The first number one song of the Hot Latin Songs chart was "La Guirnalda" by Rocío Dúrcal on September 6, 1986. As of the issue for the week ending on July 11th, 2020, the chart has had 438 different number one hits, while 172 artists have reached number one (as a lead or a featured act). The current number one song is "Mamacita" by The Black Eyed Peas and Ozuna.
On September 6, 1986, Billboard premiered a Latin music singles chart: the Hot Latin 50. During the 1980s decade, the data were compiled by the Billboard chart and research department with information from 70 Spanish-language radio stations in the United States and Puerto Rico. Those radio stations were selected based on their number of listeners, and were asked to report their playlists for the week. This data was compiled by Nielsen Broadcast Data Systems, which electronically monitors radio stations in more than 120 music markets across the United States. Before this chart's inception, the Latin music information on the magazine was presented only in the form of the biweekly album sales chart Top Latin Albums, which continues to be listed separately. There were no language restrictions on the chart, since a few songs in English and Portuguese have charted and even reached number one on five occasions.
According to the Billboard electronic database, the first number one song on the Hot Latin 50 was "La Guirnalda" by Spanish singer Rocío Dúrcal on September 6, 1986. However, in the listings included in the first printed publication of the chart on October 4, 1986, the first number-one song was "Yo No Sé Qué Me Pasó" by Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel. In 2016, Billboard stated that the chart was introduced on the issue dated October 4, 1986, but the magazine's official website recognizes the previous issues from September 6, 1986 to September September 27, 1986, as well as Rocío Durcal's number one on the debut issue.
Due to the increasing popularity of downloads sales and streaming data, Billboard updated the methodology for the Hot Latin Songs chart on October 11, 2012, to include digital sales and streaming activity in addition to airplay, as well as making only predominantly Spanish-language songs eligible for inclusion and increasing airplay data to more than 1,200 radio stations across the United States.
There are several component charts that contribute to the overall calculation of Hot Latin Songs. The most significant ones are:
Latin Airplay: The chart measures the songs with most radio airplay audience impressions on Regional Mexican, Latin pop, tropical and Latin rhythm stations. Non-primarily-Spanish-language songs are eligible for inclusion. It was established on November 12, 1994. "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" by Selena was the first number-one song on the chart. "La Tortura" by Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz is the longest-reigning number-one, with 25 non-consecutive weeks from June 4, 2005, to December 3, 2005.
Latin Digital Songs: The chart measures the best-selling Spanish-language digital songs. It was established on January 23, 2010. "Loba" by Shakira was the first number-one song on the chart. "Danza Kuduro" by Don Omar featuring Lucenzo is the longest-running number-one, with 94 non-consecutive weeks from May 14, 2011, to July 20, 2013.
The tracking week for sales and streaming begins on Friday and ends on Thursday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Monday to Sunday. A new chart is compiled and officially released to the public by Billboard on Tuesday. Each chart is post-dated with the "week-ending" issue date four days after the charts are refreshed online (i.e., the following Saturday). For example:
Friday, January 1 – sales tracking-week begins, streaming tracking-week begins
Monday, January 4 – airplay tracking-week begins
Thursday, January 7 – sales tracking-week ends, streaming tracking-week ends
Sunday, January 10 – airplay tracking-week ends
Tuesday, January 12 – new chart released, with issue post-dated Saturday, January 16
Hot Latin Songs policy changes
The methods and policies by which this data is obtained and compiled have changed many times throughout the chart's history.
Digital downloads and online streaming
Since October 11, 2012, the Billboard Hot Latin Songs tracks paid digital downloads and streaming activity.Billboard initially started tracking downloads since January 10, 2010, with the Latin Digital Songs chart. However, these downloads did not count towards Hot Latin Songs. A component Latin Streaming Songs chart was introduced on April 20, 2013, which ranks web radio streams from services such as Spotify, as well as on-demand audio titles.
Billboard, in an effort to allow the chart to remain as current as possible and to give proper representation to new and developing artists and tracks, has removed titles that have reached certain criteria regarding its current rank and number of weeks on the chart. A song is permanently moved to "recurrent status" if it has spent 20 weeks on Hot Latin Songs and fallen below position number 25. Additionally, descending songs are removed from the chart if ranking below number 10 after 26 weeks or below number five after 52 weeks.
Enrique Iglesias has the most number-one songs, with 27 between 1995 and 2016.
Luis Miguel has the most top 10 songs, with 39 between 1987 and 2005.
"Despacito" by Luis Fonsi (pictured), Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber is the longest-running number one, with 56 non-consecutive weeks from February 2017 to September 2018.
Top 10 songs of All-Time (1986–2018)
In 2016, for the 30th anniversary of Hot Latin Songs, Billboard magazine compiled a ranking of the 50 best-performing songs on the chart over the 30 years, along with the best-performing artists.Billboard has stated that "due to changes in chart methodology over the years, eras are weighted differently to account for chart turnover rates over various periods." The top 20 was updated in 2018.
^The original version of "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee remained at number one for 12 weeks before the remix version featuring Justin Bieber was combined to the chart entry on May 6, 2017.