Bad Bunny Is Billboard’s Top Artist of the Year: The Year in Charts 2022

2022 was the year of Bad Bunny. The superstar rules Billboard’s year-end Top Artists chart for the first time and his blockbuster release Un Verano Sin Ti is the year-end No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums recap. It’s both the first time that an act that primarily records in Spanish is the year’s top artist, and a mostly non-English-language set is the biggest album of the year. (Billboard began compiling the year-end Top Artists category in 1981, and albums in 1956.)

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican (born Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio) crowns the year-end Top Artists tally thanks largely to the extraordinary success of his second No. 1 on the Billboard 200, the all-Spanish-language Un Verano Sin Ti, and its slew of hits on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. Un Verano Sin Ti debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 dated May 21 and spent 13 nonconsecutive weeks atop the chart – the most weeks at No. 1 since 2016. The set also never left the top two positions of the weekly list in its first 24 weeks – becoming the first album to spend its first six months in the top two.

Un Verano Sin Ti also marked just the second all-Spanish-language album to reach No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200, following Bad Bunny’s own El Ultimo Tour del Mundo in 2020.

Billboard’s year-end music recaps represent aggregated metrics for each artist, title, label and music contributor on the weekly charts dated Nov. 20, 2021 through Nov. 12, 2022. The rankings for Luminate-based recaps reflect equivalent album units, airplay, sales or streaming during the weeks that the titles appeared on a respective chart during the tracking year. Any activity registered before or after a title’s chart run isn’t considered in these rankings. That methodology details, and the November-November time period, account for some of the difference between these lists and the calendar-year recaps that are independently compiled by Luminate. The Top Artists and Top New Artists categories ranks the best-performing overall acts, and new acts, of the year based on activity on the Billboard 200 album and Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, as well as Billboard Boxscore (touring) data, for the 2022 tracking period.

Explore All of Billboard’s 2022 Year-End Charts

Bad Bunny also profited from the continued success of four of his other albums – YHLQMDLG, El Ultimo Tour del Mundo, X 100PRE and the boxed set Anniversary Trilogy – all of which charted on the Billboard 200 during the 2022 tracking year. In total, Bad Bunny places four albums on the year-end Billboard 200 Albums chart – Un Verano Sin Ti (No. 1), YHLQMDLG (No. 36), El Ultimo Tour del Mundo (No. 69) and X 100PRE (No. 165).

Un Verano Sin Ti saw 22 of its 23 songs debut on the Hot 100 concurrent with the album’s release (the one album track that didn’t debut had already hit the list in 2019). On the year-end Hot 100 Songs recap, Bad Bunny places seven titles, led by “Me Porto Bonito,” with Chencho Corleone, at No. 20. Fueled by the success of the 24 songs he placed on the Hot 100 during the chart year, Bunny is No. 1 on Hot 100 Artists recap for 2022.

Bad Bunny is additionally 2022’s top male artist for the first time, while Taylor Swift is the top female (No. 2 on the overall list), Glass Animals is the top duo/group (No. 18 overall) and Latto leads the 2022 Top New Artists chart (No. 34 overall).

It’s Bad Bunny’s first time as the year’s top male, while for Swift, it’s her sixth time as the lead female (she was also tops in 2020, 2018, 2015, 2013 and 2009). She notched a pair of new No. 1s on the Billboard 200 during the chart year — Red (Taylor’s Version) and Midnights — which finish at Nos. 5 and 4, respectively, on the year-end Billboard 200 Albums chart. It’s the first time one act has two of the top five year-end biggest albums since 1975, when John Denver was Nos. 3 and 4 with John Denver’s Greatest Hits and Back Home Again.

Glass Animals also triumph as the year’s top/duo group for the first time, largely powered by the act’s smash single “Heat Waves” – the British band’s first No. 1 on the weekly Hot 100. It also broke the record for the longest-charting Hot 100 hit (91 weeks) and wraps 2022 at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Songs year-end recap.

Keith Caulfield