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  • Writer's pictureIlana Davis

Bad Bunny Crowned Spotify’s Most-Streamed Global Artist, Continues Breaking Records

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

The numbers are in for Spotify Wrapped 2022, and Bad Bunny is once again the most-streamed artist around the world.

This marked three consecutive years that the Latin rapper/singer, born Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio, took home the title. At 18+ billion streams, Bad Bunny nearly doubled an already impressive 9.1 billion listeners in 2021.

But for Bad Bunny, the title adds another layer to his already burgeoning career. He has come a long way since the breakout hit “Diles” in 2016 - now just shy of one billion views on YouTube. He may not be the first in the category, since let’s not forget about Ricky Martin’s 1999 classic “Livin La Vida Loca” or “Hips Don’t Lie” from Shakira (two name just a few).

But the tides are changing even quicker. Bad Bunny came up around the same time as Luis Fonsi’s now-iconic “Despacito” dropped. In 2017, the modern Spanish-language renaissance had only just begun to infiltrate the modern mainstream music scene.

"Latin music is now firmly entrenched in the musical landscape and it will only grow," Leila Cobo, VP of Latin at Billboard, told Insider.

Bad Bunny does not produce pop songs though, to be clear. His music style is often described as reggaton, latin trap, and “urbano” rap. He may not be the first to popularize the style, but the “Bad Bunny” effect on culture is ever-present.

"The reality is that there's some reggaeton fatigue. Reggaeton now is pop culture. It's pop music,” Cobo added. “When it's popular, people start hating it. So we're going to see the constant evolution of it."

So there’s a balance. Bad Bunny has collaborated with big artists like Cardi B (“I Like It”) and J Balvin (Oasis album). He also featured Drake on the 2018 song “Mia” (Drake placed third as Spotify’s Top-streamed Global Artist just below Taylor Swift at number two).

On his own, Bad Bunny has released four studio albums, one of which placed on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Times. Among his other accolades, Bad Bunny has earned awards from the Grammys, Latin Grammys, Billboard Music Awards, and 2022 Apple Music Awards. Not to mention countless the countless weeks each album spent on the Billboard Hot 100.

There is no doubt that the artist’s top spot was thanks to the successful launch of his fourth album, Un Verano Si Ti, featuring hits like “Moscow Mule” and “Otro Atardecar.” In just a few months, the album amassed over six billion streams - a record number Spotify - and placed Top 10 in various countries around the world.

When he’s not busy in the studio or performing in arenas around the globe - his current World’s Hottest Tour is now the highest-grossing Latin tour - Bad Bunny has shown an interest in other sectors of the entertainment industry, venturing into acting this year with a small (but impactful) part in Bullet Train. It was also announced that artist/actor/icon will take on the titular role in Sony’s upcoming El Muerto.

So what is the Bad Bunny effect? The 28-year-old has created a public image for himself that is both personable & unattainable, progressive & grounded: often appearing in skirts, florals, and painted nails that challenge conventional - Latin - masculinity; frequent humanitarian work in his native Puerto Rico; or, simply for his random TikToks, where he speaks directly to an audience of 29+ million followers.

“The fame isn’t important to me,” Bad Bunny told Billboard in 2018. “It’s a blessing to have. Having so many people that support me, that love me and listen to my music, is beautiful.

In 2022, an artist’s image is just as important as the art itself. Perhaps that’s why Bad Bunny has solidified his place atop Spotify Wrapped and in the minds of fans themselves, looking to challenge conventional pop culture for something new.

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