Pop music in the 21st century: English, Spanish, French

2 waves of change for the coming decades

Pop music in the 21st century: English, Spanish, French
Bad Bunny. Original image © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com CC BY-SA 4.0

1) The context

Are you familiar with Bad Bunny, who is the singer in the photo above? He's the most-streamed artist on Spotify during both last year and the year before (2021 and 2020). He sings in Spanish.

The Spanish language has the second-most native speakers in the world (behind Mandarin); English is third.

Since 2017, when "Despacito" was a massive number-one hit song in Spanish, Hispanophone music has been one of pop's brightest developments. You may not listen to this genre – I don't – but its traction worldwide is undeniable.

Up to now, we've had a seriously Anglophone global music industry, but Latin American recorded music revenue is growing at double to triple the speed of the rest of the world.

2) My three-point idea

What date shall we use for the start of this Anglophone industry run? Obviously there were decades of recording before this, but let's just say early 1964 when the Beatles went on Ed Sullivan.

That's about 50 years, from then to 2017. And here's my three points: