The 8 Foreign-Language Songs That Have Topped The US Charts

If you go to another nation and turn on the radio, you ’ ll stumble on an english song pretty promptly. Switching positions, your chances of finding foreign-language songs on an american radio receiver station is pretty close to zero, with the luminary exception of “ Despacito. ” The lack of non-English music has been pretty constant in the United States .
The position just might be changing, however. Take spanish, for model. With 41 million people in the United States speaking spanish as a native speech, it ’ s fair to expect spanish to have an impact on the music market. At the least, latin music shock is growing in this nation. democratic rap might placid be sung most often in English, so far traces of reggaeton, a music genre of music originating in Puerto Rico in the 1990s, can much be heard as well .
We wanted to learn more about the history of non-English music in the United States, so we decided to take a look at the songs that made it to the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Since mid-1958, Billboard has been the foremost resource for tracking singles in the United States. This gives us over 60 years to work with, and over 1,000 number-one hits. Despite that, only eight foreign-language songs managed to make it to the top of the list. hera, we look at each of them. scroll to the bottom to listen to our playlist of all the songs, and read on to find out the stories behind them .

The 8 Foreign-Language Songs That Topped The Billboard Hot 100

1958: “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” by Domenico Modugno

Despite the lack of foreign-language songs on the Billboard Hot 100, this italian song was the number-one sung of the class the very inaugural year the Billboard number was made. Better known as “ Volare, ” this sung won the Sanremo Music Festival and was Italy ’ sulfur 1958 entrance into Eurovision, a massively popular music contest in Europe. While the song didn ’ t acquire Eurovision, it was incredibly successful all around the earth, and was on the exceed of the charts for five ( non-consecutive ) weeks. It flush won the first-ever Grammy for “ Song of the Year, ” and it remains the only foreign-language song to have done so.

1963: “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto

As one of the only foreign-language songs on this list performed in a non-European language, “ Sukiyaki ” is slightly of an unexpected success. The sung was wildly popular in Japan with the entitle “ Ue o Muite Arukō, ” which directly translates to “ I Look Up As I Walk. ” The appoint “ Sukiyaki ” was chosen for the English version for some reason, even though Sukiyaki is the name of a japanese gripe cup of tea that has nothing to do with the song. sing by the fresh-faced Kyu Sakamoto, “ Sukiyaki ” sounds deceptively cheerful, particularly when you ’ re unable to understand the lyrics. In reality, it ’ s a rather sad birdcall looking back at the failure of japanese protest movements against U.S. military occupation during the 1950s. Keep in mind, this song reached the United States merely 18 years after the end of World War II. It was count one for three weeks in the summer of 1963, and there was besides a successful english cover charge version sung by A Taste of Honey in 1980 .

1963: “Dominique” by The Singing Nun

Becoming popular shortly after “ Sukiyaki, ” “ Dominique ” is besides a storm hit, particularly when compared to the songs that would reach the number-one topographic point in the coming years of the british invasion. Sung by Jeannine Deckers, a french-speaking conical buoy from Belgium, the song is about Saint Dominic, who founded the dominican Order she was a extremity of. Some say this song may have become a hit on the radio because DJs were desperate for pleasant music to play in the aftermath of President John F. Kennedy ’ sulfur assassination. Whatever the reason, the song was number one for four weeks in December 1963. The fib of this sung does not have a very happy ending, however. Owing the belgian politics back taxes and being cash-strapped because she gave all the royalties from her music to her convent — which she left in 1966, having grown apart from the Catholic church — Deckers tried to make money by releasing a disco version of “ Dominique ” in 1982. The sung was a failure, and after struggling for a few years, she and a stopping point friend killed themselves in 1985 .

1986: “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco

After a 23-year period with no foreign-language number ones on the Billboard Hot 100, “ Rock Me Amadeus ” showed up to reign for three weeks in the give of 1986. The song is about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which seems like a curious choice but is actually reasonably fitting : Falco, born Johann Hölzel, was a classically trained musician who rejected his upbringing to play rock music. The song is in German ( except for the “ Rock Me ” separate ), but the words didn ’ triiodothyronine truly matter. The drive pulsate and repetitive “ Amadeus, Amadeus ” chorus were enough to make this song a staple of the 1980s. Despite other musical attempts, “ Rock Me Amadeus ” was Falco ’ s alone truly successful song in the United States .

1987: “La Bamba” by Los Lobos

The history of “ La Bamba ” goes back further than the 1987 adaptation by Los Lobos. It was in the first place a mexican folk music birdcall, with the earliest acknowledge recording being from 1938. In 1958, it was turned into a rock ‘n’ roll hit by Ritchie Valens, who was alone 17 years old at the time. The birdcall was the first meter that mexican music had a adult impact on the United States music industry. At the time, it only reached act 22 on the Billboard Hot 100, however. It wasn ’ metric ton until 1987 that the birdcall reached number one and held that position for three weeks. It wasn ’ thymine Valens ’ translation, though, but the cover by Los Lobos, which was recorded as the title cut for the movie La Bamba. Ritchie Valens was credited with a posthumous number-one song credit. tragically, he died in a 1959 plane crash, barely a few months after his adaptation of “ La Bamba ” was released.

1996: “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)” by Los Del Rio

Los Del Rio is possibly the most celebrated exercise of a one-hit wonder, thanks to “ Macarena, ” which stayed on the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks. You ’ ll notice, however, that this is the Bayside Boys Mix version of the birdcall, which happens to include the english verses alternatively of the spanish ones. The original translation of this song, which has alone spanish lyrics, besides ranked on the Billboard list, but it was not a successful as the English one. The sung was inspired by flamenco dancer Diana Patricia Cubillán Herrera, who impressed Los Del Rio with her dance in Venezuela. She likely was not performing the dance the birdcall is now celebrated for, which was a madden during the mid- ’ 90s .

2017: “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, Feat. Justin Bieber

Following “ Macarena ” was another 21 years without any foreign-language songs at the circus tent of the charts, and that brings us to 2017 ’ s “ Despacito. ” The song was on a number-one murder for 16 weeks in 2017, tying “ One Sweet Day ” by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men for Billboard ’ s longest reign. ( In 2019, it was beat by the 19-week run of Lil Nas X ’ s “ Old Town Road. ” ) “ Despacito ” is one of the most successful latin songs in history. notably, there are two versions. There ’ s the one entirely by Puerto Rican musicians Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, which is wholly in spanish, and the one that has verses by Justin Bieber, which includes English and Spanglish, along with spanish. It ’ s the latter which has achieved much more fame in the United States. surely Justin Bieber ’ s leading ability had something to do with this, though Daddy Yankee has had success with two early songs — “ Gasolina ” and “ Rompe ” — on the charts. however, neither of those reached the top spot .

2020: “Life Goes On” by BTS

Judging by the quick international emanation of K-pop, it was merely a matter of meter for a song whistle predominantly in Korean to reach the peak of the Billboard Hot 100. It besides comes deoxyadenosine monophosphate little storm that it comes from the group BTS, which is by far the most popular K-pop group in the United States. “ Life Goes On ” international relations and security network ’ t their foremost birdcall to hit numeral one — the group has had five others — but it is the first by and large sung in Korean. This is all the more impressive, because BTS has been shut out by a medium that has historically played a cardinal role in the Billboard Hot 100 : radio. While you couldn ’ thymine turn on a radio in 2017 without hearing “ Despacito, ” BTS has not gotten about angstrom much playtime as its american counterparts. The group ’ mho success is entirely thanks to its massive, avid fanbase, which has streamed the song close to 15 million times in a single week.

Foreign-Language Songs Playlist

eminence : This article was primitively published on April 24, 2018 .
Header Photo by AJEONG_JM / Creative Commons

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Category : music

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