The First Spanish-Language Album to Reach Number One: El Último Tour del Mundo, Bad Bunny, and the Billboard 200

Christopher Joseph Westgate


In 2020, Bad Bunny released El Último Tour del Mundo, the first Spanish-language album to claim the top spot in the multi-decade history of the Billboard 200 album chart. Scholars have written about Spanish-language music and industry charts, but the question of how that album reached number one in a geo-linguistic context where many listeners do not understand Spanish remains unanswered. This article contends that English-language textual and paratextual markers have been overlooked for their significant role in helping to make the predominantly Spanish-language album successful in the United States. Its discourse analysis shows how an artist works to upend the music industry’s long-standing dependency on any one language to reach mainstream audiences.


Bad Bunny, Billboard, music industry, Spanish-language music, youth cultures

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