Fast-rising Mexican singer Peso Pluma beat out the likes of Drake and Taylor Swift to claim the title of YouTube’s most viewed artist of the year, the video streaming giant announced on Dec. 21. The 24-year-old amassed 8.5 billion video views worldwide over the past 12 months.
The rest of YouTube’s top five sees Peso Pluma followed by rapper YoungBoy Never Broke again in second, Drake in third, Bad Bunny in fourth, and Swift bringing up the rear in fifth.
The Guadalajaran, born Hassan Emilio Kabande Laija, has been rising through the ranks for the last several years in Latin and Spanish-speaking markets, fusing the Mexican corrido tradition with elements of modern musical styles like trap and reggaeton. Though he truly had a breakout year in the U.S. in 2023. He made a surprise appearance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April, and later became the first música mexicana artist to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards in September. His latest album, Génesis, reached No. 3 on the U.S. album chart, and single “Ella Baila Sola” became the first regional Mexican song to break into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
The rapper received his first Grammy nomination this year, in the Best Música Mexicana Album category. He was nominated for Song of the Year at the Latin Grammys, and named both New Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.
“I feel humble and grateful that my music has made it to the top spot on YouTube,” Peso Pluma said in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter. “A huge thank you to my musicians and team, my fans, everyone at YouTube and all the people who have made this project possible.”
Peso Pluma’s massive popularity on the video site underscores the huge strides Latin artists have made in conquering the mainstream of global music in recent years, especially via streaming numbers. In a year that saw her land her first No. 1 on the U.S. album chart and sell out multiple nights at venues like L.A.’s Rose Bowl and New York City’s Madison Square Garden, Colombian superstar Karol G was the most-streamed global artist on video site Vevo in 2023. Last year saw Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti crowned as Spotify’s most-streamed album of the year, while he was also YouTube’s most-viewed artist in 2022.