It’s been a big year for artists like Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, and the biggest pop star of 2022 was Bad Bunny. Year-end honors say it all. He was Billboard’s artist of the year and had the first-ever all-Spanish-language album. Un Verano Sin Tito become the number one album at the end of the year.
He also topped the year-end streaming charts of Apple Music, Pandora, and Spotify. On top of that, he dominated the tour market with the number 1 tour of the year, earning nearly $400 million. And the Puerto Rican rapper was the biggest act of the year, and nothing near that.
Watch Bad Bunny’s LA show and you’ll see that his success is more than numbers. At his SoFi stadium show on September 30th and his October 1st, the number of flags from all sorts of Latin countries was staggering. His worldwide success obviously brings a lot of pride. We spoke with singer-songwriter Kelly Vargas and music industry veteran Ophelia Zuniga about the popularity of Bad Bunny and what his SoFi show means to them.
Steve Baltin: How proud are you of this show?
Kelly Vargas: It was an absolute privilege to be seated at the famous Los Angeles Stadium with over 70,000 people celebrating my culture, music, country, fashion, dance and passion. An unforgettable and iconic experience for all Latinos born and raised in America. I was very proud to see such an amazing appreciation and celebration of my Latin culture and roots.
Ophelia Zuniga: As a Latino, or more specifically Mexican-American, I am very proud to look around the SoFi stadium and see all the different faces of people proudly waving different Latin American flags. There was a moment when I stood on the edge of a cliff and soaked everything up. With tears in my eyes, I was like, ‘This is us, this is beyond Los Angeles, this is the world, this is global… Bad Bunny did this. Bad Bunny gave this. ”
Baltin: What makes Bad Bunny so special? What’s the difference between him and previous Latin stars?
Zuniga: This is something that anyone can understand, even if they don’t speak Spanish or listen to his music. Bad Bunny is a unicorn. He’s an artist who just hit us like a meteorite a few years ago, making a breakthrough in the general music market around 2018 and never slowing down or fading out anytime soon. In my opinion he is the new general market. Latin music is taking over. Bad Bunny is a fashion icon when it comes to presentation. He sets no limits and expresses himself by pushing boundaries and stereotypes. In the Latin music space that has seen a lot of “macho”. Bad Bunny is a breath of fresh air, unconcerned with gender norms, and an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. A prime example is his “Yo Perreo Sola” music video, where he wears drugs and turns his attention to social issues. But beyond that video, Bad Bunny wears whatever he wants, does it well, and uses it to make a social statement. The voice is unlike anything you’ve heard before. He blends many of our favorite Latin music genres. He brought some back to these new generation (Z & BEYOND) maps, such as Merengue and Mambo. The great thing about Bad Bunny is that he’s proud of his culture and proud to be Latino.
Vargas: I am currently vacationing in Costa Rica visiting family and friends. I had this conversation with a local about this exact question. Unlike other Latin artists, Bad Bunny brings to America and Latin America the same integration and transcendence of nations and cultures that other Latin artists do. He’s more than just a singer-songwriter and recording artist. He is a unique Latin brand that fuses Latin Trap, Hip-Hop, Rap and traditional Latin genres such as Salsa and Merengue (aka “Después de la Playa”). He brought progress, color and change to our fashion, music and community. He’s something not often seen in Latin stars before. Above all, he has achieved global recognition and popularity on multiple continents with this unique brand.
Baltin: What was your favorite moment from the show at SoFi Stadium on October 1, 2022?
Vargas: He’s an up-and-coming Latin artist, but through this show and his global tour, Bad Bunny has brought out some key figures from reggaeton’s past, including Plan B’s Chencho Corleone, Jowell y Randy and Ivy Queen. rice field. He pays tribute to the culture and history of Reggaeton, one of Latin America’s most famous musical genres. He also brought us his Cardi B and played some songs. This was a very iconic moment for me as a Latino independent artist born and raised in America.
Zuniga: Easy. Ivy made her Queen surprise her guest and hugged her. Not just because I’m a huge fan of hers, but because he gave her the respect she deserves as her “queen of reggaeton.” She’s one of the pioneers of reggaeton music, a rare combination of being a woman. Bad Bunny is now the biggest star in the world and for him to share the platform and stage with her is like a service he has done for all new generations who never grew up listening to Ivy Queen. I felt… Bad Bunny is deeply rooted and much more than just a performer. He is a true artist and a true caring human being who appreciates our culture and is willing to connect with anyone who is willing to give them a chance. He has made millions feel present and important, providing a place of joy and escape. I look forward to supporting and experiencing his long career.