For the third yr in a row, Unhealthy Bunny was probably the most streamed world artist on Spotify. Garnering over 18.5 billion streams in 2022, he greater than doubled the quantity he racked up final yr. His newest album, “Un Verano Sin Ti” was additionally probably the most streamed album on the earth, and two of his songs ranked within the high 5 most streamed tracks. These accomplishments wrap up a yr filled with accolades, hit-making and world touring.
In early November, Unhealthy Bunny was named Apple Music’s Artist of the Year. His final 4 months have been spent hopping from sold-out stadium to sold-out stadium the world over. Lately, his music has rung out in every single place from faculty bars within the Midwest to the Tremendous Bowl’s half-time present. Unhealthy Bunny had his debut appearing position in “Bullet Prepare” and even had a float in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Briefly: Unhealthy Bunny is in every single place — and the world is obsessed.
However how the 28-year-old went from grocery store bagger in his native Puerto Rico to world phenomenon and one among Latin music’s most acknowledged voices within the span of six years isn’t simply one other instance of an artist’s meteoric rise to fame, mentioned Larry Miller, a professor of music enterprise at New York College’s Steinhardt College — it underscores the music trade’s altering panorama, in addition to Unhealthy Bunny’s aptitude for efficiency and an unmatched capability to “seize a zeitgeist second,” he mentioned.
“If solely we might bottle that factor that Unhealthy Bunny has and duplicate it,” Miller advised The Washington Submit. “That might be the recipe for achievement for any artist.”
That factor is tough to place into phrases, Miller mentioned. “It’s what makes him such a charming artist. It’s the track. It’s his efficiency. It’s the track development. It’s his partnership with the producers and collaborations with totally different artists. It’s his energy, power and attraction. It’s all the pieces.”
Like some members of the newest generations of musicians, Unhealthy Bunny started releasing music on SoundCloud. In 2016, his single “Diles” caught the eye of a producer and led to a document deal. With a slew of singles underneath his belt, Unhealthy Bunny’s fame started rising amongst Spanish audio system, throughout Latin America and, ultimately, world wide.
By 2018, Unhealthy Bunny snagged his first No. 1 hit, “I Like It,” which featured Cardi B. That yr, he launched his first studio album, “X 100Pre” — which reached Billboard’s No. 1 place on the Prime Latin Albums chart. His final compilation, “Un Verano Sin Ti,” made history as the primary all-Spanish-language album to attain a Grammy album of the yr nomination. The week after its launch in Could, Latin music briefly grew to become the fourth-most-popular style in the US, surpassing nation for the primary time, based on a 2022 midyear report by Luminate, an leisure information supplier.
That success and worldwide attain, Miller mentioned, was exacerbated by the rise of streaming — which not solely “drives nearly 85 % of income within the recorded music enterprise,” however has additionally helped Latin music turn into extra common worldwide. In keeping with Luminate’s report, streaming of Latin music elevated by 33 % this yr.
“Although Latin music has at all times been round, it by no means acquired the traction that it’s having now. That has to do with shifting demographics in the US and different huge markets world wide,” Miller mentioned. “However Spotify and the opposite huge digital music companies have pushed an acceptance, even amongst non-Spanish audio system, for music that isn’t of their native language however is totally infectious.”
On Wednesday, Robert Wong’s Spotify Wrapped was a testomony to that. In keeping with his deck, the 23-year-old from New York spent 8,087 minutes enjoying Unhealthy Bunny — the equal of almost 135 hours, or greater than 5 full days. Three of Wong’s most-listened-to songs had been additionally by Unhealthy Bunny.
“I’m most likely the primary Unhealthy Bunny listener who’s Asian American on the earth,” he mentioned.
Wong carries it like a badge of honor, or a illustration of his “years-long journey” into discovering Latin music. It began when he heard Daddy Yankee’s 2012 track “Limbo” throughout a visit to the Dominican Republic as an adolescent. Then, in faculty, he heard a Unhealthy Bunny track enjoying at a bar he and his mates frequented in Indiana. However the second that may change Wong’s life was when Unhealthy Bunny launched his first album. “That’s after I totally grew to become a fan,” he mentioned.
“Coming from somebody who doesn’t perceive all of the lyrics, his vibe and the best way he produces his music is de facto catchy,” Wong mentioned. “Plus, listening to Unhealthy Bunny helps me be taught extra about Spanish and the way sentences are structured within the language. It’s a extremely good thing.”
Although he’s already amongst Unhealthy Bunny’s high 0.5 % of listeners, Wong mentioned his aim for 2023 is to be a part of the artist’s high 0.0001 %.
His plan of motion: “Hearken to him on repeat till I’m primary.”