Kali Uchis to Receive Crossover Award at Variety’s ‘Hitmakers’ Celebration

Kali Uchis is officially a hitmaker

The 27-year-old Colombian American singer, who won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording for her feature on Kaytranada‘s single “10%,” is among the honorees for Variety’s fifth annual Hitmakers celebration.

Kali Uchis

The December 2 issue recognizes the writers, producers, publishers, managers and executives who helped make — and break — the 25 most consumed songs of the year.

Uchis will receive the Crossover Award for her dreamy pop hit “Telepatía,” which has helped expand the reach of Latin music globally. Already a Grammy winner, 2021 has proven to be Uchis’ year as she positions herself among the biggest players in pop.

Hitmakers culminates in an invitation-only brunch held on Saturday, December 4.

Amazon Music will host the red carpet pre-show and awards presentation with Variety, and present the Rising Star of the Year Award which recognizes Polo G.

The 2021 Hitmakers program includes the following awards selected by Variety’s editorial team:

BTS’ “Butter” – Record of the Year: The song “Butter” blasted out to the world in May, becoming a record smashing single for BTS. The writers and producers, including multi-hyphenate creatives/executives Jenna Andrews and Ron Perry, the K-Pop group’s own RM, Stephen Kirk, Alex Bilowitz and Rob Grimaldi, crafted the perfect hit that just won’t quit. BTS prepared a special video for the Variety Record of the Year honor.

City Girls – The Future Is Female Award: The duo who prompted the world to “Act Up,” Miami’s City Girls have quickly risen to be one of the most promising acts in hip-hop, a genre typically dominated by male performers. Closing out 2021 with a bang — JT is featured on Summer Walker’s “Ex for a Reason” and Yung Miami just released a solo single, “Rap Freaks” — City Girls are helping ensure that the Future Is Female as they pave the way for more female artists, writers and producers.

Columbia Records – Label of the Year: With a string of multi-format and -platform hits including “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” by Lil Nas X, “Mood” by 24kGoldn ft. Iann Dior and “Stay” by the Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber — and a new album by Adele — Columbia Records artists have owned the charts for much of 2021.

Mike Dean – Producer of the Year: From Kanye West to Lana Del Rey to Don Toliver, six-time Grammy-winning producer Mike Dean has had a fruitful 2021 on top of his long-term collaborations with Travis Scott, Kid Cudi and Madonna.

Lana Del Rey – Decade Award: In October 2011, Lana Del Rey released her first single, “Video Games,” and a star was born. A decade later, she is regarded as one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the 21st century thanks to Grammy nominations and critical acclaim for her albums “Norman Fucking Rockwell,” “Born to Die,” and in the last year, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” and “Blue Bannisters.”

Billie Eilish & Finneas – Film Song of the Year: In co-writing the Grammy-winning and critically acclaimed “No Time to Die,” Billie Eilish and Finneas have entered the iconic James Bond canon, helping the MGM film, released this year, become a box office smash that’s grossed over $700 million worldwide.

Glass Animals – Group of the Year: After a lot of “rock is back” stories that didn’t pan out in recent years, Glass Animals proved that it really is still possible to break an actual band in a big way, and now the U.K. band’s sleeper hit “Heat Waves” has become a top 10 pop hit after a year of the group being the new face of rock.

Wendy Goldstein – A&R Award: Republic Records president of West Coast creative Wendy Goldstein receives Variety’s inaugural A&R Award for her work crafting hits for the Weeknd and Ariana Grande in 2021, and a career that spans three decades.

Jack Harlow – Hitmaker of Tomorrow: From his Grammy-nominated hit “Whats Poppin” to his smash collaboration with Lil Nas X, “Industry Baby,” Jack Harlow has become one of music’s most talked-about artists. Looking ahead, the Louisville, KY rapper is poised for an even bigger 2022, making him Variety’s Hitmaker of Tomorrow.

Walker Hayes – Sync of the Year: The country singer’s “Fancy Like” was an inescapable, TikTok-driven crossover hit that got major play on Top 40 and AC stations, even before the release of a remix version with Kesha. Its mention of a “fancy” night out at Applebee’s was just a lyrical detail, not intended as a sync — but of course the restaurant chain had to have it for a TV ad campaign once they heard it.

Lil Nas X – Innovator of the Year: With the release of his debut album, “Montero,” Lil Nas X has proven to be a musical trailblazer and visual innovator whose arrival has changed the course of culture. That thanks in part to his provocative videos — on full display in 2021’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and “Industry Baby” — in which the artist demonstrates a singular point-of-view and an ever-evolving fashion-forward style.

Max Lousada – Executive of the Year: As CEO for Warner Recorded Music — home to iconic labels Atlantic, Warner and Elektra, among others — Max has steered a roster that includes music giants Lizzo, Ed Sheeran, David Guetta, and Coldplay, and many of 2021’s biggest songs, among them Dua Lipa’s “Levitating,” Silk Sonic’s “Leave the Door Open,” Cardi B’s “Up” and Masked Wolf’s “Astronaut in the Ocean.”

Normani – Collaborator of the Year: Features on hit songs by Sam Smith (“Dancing With a Stranger”) and Khalid (“Love Lies”) led Normani to cameo alongside Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion in the video to “WAP.” Cardi returned the favor in 2021 on “Wild Side,” a No. 1 radio hit for Normani and the latest feather in her collaboration cap.

Polo G – Rising Star Award: Polo G’s “Rapstar” was all over playlists and radio in 2021, the result of a year-long journey for the Chicago rapper, who took the song from a short YouTube video to a TikTok phenomenon to a No. 1 single. The future looks bright for the 22-year-old newcomer, who receives Variety’s Rising Star award.

Olivia Rodrigo – Songwriter of the Year: With her debut album “Sour” released months after turning 18, Olivia Rodrigo has solidified her place as one of the most important voices of her generation. Variety celebrates her string of 2021 hits, including “Drivers License,” “Good 4 uU” “Deja Vu” and “Traitor.” 

Austin Rosen – Manager of the Year: With a client roster that includes Post Malone, 24kGoldn and Iann Dior, as well as hitmakers Louis Bell, Carter Lang and Blake Slatkin, Austin Rosen’s Electric Feel Entertainment has become a powerhouse in music management that helped shape the sound of 2021.

Kali Uchis – Crossover Award: The dreamy pop hit “Telepatía” has helped Crossover Award honoree Kali Uchis expand the reach of Latin music. Already a Grammy winner, 2021 has proven to be Kali’s year as she positions herself among the biggest players in pop.

Steven Victor – Hitbreaker of the Year: The posthumous success of Pop Smoke, whose “What You Know Bout Love” and “For the Night” are among the 25 most-consumed songs of 2021, is due in part to the vision and conviction of industry veteran and philanthropist Steven Victor, founder of Victor Victor Worldwide.

Variety’s Hitmakers issue tells the definitive story of the year in music while recognizing those who played a hands-on role in making and breaking the biggest hits of 2021,” said Shirley Halperin, Variety’s executive editor of music. “On the heels of the 2022 Grammy Award nominations, and in tandem with our own Music for Screens Summit (December 1-3), Variety has the industry covered top to bottom. We look forward to toasting the successes of 2021 and the people who really move the needle in this business we all love.”

Bad Bunny Wins His First-Ever American Music Awards Trophies

Bad Bunny’s America’s choice…

The American Music Awards aired live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, with the 27-year-old Puerto Rican superstar taking home his first-ever AMAs trophies.

Bad BunnyBad Bunny was named Favorite Male Artist – Latin, and he claimed the Favorite Album – Latin prize for his chart-topping album El Último Tour Del Mundo.

Cardi B, who hosted the star-studded awards show, won the award for Favorite Hip Hop Song for her chart-topping single “Up.” It’s her second consecutive win in the category after she took home the same award in 2020 for her single “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion.

The awards show featured performances from BTS with Coldplay, Olivia Rodrigo, Tyler the Creator, Måneskin, Walker Hayes, Mickey Guyton, Bad Bunny, Tainy with Julieta Venegas, Carrie Underwood with Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, New Edition and New Kids on the Block. Diplo was on DJ duty for the ceremony.

Bruno Mars won the Favorite R&B Song for “Leave the Door Open,” his Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 track “Leave The Door Open,” his single with Silk Sonic co-bandmate Anderson .Paak.

Becky G was named Favorite Female Artist – Latin for the second year in a row, Band MS was named Favorite Latin Duo or Group, and Kali Uchis won her first-ever AMAs trophy for Favorite Latin Song for “Telepatía.”

Here’s a look at the night’s winners:

ARTIST OF THE YEAR: BTS
NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR: Olivia Rodrigo
COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR: Doja Cat ft. SZA “Kiss Me More”
FAVORITE TRENDING SONG: Megan Thee Stallion “Body”
FAVORITE MUSIC VIDEO: Lil Nas X “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)”
FAVORITE MALE POP ARTIST: Ed Sheeran
FAVORITE FEMALE POP ARTIST: Taylor Swift
FAVORITE POP DUO OR GROUP: BTS
FAVORITE POP ALBUM: Taylor Swift “evermore”
FAVORITE POP SONG: BTS “Butter”
FAVORITE MALE COUNTRY ARTIST: Luke Bryan
FAVORITE FEMALE COUNTRY ARTIST: Carrie Underwood
FAVORITE COUNTRY DUO OR GROUP: Dan + Shay
FAVORITE COUNTRY ALBUM: Gabby Barrett “Goldmine”
FAVORITE COUNTRY SONG: Gabby Barrett “The Good Ones”
FAVORITE MALE HIP-HOP ARTIST: Drake
FAVORITE FEMALE HIP-HOP ARTIST: Megan Thee Stallion
FAVORITE HIP-HOP ALBUM: Megan Thee Stallion “Good News”
FAVORITE HIP-HOP SONG: Cardi B “Up”
FAVORITE MALE R&B ARTIST: The Weeknd
FAVORITE FEMALE R&B ARTIST: Doja Cat
FAVORITE R&B ALBUM: Doja Cat “Planet Her”
FAVORITE R&B SONG: Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak) “Leave The Door Open”
FAVORITE MALE LATIN ARTIST: Bad Bunny
FAVORITE FEMALE LATIN ARTIST: Becky G
FAVORITE LATIN DUO OR GROUP: Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga
FAVORITE LATIN ALBUM: Bad Bunny “EL ÚLTIMO TOUR DEL MUNDO”
FAVORITE LATIN SONG: Kali Uchis “telepatía”
FAVORITE ROCK ARTIST: Machine Gun Kelly
FAVORITE INSPIRATIONAL ARTIST: Carrie Underwood
FAVORITE GOSPEL ARTIST: Kanye West
FAVORITE DANCE/ELECTRONIC ARTIST: Marshmello

Tainy Becomes First Person to Spend 100 Weeks Atop Any Billboard Producers Charts

Tainy is making Billboard history…

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican record producer and songwriter has entered the history books as the first person to spend 100 weeks at No. 1 on any of Billboard‘s producers charts.

Tainy

The multi-hyphenate artist (real name: Marco Masis) spends a record-extending 100th week at No. 1 on the Latin Producers survey dated October 9, thanks to his production on seven tracks on the latest Hot Latin Songs chart.

Billboard launched all-genre Hot 100 Songwriters and Hot 100 Producers charts in June 2019, as well as those for country, rock & alternative, R&B/Hip-Hop, R&B, rap, Latin, Christian, gospel and dance/electronic; alternative and hard rock joined in June 2020.

“This milestone is something crazy to me, to see that we actually made it to 100 weeks,” Tainy tells Billboard. “At the end of the day, I am just truly grateful to get to wake up every day and do what I love. It’s amazing to be a part of such an important list with all these talented producers that are working at such high levels making incredible music and pushing our culture forward globally.”

Here’s a recap of Tainy’s entries on the latest Hot Latin Songs chart.

Rank, Artist Billing, Title (co-producers in addition to Tainy)
No. 4, Bad Bunny, “Yonaguni” (Smash David, Byrd, FinesseGTB)
No. 5, Bad Bunny & Jhay Cortez, “Dákiti” (Mora)
No. 6, J Balvin & Skrillex, “In Da Getto” (Skrillex)
No. 8, Kali Uchis, “Telepatía” (Manuel Lara, Albert Hype)
No. 14, Jhay Cortez & Anuel AA, “Ley Seca”
No. 30, J Balvin & Sech, “Una Nota” (Sky Rompiendo)
No. 44, Tainy x Yandel, “Deja Vu”

Almost exactly a year ago, Tainy became the first to log 50 weeks atop a producers chart, when he reached the milestone atop Latin Producers.

Of Tainy’s 100 weeks spent at No. 1 on Latin Producers, he’s ruled the past 41 frames consecutively, encompassing every chart week of 2021 so far.

Of the chart’s 120 total weeks to-date, Subelo Neo is the only other name to log double-digit weeks at No. 1, with 10 in March-May 2020. Over the chart’s existence, Tainy is the only producer to have spent every week on the survey. His collaborator Sky Rompiendo follows with 99 weeks, ranking at No. 7 this week.

Tainy scored his first production credit on Hot Latin Songs in 2006, with Tito “El Bambino” El Patron‘s “Caile,” which reached No. 2. He followed that year with his first No. 1, Wisin & Yandel‘s “Pam Pam.” He’s since added five more leaders, all since 2019: Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna and J Balvin‘s “China“; J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy’s “Un Dia (One Day)“; Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez‘s “Dákiti“; Kali Uchis‘ “Telepatía“; and Bad Bunny’s “Yonaguni.”

Tainy has also produced three top 10s on the Billboard Hot 100: Cardi B, Bad Bunny and J Balvin’s “I Like It” (No. 1, one week, 2018), “Dákiti” (No. 5, 2020) and “Yonaguni” (No. 10, 2021).

Tainy concurrently places at No. 2 on the Latin Songwriters chart, thanks to his writing credits on “Yonaguni,” “Dákiti,” “In Da Getto,” “Telepatía,” “Ley Seca,” “Una Nota” and “Deja Vu.” He’s spent 17 weeks atop the tally, the second-most after frequent collaborator Bad Bunny (65).

Meanwhile, DannyLux adds a second week at No. 1 on Latin Songwriters, powered by his work on Eslabon Armado‘s “Jugaste y Sufri,” which he wrote solo and on which he’s a featured artist, at No. 7.

The weekly Latin Songwriters and Latin Producers charts are based on total points accrued by a songwriter and producer, respectively, for each attributed song that appears on the Hot Latin Songs chart. As with Billboard’s yearly recaps, multiple writers or producers split points for each song equally (and the dividing of points will lead to occasional ties on rankings).

Kali Uchis’ “Telepatia” Reaches No. 1 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Airplay Chart

Kali Uchis is celebrating the rhythm(ic)…

The 27-year-old Colombian American singer has scored her first No. 1 on Billboard’s Rhythmic Airplay chart as “Telepatia” moves up from the runner-up spot to lead the list dated August 14.

Kali Uchis

The single’s rise makes it the most-played song on monitored rhythmic U.S. radio stations, according to MRC Data.

“Telepatia” rises to No. 1 as it essentially held steady in plays in the week ending August 8, as measured by MRC Data. The previous champ, Roddy Ricch’s “Late at Night,” vacated the top spot after it declined 2% in plays.

Uchis also wraps a slow-but-steady journey on the list: “Telepatia” reaches the summit in its 17th week on the chart, second only to the 18-week wait for Yung Bleu’s “You’re Mines Still,” featuring Drake, among 2021 No. 1s.

Uchis, who hails from Alexandria, Va., achieves her first Rhythmic Airplay No. 1 on her second chart appearance. Her only previous appearance on the chart came through a featured role on Tyler, The Creator’s “See You Again” in 2017, which cracked the chart in the anchor position — No. 40 — and lasted two weeks.

In line with its Rhythmic coronation, “Telepatia” has secured new benchmarks for Uchis’ career in multiple areas since its November 2020 release.

After the tune gained traction on TikTok in early 2021, a rush of streams powered it to No. 10 on the Streaming Songs chart in March. That activity sparked the track’s Billboard Hot 100 entrance that month and its official promotion as a single. Radio airplay, then, kicked up and helped “Telepatia” achieve a No. 25 best on the Hot 100 in July.

In addition to conquering rhythmic radio, “Telepatia” ruled the Latin Airplay chart for one week in July and earned a No. 11 high on Pop Airplay. Simultaneous success at the three formats pushes the song into the top 10 on the all-genre Radio Songs chart, where it steps 11-10 through a 3% gain in audience to 40.7 million in listenership in the week ending August 6, according to MRC Data.

While “Telepatia” represents Kali Uchis’ solo breakthrough, the singer-songwriter made her first Billboard chart splashes in featured roles on songs across multiple genres, among them, the Gorillaz’s “She’s My Collar,” a No. 36 hit on Hot Rock Songs, Juanes’ “El Ratico,” a No. 10 success on Latin Pop Airplay and the Adult R&B Airplay chart-topper “Get You” in tandem with Daniel Caesar. The lattermost title led for one week and earned Uchis her first Grammy nomination, for best R&B performance.

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.

Kali Uchis Earns First No. 1 Single on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs Chart with ”Telepatía”

Kali Uchis is officially a woman on top…

The 26-year-old Colombian American singer has notched her first No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart as ”Telepatía” ascends 2-1 on the May 22-dated survey.

Kali Uchis

Uchis becomes the first female soloist without an accompanied act to reach No. 1 since 2012 and bumps Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez‘s “Dakiti” from No. 1 after 27 weeks.

“Thank you, God, my Kuchis and everyone supporting!” Uchis tells Billboard. “I hope this inspires all other artists to never compromise. We got this through intuition; there is nothing else on the radio like it!  I’m so honored and proud.”

The Hot Latin Songs chart blends airplay, digital sales and streaming data. “Telepatía” nabs the Greatest Gainer/Digital and Airplay honors of the week boosted by increments on both metrics. On the former, it generated 1,000 downloads sold in the U.S. in the week ending May 13, according to MRC Data, extending its reign on Latin Digital Song Sales for a seventh week. On the latter, it ascends 6-2 on the all-genre Latin Airplay chart with a 21% gain in audience impressions, to 6 million, earned in the week ending May 16.

Despite a 4% dip in streams (8.5 million U.S. streams logged in the week ending May 13), “Telepatía” concurrently lifts 44-43 on Streaming Songs and remains at No. 2 on Latin Streaming Songs for a fifth week after its 6-week No. 1 high.

“Telepatía,” released Nov. 18, 2020, is the third single from Uchis’ Latin Pop Albums No. 1 set Sin Miedo (Del Amor y Otros Demonios) (March 6-dated tally) — a double accolade for the Colombian as she became the first female solo act to rule with her first chart entry since Rosalía’s El Mal Querer in November 2018.

Beyond its Hot Latin Songs coronation, “Telepatía” lifts 46-40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, after its No. 39 high (March 13-dated tally).

Luis Figueroa Signs with Sony Music Latin

Luis Figueroa is ready to expand his musical empire…

After announcing his affiliation with Magnus Media, the Puerto Rican singer/songwriter, who was born and raised in Philadelphia, has joined Sony Music Latin.

Luis Figueroa

“Luis has diligently developed every facet of his career including singing, songwriting, producing, acting, live performance and promotion,” says Alex Gallardo, President of Sony Music US Latin. “We are very pleased to join him in this next major step of his development.”

Figueroa graduated from Berklee College of Music, was Romeo Santos’ backing and featured vocalist during the last two international tours and, in 2017, performed at Billboard Latin Music Awards.

“I feel honored to sign with Sony because my favorite artists growing up, like Marc Anthony and Romeo Santos, are here,” adds Figueroa.

Also, in the past year, Figueroa has been working as a songwriter on tracks like “Por Perro” with Sebastián Yatraand Lary Over, and “Telepatía” with the Norwegian EDM star Matoma. Plus, he appears as a featured artist on Yashua’s “Pa Las Babies” which was co-written by Cris Chill.

“I am ready to have a record out, and ready to have an album out,” concludes Figueroa, who will release his debut single “La Especialista” on October 4.