If the pandemic has deprived Bad Bunny of anything, it was a well-deserved victory lap after a year that saw him achieve critical and commercial acclaim.
Right before last year's lockdown, the Puerto Rican singer released YHLQMDLG, which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and became the best-selling Latin music album of 2020. It was also met with near-universal acclaim from critics who recognized Bad Bunny's efforts to push reggaeton and Latin trap forward both thematically and through the album's production.
Then mid-lockdown, he returned in the fall with El Último Tour del Mundo, which became the first all-Spanish-language album to top the Billboard 200. That album also delivered the song of the summer everyone desperately needed in 2020, "Dákiti," featuring Jhay Cortez, in October. Despite its late arrival, the track managed to chart at number five on the Billboard Hot 100.
So it only feels right that Bad Bunny gets to celebrate with a massive North American tour that kicks off on February 9, 2022, in Denver. The 25-city arena tour makes stops in Houston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Toronto, and New York City before wrapping up — where else? — in Miami on April 1, 2022.
Tickets go on sale to the general public starting at noon on Friday, April 16, through cmnevents.com.
Bad Bunny's last tour was the X 100pre Tour, which stopped in Miami for a two-night stint in March 2019 before returning later that summer.
To put Bad Bunny's meteoric rise in the U.S. into context, one need only look to the Latin pop explosion that took over the charts in 1999. Acts like Ricky Martin, Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, and Marc Anthony had built their career on singing en español. But in order to "cross over," record labels often demanded that acts record in English. It wasn't as if these acts weren't already big stars, but singing in English pushed their careers to new heights.
The formula didn't work for everyone, however. Mexican pop stars Thalia and Paulina Rubio received a tepid response from American audiences with their crossover attempts. At the same time, Daddy Yankee reached number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2005 with "Gasolina" — sung entirely in Spanish.
In 2017, Luis Fonsi, with help from Daddy Yankee, skyrocketed to number one with "Despacito." Still, even that hit needed an assist from Justin Bieber to get English-speaking audiences on board.
Bad Bunny has managed to find success in the U.S. without having to give up singing in Spanish. Of course, collaborating with Cardi B and J Balvin on "I Like It" in 2018 helped introduce him to a wider audience. His appearance during the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2020 with Shakira only helped further cement his rising status.
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