the latin urban genre has clutched the reigns of billboard’s latin charts during 2018 with four of the top five on the year-end top latin artists tally representative of the genre.
2017’s newcomer ozuna, ends as the year-end top latin artist while j balvin is runner up. bachata warhorse romeo santos places third and down the list, pop ruler shakira and one of the most-watched urban females, natti natasha, rank in the top 20.
billboard’s year-end music recaps are based on chart performance during the charts dated dec. 2, 2017, to nov. 17, 2018. data registered before or after a title’s chart run is not considered in these standings. that methodology detail, and the december-to-november time period, account for some of the differences between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by nielsen music.
explore all of billboard's 2018 year-end charts
men dominated latin music in 2018, though a number of women have sparked a small revolt on the charts. on the 50-position year-end top latin artists list, there are only six female acts: shakira (no. 9), natti natasha (no. 15), tejano queen selena (no. 22), karol g (no. 25), becky g (no. 26) and jennifer lopez at no. 34. notably, three of those six were only just beginning to really make a breakthrough in 2017: natti natasha, karol g, and becky g (all between 21-31 years of age).
twenty-six-year-old ozuna, leads a male-dominated top latin artists recap. eight of the top 10 acts are solo men, while there is one all-male band (banda sinaloense ms de sergio lizárraga at no. 6, who rank in the year-end top 10 for a fifth consecutive year) and of course, shakira.
shakira is the only female act to end in the top 10 for a second year, and has been the only woman in the year-end top 10 since jenni rivera finished fifth in 2014. (rivera died in 2012.)
ozuna commands: ozuna’s coronation as the year’s top latin artist is powered by his smash albums odisea and aura, as well as a massive 43 charting tracks during the chart year on the hot latin songs chart (the most of any artist).
during the 52 weeks of the chart year, odisea and aura spent a combined 46 weeks atop the list. odisea, with 46 weeks at no. 1 in total (across its entire chart life), became the album with the second-most weeks atop the list ever. it passed selena’s dreaming of you, with 44 weeks at no. 1. only gloria estefan’s mi tierra has more weeks at no. 1, with 58.
the same week aura bowed at no. 1 on the top latin albums chart (dated sept. 8, 2018), ozuna logged a record 21 concurrently charting tracks on the hot latin songs chart – 14 of them from aura.
it’s no surprise then to see odisea and aura finish 2018 as the nos. 1 and 2 titles on the year-end top latin albums chart. it’s the first time one artist has held the top two slots since jenni rivera claimed the top three in 2013 (la misma gran señora, joyas prestadas: pop and joyas prestadas: banda) following her passing.
at no. 2 on the year end top latin artists list is j balvin – the fourth year in a row he’s finished among the top five acts. during the chart year, his third studio album, vibras, debuted at no. 1 on the top latin albums chart (june 9, 2018), while his two previous entries — the former no. 1 energia and la familia — continued to chart. further, j balvin charted 18 titles on the hot latin songs chart during the charting year. vibras finishes the year as the no. 3 top latin album, while energia and la familia rank at nos. 14 and 29, respectively.
rounding out the rest of the solo men in the top 10 of the top latin artists recap: romeo santos (no. 3), daddy yankee (no. 4), maluma (no. 5), nicky jam (no. 7), bad bunny (no. 8) and luis fonsi (no. 10).
shakira leads the way for women: shakira is the top female latin artist for a third consecutive year, despite only charting three tracks on the hot latin songs chart. (two of them went top 10: “perro fiel” and “chantaje,” her third collaboration with maluma.) that said, shakira did place three charting titles on the top latin albums chart during the chart year, including her former no. 1 el dorado (which collected its five totals weeks at no. 1 in the 2017 chart year), spent the entire 2018 chart year within the top 20 of the weekly list, with most of that time in the top 10.
natti natasha, karol g, and becky g rank at nos. 2, 4 and 5, respectively, on the year-end top female latin artists recap.
natti and karol each racked a total of eight hits on the weekly hot latin songs chart during the 2018 eligibility year, while becky g notched five. (natti and becky g share one of those hits with their collaboration “sin pijama.”)
karol g, meanwhile, takes third place on the overall top new latin artist tally, the only female of the list. she was aided not just by her multiple hits on the hot latin songs chart, but also from her 2017 unstoppable album, which continued to chart through 2018.
raymix rules new artists: former nasa-trained aerospace engineer, raymix made a surprising breakthrough in 2018 with his electro-cumbia hit “oye mujer” which topped the regional mexican songs airplay chart and tropical songs airplay charts for multiple weeks. the track also climbed to no. 7 on the overall hot latin songs chart, helping earn the mexican the no. 1 spot on the top new latin artists list.
raymix’s album, oye mujer, debuted at no. 48 on the top latin albums chart in april, and then spent nearly the rest of the chart year within the weekly top 40.
raymix leads a male-heavy top new latin artists recap, as t3r elemento, sebastian yatra and dj kass rank at nos. 2, 4 and 5, respectively. chart also populated by men with the only female visit by karol g.
regional mexican’s streak: banda sinaloense ms de sergio lizárraga is the regional mexican genre’s big winner as it is the only group to notch a spot in the top 10 of the top latin artists list, ending also as the no. 1 act on the top latin artists – duo/group chart.
their win is largely due to the sustained success of six charting albums on the top latin albums chart during the 2018 chart year (they claimed more titles on the list during the chart year than any other act). among those titles were their most recent release, the top five-charting con todas las fuerzas. further, four of their albums finish within the top 10 on the year-end regional mexican albums list. the act also closes out 2018 with the no. 4 regional mexican songs airplay hit, “tu postura.”
at no. 2 on the duo/group list is aventura. the act may have disbanded years ago, but their albums continue to chart well, thus making them the second-biggest duo/group of 2018. calibre 50 ranks at no. 3, following the success of mitad y mitad, which debuted at no. 5 on the top latin albums chart on aug. 4, 2018.
“despacito” … again! for the second year, the top two titles on the year-end hot latin songs chart are the same: luis fonsi and daddy yankee’s “despacito,” featuring justin beiber, rules at no. 1, while j balvin and willy william’s “mi gente,” featuring beyoncé is no. 2.
“despacito,” which debuted on hot latin songs way back on feb. 4, 2017, spent 56 weeks at no. 1, with 21 of those frames racked up during the 2018 chart year. “mi gente” spent six of its total 12 weeks at no. 1 during the 2018 chart year, and was a weekly presence in the top 10 of the tally from its debut back on july 22, 2017 through aug. 4, 2018.