Getty Images / Christian Vierig

Last week, before Drake’s Scorpion started crushing streaming records, J Balvin became the world’s most streamed artist on Spotify. On the back of his latest album, Vibras, the Colombian artist racked up more than 48 million monthly listeners on the platform, temporarily knocking Drake from his throne.

As we have reported previously, Balvin has almost single-handedly increased public interest in Latin music. According to Spotify, the popularity of the genre among users increased by 110 percent in 2017.

So, if you need a quick refresher on J Balvin, here’s a breakdown of the six hits that made him one of the world’s most popular artists. Scroll down for the details, and to set the mood, we recommend giving Vibras a spin.

“Mi Gente”

Last year, this Willy William-assisted single hit No.1 in Spotify’s Global Top 50 chart and kicked “Despacito” off the top of Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart after 35 weeks at No.1. “Mi Gente” was on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a whopping 30 weeks in total, peaking at No.3 after Beyoncé hopped on a reworked version (thanks to Blue Ivy).

“I Like It”

This epic collaboration with Cardi B and Bad Bunny just came in at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after climbing for 12 weeks. The single is fresh off Cardi B’s debut album Invasion of Privacy and is produced by Tainy, Craig, and J. White Did It. The song celebrates the artists’ Latin roots and samples Pete Rodriguez’s 1967 boogaloo bop “I Like It Like That.”

“X (Equis)”

This reggaeton- and dancehall-infused tune featuring Nicky Jam is an anthem for all the players out there. So far, it’s been streamed more than 327 million times on Spotify and the accompanying visual has gained nearly a billion views on YouTube.

“Familiar”

Liam Payne has been gearing up for his solo debut album this year, so who better to collaborate with than J Balvin? Their joint club banger is a seductive request to get to know someone on the dance floor. The single peaked at No.13 on Billboard’s YouTube chart and has been streamed 77 million times on Spotify. The official music video has raked in 63 million views.

“Ginza”

This 2015 song takes its name from an Instagram filter, but Ginza is also a shopping and entertainment district in Tokyo. In a 2016 interview with Billboard, Balvin explained why the track was a success in his quest to make reggaeton cool again.

“I thought, why not go back to reggaeton? Because when all is said and done, it’s part of our culture as Latins,” he said. “And finally, the song was so hooky, it worked. Let’s be honest, ‘Ginza’ doesn’t really have lyrics to speak of. It’s a party track — a party for reggaetoneros to come out of the closet. We made reggaeton cool again.”

“Sensualidad”

DJ Luian and Mambo Kingz teamed up with J Balvin, Bad Bunny, and Prince Royce on this 2017 smash hit. It’s still one of J Balvin’s most popular songs on Spotify and the music video has been viewed more than 622 million times.

For more like this, here’s everything we learned about Drake from his new album ‘Scorpion.’

Words by Sydney Gore
Associate Music Editor

Softcore tastemaker at your service.

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