By Michelle Hyun Kim, a Third Bridge Creative contributor.
As part of a regular column looking at the numbers and stories behind the week’s biggest new music releases, this features Bad Bunny's latest album, Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana, released on October 13, 2023.
If there was one dominant global music figure in 2022, it was Bad Bunny. The Latin trap and pop renegade from San Juan was the year’s most streamed artist on Spotify, embarked on two back-to-back tours that broke several highest-grossing records, and released his second US No. 1 album, Un Verano Sin Ti, a sun-washed collection of party hits that went on to win the award for Best Música Urbana Album at the 2023 Grammys. He carried this wave of stardom by opening Grammys night with a celebration of his Puerto Rican heritage, then shortly after became the first Latin artist to headline Coachella with a star-studded set of his hits.
Even though he told the press that he would lay low for the rest of the year, he still stayed busy dabbling in acting projects and hopping on the song “Un X100to” with the breakout regional Mexican group Grupo Frontera, which went No. 1 in 11 countries and racked up a total of 700 million Spotify streams. He also put out tracks with Latin trap stars Tainy (194 million Spotify streams), Eladio Carrión (341 million Spotify streams), and Arcángel (606 million Spotify streams), as well as “K-POP” with Travis Scott and the Weeknd (181 million Spotify streams).
Due to his steady drip of high-profile performances and chart-topping collaborations, Bad Bunny saw his streaming numbers steadily increase throughout the year. Since the start of 2023, he has gained 13.4 million new Spotify monthly listeners, and currently has 79.2 million total, making him the artist with the 4th highest monthly listenership behind only The Weeknd, Taylor Swift, and Drake.
The Early Singles
Bad Bunny also released two solo songs that would end up on nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana. The May single “WHERE SHE GOES,” which sees him unexpectedly veering into Jersey Club, racked up 519 million Spotify streams and its cameo-flooded music video featuring Lil Uzi Vert, Frank Ocean, and Ronaldino now boasts 144 million YouTube views. Then on September 25, he released the single “UN PREVIEW” (74 million Spotify streams; 26 million YouTube views), telling his fans on WhatsApp that it “was possibly the last song [he] released this year.”
After appearing on Drake’s new album on October 6, 2023 on the standout track “Gently” (30.4 million Spotify streams), Bad Bunny then announced the following Monday (in his regular trickster fashion) that his new album would be arriving at the end of the week. Entitled nadie sabe lo que va a pasar mañana, which can be translated to, “nobody knows what will happen tomorrow,” it is composed of 22 tracks. It sees Benito largely returning to the hard-hitting trap sound he established with his breakout 2018 debut album, X 100PRE.
Multiple nadie sabe songs were immediately given top placements on a slew of prominent Spotify playlists, including Today’s Top Hits (34.3 million followers), Viva Latino (14.3 million followers), Baila Reggaeton (11 million followers ), MANSIÓN REGGAETÓN (6.8 million followers), Éxitos México (5.4 million followers), and New Music Friday (4.2 million followers). Spotify announced that nadie sabe was the platform’s most-streamed album in a single day in 2023 so far.
Because he’s scored global hits by making songs in his native language of Spanish, Bad Bunny has been referred to as a “reverse crossover star,” able to win over Western listeners without having to sing or rap in English. While the US lands at No. 2 among the countries that make up his Spotify audience, the rest of the top five include the Spanish-speaking markets of Mexico, Spain, and Colombia. His reach is bolstered by the long list of collaborators on nadie sabe, who represent the breadth of today’s Latin pop and rap stars, including Bryant Myers, De La Ghetto, Feid, Luar La L, Mora, Ñengo Flow, Young Miko, and YOVNGCHIMI.
Final Takeaway: Bad Bunny Stays Close to the Throne
While Bad Bunny hovered at No. 1 on the Chartmetric rank for most of 2022 while coasting on the success of Un Verano Sin Ti, he’s since bounced around until landing at No. 3. The current list topper is Drake, who just released his first album, For All the Dogs, in nearly two years. Then follows Taylor Swift, who’s enjoying the recent premiere of her Eras Tour concert film, which broke box office records. As online conversation around nadie sabe grows due to the album’s many supposed references to celebs like Kendall Jenner, Karol G, J Balvin, and others, Bad Bunny could overtake the throne with by the end of the year.