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J Balvin overtakes Drake as the most popular artist on Spotify


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Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin has dislodged Drake from the top of Spotify’s Top Artists rankings. Balvin now has 48.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify, ahead of Drake’s 47.9 million.

“Most heard artist in the world on Spotify, position #1. I’m celebrating with all my Latinos and dreamers. Thank you, thank you, thank you,” he wrote on Instagram (well, that’s our translation) with a video post that’s been watched more than 540,000 times in the last 18 hours.

Balvin’s rise is part of the bigger picture of Latin American artists finding global audiences in the last couple of years: Spotify’s own stats show that he’s being most discovered on its global Today’s Top Hits and Global Top 50 playlists, while Balvin’s third biggest city is London (with 1.2 million listeners) – behind Mexico City and Santiago but ahead of Madrid and Buenos Aires.

Collaborations are key here: tracks performing well for Balvin on Spotify this year include Cardi B’s ‘I Like It’ (237.8m streams) and Nicky Jam’s ‘X’ (337.3m streams). Spotify has already paid off in other ways too: earlier this month, the streaming service announced that its Fans First campaign for him sold $500k of advance-sales tickets for Balvin’s tour.

Stuart Dredge

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