthony, March 20
“Víctimas Las Dos,” Victor Manuelle & La India, May 29
“Si Supieras,” Prince Royce, June 5 “Tu Fan,” Luis Vázquez, July 3
“I’m super excited for this No. 1 because from the beginning this project sounded incredible and ambitious with a great artist who exceeded my expectations even at such a young age,” Juan Miguel, the song’s producer, tells Billboard. “I am sure that Luis will be a salsa icon and I will be very happy in the future to have been part of his history.”
Beyond its Latin Airplay coronation, “Tu Fan” also sees progress on the all-genre Latin Airplay chart, where the track advances 41-32.
“Tu Fan” is part of Vázquez’s debut studio album, Comienzos. The eight-track set, released February 12, debuted and peaked at No. 17 on the Tropical Albums chart.
The 43-year-old Puerto Rican reggaetonero has joined voices with Daddy Yankee on the salsa single “De Vuelta Pa’ La Vuelta.”
Anthony, known as the King of Salsa, cedes the opening spotlight to Daddy Yankee, whose voice is well-suited for a traditional salsa track.
The made-for-dancing insta-classic, which, in vintage Marc Anthony style, begins with a slow intro that then breaks into an uptempo dance beat, pairs two icons who unexpectedly meet each other halfway.
Sergio George produced the track, a fusion of two very different distinct voices with a deep respect for the genre that will no doubt give an infusion of energy to the tropical charts.
Amazon Music is putting a big focus on Latin music with the launch of “Amazon Music LAT!N,” featuring the 19-year-old Mexican singer in a new editorial video series, Género101,
The Latin music brand features a broad umbrella that includes over 100 new and revamped playlists, an emerging artist program, merchandise, video and multiple catalog programs among many other initiatives.
Using the tagline “La Musica que nos conecta” — a reference to the fact that Latinos come from many countries and cultures but are connected by music and language — the LAT!N hub, which includes music in Spanish and Portuguese, will live within Amazon at amazon.com/latinmusic.
It seeks to establish Amazon as a major player in Latin music streaming and content, as well as retail.
“The big differentiator [with other streaming services] is the ability to work cross functionally with the other Amazon verticals and services like Twitch and Prime Video,” explains Rocío Guerrero, who assumed the newly created position of global head of Latin music at Amazon in January.
“We can do things 360. It’s unparalleled and it will live within the Amazon.com ecosystem.”
Prior to Guerrero’s arrival, Amazon Music had been relatively perfunctory with its approach to Latin music, offering playlists and a big catalog but little else. Latin content was hardly ever marketed The launch of LAT!N marks a major investment and commitment to the music.
“What they want is to expand with even more audiences and fans and engage them with Latin music,” Guerrero says. A major thrust is positioning Amazon as a destination that focuses not only on reggaetón and urban music, which dominate the major Latin playlists around the world, but on all genres of Latin music, aiming for Amazon’s “broader” — as Guerrero calls it — audience, including older listeners.
“For instance, genres like bachata, salsa and Regional Mexican are big in Amazon Music,” she says. “We have a spotlight now. And we can shine a light on all the genres of Latin music.”
Guerrero came to Amazon from Warner Music Latin, but previously spent years overseeing U.S. Latin content in Spotify. Since joining Amazon in late 2019 she has expanded the Latin music global team, hiring Ana Martinez as label relations and Cristina Martin to head marketing for Latin music global and retaining Amaya Mendizabal as senior music curator.
After planning for the first half of the year, the official LAT!N kickoff features an original, acoustic version of Maluma’s global hit “Hawái.” It will be followed by exclusive weekly releases of new renditions by Karol G, Christian Nodal and Romeo Santos during Hispanic Heritage Month, with more planned moving forward.
At the same time, a catalog program called “Raices” will kick off with a spotlight on Marc Anthony that includes a mini documentary shot in his home, and will highlight Latin catalog content on a monthly basis. Likewise, an emerging artist program, “Rompe,” which is similar to Amazon’s “Breakthrough” program in the U.K., will highlight a local emerging artist every month, beginning with Colombia’s Las Villa and Interscope artist Nobeat.
New content will go beyond music to include five new editorial video series, available in English and Spanish. The first, Género101, will highlight different sub-genres of Latin music, beginning with an episode on corridos tumbaos explained by Natanael Cano. An Alexa component is also in development that will allow listeners to ask their virtual assistant questions and get replies in different artists’ voices.
The core of LAT!N, of course, will continue to be playlists — now expanded to 100 — including Latin global hits playlist Platino (formerly titled Fuego Latino), new music playlist Hoy, and a Clásicos playlist that features classics for each genre. Says Guerrero: “We cannot commit to just one audience only.”
The 52-year-old Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, the best-selling tropical salsa artist of all time, has earned a spot in the annals of music history with his 2013 album 3.0, which at the time was his first salsa album in a decade.
The album, which was considered a risky release at the time with tropical music beginning to fade in popularity due to the resurgence of reggaeton, has became the first salsa album ever to be certified “Diamante,” the RIAA’s highest certification for a Latin album, for shipments of over 600,000 copies in the U.S. alone.
Anthony announced the major accomplishment on his Instagram page, posting a slideshow of photos that feature him cozying up to the Diamond plaque and grinning from ear to ear.
“Wow 3.0 First Salsa album ever to reach Diamond Status,” Anthony wrote in his caption. “Thanks to my team and everyone that worked on the album y Gracias a mis fans por siempre apoyar mi música y hacer este uno de sus favoritos. God bless!”
This major milestone for the project is only its latest accomplishment.
In 2013, 3.0 became the top-selling release of the year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The hit single from the album, “Vivir Mi Vida,” also spent 18 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot Latin Songs chart, becoming the first tropical single in a decade to top the chart and the longest-running No. 1 tropical song in the history of the chart.
“It’s a huge honor for us at Sony Music Latin to work with Marc,” Sony Music Latin Iberia Chairman and CEO Afo Verde said as he presented Marc Anthony his RIAA Diamante plaque in a virtual ceremony. “He continues to break records time and time again and creates new ones all on his own. His music is forever. He’s proven that his recordings, from birth and even five, 10, 20 years later, are everlasting and will be sung by everyone for a lifetime.”
Anthony also talked about the milestone, revealing the confidence boost the success of the project gave him all those years ago.
“The arrival of this new achievement in this particular time is truly gratifying and inspiring for me,” Marc said. “3.0 was an album that I considered risky at the time of its release. The Latin music industry was beginning to shift and the main attention was going to other genres. The album was embraced by everyone in such a powerful way. That response gave a boost of reassurance in my career and my instincts as a music creator.”
With this accomplishment under his belt, Anthony is now working on new music.
The Colombian journalist/writer, a vice president at Billboard, will release a new book next year with Penguin Random House titled Decoding Latino: The Real Story of Latin Music.
The book will offer an insider’s view into the Latin music industry, tracking the stories behind 15 of the biggest hits of the past 50 years featuring some of the biggest names in music, including Emilioand Gloria Estefan, Enrique Iglesias, J Balvinand Luis Fonsi, among others.
“Bringing to life these stories and these songs is an honor and a pleasure,” said Cobo, who is also a classically trained pianist. “We’ve had so much fun reliving the making of these landmark songs.”
Decoding Latino will also explore areas such as the birth of Salsa, which was bred on the streets of Spanish Harlem, as well as Puerto Rican reggaetonand the bilingual chart-toppers making history.
It will be published in English and Spanish, and will also be available as an audio book.
Cobo, who has previously written four books in addition to co-writing the 2017 memoir Una Vidawith recording artist Ednita Nazario, is Billboard‘s chief Latin music expert, writer and editor who has secured some of the magazine’s most iconic cover stories highlighting names like pop star Jennifer Lopez, urban king Ozuna and the recent cover story featuring Spain’s flamenco-inspired hip-hip artist Rosalía, who this month was celebrated at Billboard’s 14th annual Women in Music event for her contributions to female empowerment.
Previously, Cobo published two novels with Grand Central Publishing/Hatchette Book Group, which were translated to German, Italian and have won multiple awards. The Second Time We Met, Cobo’s 2012 novel, won the Latino Book Award for best popular fiction and was chosen as one of the top summer reads by MSN and Latina.
Cobo’s biography on the late Jenni Rivera (Penguin Random House) stayed on the U.S. top 10 list of most-sold books in Spanish for more than 25 consecutive weeks. The book on the Diva of Banda music was named a top-read by several publications, including People en Español.
Sure, he competed on Dancing with the Stars… But this time William Levy will be dancing with a star.
The 32-year-old Cuban American actor and telenovela star has signed on to co-star opposite Jada Pinkett-Smith in Salsa, which the actress will also produce.
Levy, the star of the popular telenovela Triunfo del Amor, will portray Pinkett-Smith’s salsa teacher in the film that tells the story of a woman at a turning point in her life. Through the dance of salsa she begins to get her life back on track.
Pinkett-Smith and Miguel Melendez will produce for Overbrook Entertainment, with production set to begin in the first quarter of 2014.