Bad Bunny and America's Changing Demographics
Updated: Jan 24
Puerto Rican singer and rapper Bad Bunny has taken the music scene by storm, not just in his home country, but in the United States as well. With his unique blend of reggaeton, trap, and Latin pop, he has become a leading figure in the growing popularity of Spanish language music in the United States.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of Spanish language songs on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and Bad Bunny was the artist behind many of these. 2020 was a huge year for the artist where he was Billboard's top artist of the year, the first Latin artist to do so. What's more, his album Un Verano Sin Ti spent 13 weeks atop the chart and topped the Billboard 200 Year-End Chart as the best-performing album of the year and the first Spanish language album to reach this milestone.
But Bad Bunny is not the only one making waves in the industry. Other Spanish language artists like Ozuna, J Balvin, and Anuel AA are also gaining popularity and making their mark in the United States. The rise of streaming services has also played a major role in increasing the visibility and accessibility of Spanish language music to a wider audience.
This growing trend is not limited to just music, but also in entertainment industries as well as fashion and culture. With the growing Latinx population in the United States, it's no surprise that Spanish language music is becoming more mainstream.
In fact, in 2013, the Pew Research Center projected that there would be around 40 million Spanish speakers in the United States. However in reality these projections fell short, with the reported number in the 2019 census being 52.3 million. This means that the U.S. has the 2nd largest population of Spanish speakers in the world falling behind Mexico which sits at #1.
Who is listening?
It is easy to conclude then that this surge in popularity is fueled solely by the increase in Spanish speakers in the U.S. and the proliferation of streaming services in the Spanish speaking world. But what effect is this trend having on the non-Spanish speaking population in the U.S. and world at large?
One possible place for investigation is the growing interest in the Spanish language by non-speakers. In 2022, the most learned language on Duolingo among English speakers is Spanish with 30.3 million learners, almost double French which is second place with (18.3m). In addition, over 93% of high schools with language programs offer Spanish and overall high school foreign language enrolment in the US is over 10 million according to newsdle.com.
These statistics reflect that America's youth, the main consumers of music on services like Spotify (18-34 are 55%), have a nascent ear for the Spanish language and could represent a significant force behind the rise of Spanish-language music. In fact, according to Google Trends, the search term "Spanish Music" and "Learning Spanish" follow each other very closely in the United States suggesting that Spanish music plays an important role in the learning of the language.
The Future of Spanish Music in the US
In conclusion, the future of Spanish language music in the United States looks bright, with more and more people listening to and enjoying Spanish language music. The popularity of Spanish language music is having a positive impact on both Spanish and non-Spanish speakers, breaking down barriers, promoting cultural exchange and representation of Latinx community. As the interest in Spanish language and culture continues to grow, it's important for people to have access to resources that make it easy to learn the language and immerse themselves in the culture.
Here is where LingDisco, a music-powered language learning app comes into play. LingDisco combines the power of music with language learning, making it fun and easy for people to learn Spanish while listening to their favorite songs. With LingDisco, people can learn Spanish while enjoying the music they love, making the process of learning a new language more engaging and enjoyable.
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