7 Non-English Songs That Topped The Billboard Hot 100 Chart — Including Luis Fonsi And Daddy Yankee's 'Despacito'

Because non-English languages deserve love, too.

The No. 1 song in the nation right now is making headlines for all the right reasons. "Despacito" — from two Puerto Rican performers, pop singer Luis Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee, featuring Justin Bieber — is still sitting atop Billboard's Hot 100 chart, something very rare for non-English songs in the United States.

The song was written by Fonsi and Daddy Yankee along with Erika Ender, and was out on January 17, exactly three months before adding Bieber to the remix. "At no time was I trying to write a crossover record," Fonsi — whose songs "No Me Doy Por Vencido" and "Nada Es Para Siempre" have also cracked Billboard's Hot 100 chart in the past — told Rolling Stone

The Washington Post notes just how rare this occurrence is and credits the growth in the country's Spanish-speaking population as a driving factor, showing that segment of the population rising from 4.9 percent in 1980 to 11.5 percent in 2015. That said, language barriers don't necessarily mean people won't listen — but it probably does help to some degree. It also notes how "Despacito" is unique in that it slowly built up to No. 1 instead of rocketing there.

No matter how long "Despacito" sticks around at the top of the charts, it has much to celebrate. Just to show how infrequent non-English songs reach the top spot, here is a look at seven songs that accomplished that feat — including the Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit:



1. “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber (2017)

As mentioned above, "Despacito" is enjoying some time atop Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Sang in Spanish, the tune is notable for arriving on airwaves more than 20 years after the previous Spanish chart-topper.

2. "Macarena" by Los Del Río (1996)

"Macarena," which might just be one of everyone's go-to dances at parties and other celebratory occasions, was recorded by Los del Río. The song is considered one of the most iconic songs of all time — despite being a one-hit wonder for the group — and actually ranks at No. 7 on Billboard's Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs chart.

3. "La Bamba" by Los Lobos (1987)

"La Bamba" — which was originally sang by Ritchie Valens — soared to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart thanks to a cover from Los Lobos, who had recorded the song for the 1987 film named after the song. A music video for the group's version of the Spanish-language song earned them an MTV Video Music Award in 1988.

4. “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco (1986)

"Rock Me Amadeus" by Falco may have lost some of its German-language identity a bit for international releases, but it maintained much of its original lyrics. That being said, per History.com, Falco is the only Austrian to make it on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.



5. "Dominique" by The Singing Nun (1963)

Jeannine Deckers — aka The Singing Nun as well as Sœur Sourire ("Sister Smile") — became known worldwide with the release of "Dominique." With this French-language song Deckers remains the only Belgian singer to ever hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, per The Guardian. Also: yes, Deckers was an actual nun.

6. "Sukiyaki (Ue o Muite Arukō)" by Kyu Sakamoto (1963)

With "Sukiyaki (Ue o Muite Arukō)," Kyu Sakamoto is cemented as the only Japanese singer to ever top the Billboard Hot 100 chart thus far, per New Republic.

7. "Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)" by Domenico Modugno (1958)

Billboard notes that this song was important because it was the first foreign-language Hot 100 No. 1 (sang in Italian) and it was the first to reach that spot having been written or co-written by its singer. "Volare" emerged from the 1958 Eurovision Song Contest, where it came in third, and went on to win Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the first-ever Grammy Awards.

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