A report by Amaya Mendizabal for Billboard.
As of Billboard‘s Jan. 21-dated Tropical Songs chart (covering the Nielsen Music tracking week ending Jan. 8), the survey changes from a spins-based airplay ranking, determined by a panel of tropical radio stations, to an audience-based list formed from the overall Latin Airplay chart panel (of 145 stations). Per the new methodology, any titles deemed non-tropical in their sound will be excluded; previously, plays for any song at the format, regardless of genre, would count towards the chart. The tally also segues from 40-positions-deep to 25, better reflecting the scope of notably popular tropical tracks.
The change to the Tropical Songs chart mirrors one made six years ago this week to the Latin Rhythm Airplay chart, which omits songs that do not sonically fit that genre. (Outside of Latin, the Rap Airplay chart likewise recaps airplay of rap songs at R&B/hip-hop and rhythmic radio.)
The first Tropical Songs chart under the new processing sees the inclusion of eight debuting tracks, with two arriving in the top 10. Colombian singer-songwriter Fonseca earns the highest debut with “Vine a Buscarte,” as the vallenato track (a folk style stemming from Colombia’s Caribbean coast) enters at No. 5. The song is in its ninth week on the overall Latin Airplay chart (where it has reached at No. 40).
Following with a top 10 debut on Tropical Songs, Puerto Rican group Plenealo scores its first hit on the chart in five years, bowing at No. 9 with “Que Se Vaya Lo Malo Y Venga Lo Bueno,” featuring NG2, Julio Cesar Sanabria, Juan Jose and San Juan Habana. San Juan’s WMEG leads in weekly audience for the uptempo holiday song (931,000 impressions).
Meanwhile in the top 20, legendary salsa orchestra El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico earns its 32nd career chart hit with “Arepa Con Bacalao” (No. 17), from the group’s latest release Alunizando (released Aug. 26). The set became the act’s 10th to hit No. 1 on the Tropical Albums chart.
Elsewhere, Dominican artist Vicente Garcia begins his first Tropical Songs trip as “Carmesi” arrives at No. 15. The song, from his most recent studio album Al Mar Mar, becomes his first overall Billboard chart hit since 2011 (when “Mi Balcon,” featuring Cultura Profetica, reached No. 27 on Latin Pop Airplay).
Atop Tropical Songs, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony return to No. 1 (from No. 3) with “Olvidame y Pega La Vuelta,” the lead single from Lopez’s forthcoming Spanish-language album. The track had previously topped the Dec. 31-dated chart.
Further down the list, Tito Nieves dots the chart for a 34th time with “Quiero Canatarle A Mi Tierra” (No. 22); Willito Otero gains his first hit with “Tu Cuerpo” (No. 23); and Barreto El Show’s holiday single “Traigo La Alegria” bows at No. 24.