Bad Bunny sings only in Spanish and has collaborated with less than a handful of mainstream, English-speaking artists. And yet, he is Spotify’s most-streamed artist of 2020, with 8.3 billion streams, and his album YHLQMDLG is the most-streamed album globally on the service, with over 3.3 billion streams.
It’s difficult to overstate the importance of Bad Bunny’s achievement. Latin music is increasingly visible worldwide, high-profile collaborations between Latin and non-Latin acts have popped up throughout the year, and Latin names regularly top YouTube’s global charts. On Spotify, J Balvin has placed among the top 5 most-streamed artists on the service since 2018.
But Bad Bunny’s accomplishment marks the first time an artist that has never sung in English tops the year-end list.
On the global top albums list, Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG is followed by The Weeknd’s After Hours, Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding, Harry Styles’ Fine Line and Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia.
As far as songs go, The Weeknd got some vindication after his Grammy shutout; his “Blinding Lights” is the most-streamed song of 2020 on Spotify globally with almost 1.6 billion streams. It was followed by Tones And I’s “Dance Monkey” and Roddy Ricch’s “The Box.” The fourth most-streamed song of the year is “Roses – Imanbek Remix” by Imanbek and SAINt JHN, followed by Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now.”
And for the second year in a row, Billie Eilish is the most-streamed female artist on the platform globally, followed by Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Halsey. Among podcasts, one of Spotify’s major growth areas, the most popular podcast globally is the often controversial The Joe Rogan Experience, followed by TED Talks Daily and The Daily.
Highlighting the increasingly visible differences between U.S. and global marketplaces, the late Juice WRLD was the most streamed artist in the U.S., and his Legends Never Die the most streamed album. Among female artists, Billie Eilish takes second place to Taylor Swift. Among songs, Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” takes the top spot.