In an email to The Associated Press last week, Spotify announced that Ramon Luis Ayala Rodriguez, also known as Daddy Yankee, is officially the first Latino artist to reach the music streaming service’s number one spot.
With hits such as Gasolina, Despacito, and Shaky Shaky, Daddy Yankee surpassed Ed Sheeran, who previously held the coveted number-one spot, according to USA Today.
“Being the first Latin artist to reach #1 in Spotify marks a precedent not only for my career but for the industry in general,” said Daddy Yankee. “The musical digital revolution has unified the world and this is the proof. We are all in the same boat with no labels or stereotypes.”
This isn’t the first time in recent years that a Latin artist has broken a major barrier in the music industry. Rather, it’s the latest sign that the border between mainstream music and Latin music is rapidly dissolving.
The Mexican rock band Mana formed over 30 years ago in Guadalajara and has over 50 number one hits globally, while stars like Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias have been household names in the United States for years. More recently, Ranker cites the top three Latin musicians working today as Angelica Maria, Estela Nunez, and Rocio Durcal, respectively.
Spotify’s Head of Latin Culture, Shows, and Editorial, Rocio Guerrero, says, “Spotify has been supporting Latin music for many years, and this is the moment that shows our passion and love for the genre are equally supported by our audience. We are grateful for all of our artists, and specifically for Daddy Yankee’s influence in bringing global appreciation to Latin music.”
Daddy Yankee reflected on his success by remembering the many who doubted him. His career began in Puerto Rico back in 1992, and many people said it wouldn’t last more than three years.
“But I never stopped,” he said. “I had to keep fighting. I had to make big sacrifices, to miss important moments with my family, to feel the prejudice of many people that didn’t open the doors for me…Today, this genre is the most listened to in the world. Thanks to all the fans and colleagues that gave me the opportunity to collaborate with them. We did it!”