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Peso Pluma tops the 2023 YouTube chart

SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

Who was the top viewed artist on YouTube in the U.S. this year? Nope, it wasn't Taylor Swift, wasn't Drake, not even Bad Bunny. They're all behind Peso Pluma, the Mexican music phenomenon who racked up more than 8.5 billion views this year. Also this year, his song "Ella Baila Sola" became the first regional Mexican track to make the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. NPR's Anamaria Sayre profiled Peso Pluma for part of Alt.Latino's series on the rise of regional Mexican music.

ANAMARIE SAYRE, BYLINE: Peso Pluma doesn't look like a revolutionary. He's 24 years old, scrawny, kind of unassuming...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PESO PLUMA: (Speaking Spanish).

SAYRE: But here he is, standing in front of a roaring crowd of thousands of Latinos braving a torrential rain storm in the capital of country music, Nashville, Tenn.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PESO PLUMA: (Speaking Spanish).

(CHEERING)

SAYRE: Standing there in that crowd in Nashville, the idea that he was the image of a revolution, it felt very real...

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON")

JIMMY FALLON: With his U.S. TV debut, performing the No. 1 Latin song in the country...

SAYRE: ...As real as it did when Peso Pluma popped up on my TV screen this past June.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON")

FALLON: Give it up for Peso Pluma.

SAYRE: ...Performing his hit "Ella Baila Sola" on "The Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon.

(SOUNDBITE OF PESO PLUMA'S "ELLA BAILA SOLA")

SAYRE: This song was instantly all over social media. On TikTok...

(SOUNDBITE OF TIKTOK VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: I want to say, watching Latinos do those things, like perform "The Tonight Show," "Late Show," makes me so proud.

SAYRE: ...Fans everywhere paid homage, doing their own covers of the song in all different styles. And I never thought I'd say this, but there was even a Kidz Bop cover of "Ella Baila Sola."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ELLA BAILA SOLA")

KIDZ BOP KIDS: (Singing in Spanish).

SAYRE: I heard Peso Pluma say it on that stormy night in Nashville. Musica Mexicana or regional Mexican music isn't just a movement, it is a revolution.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DETROW: You can find the rest of that Alt.Latino episode on npr.org/altlatino. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.