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India Passes Gloria Estefan for Most No. 1 Songs in Tropical Chart History

by Ryan Book   Jul 16, 2015 10:50 AM EDT

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India—the salsa performer, not the country—has overtaken Gloria Estefan as the performer with the most no. 1s in the history of the Billboard Tropical Songs chart as "Ahora Que Te Vas" enters the top spot. The track comes from her album Intensamente con Canciones de Juan Gabriel, a collection of the mariachi legend's hits reimagined as salsa numbers.

The Tropical Songs chart has been been in existence since 1994, when India booked her first stop at no. 1, with her single "Nunca Voy A Olvidarte."

Although Estefan may have dropped to no. 2 all-time, the distinction is only a technical one. The Cuban performer has been putting out records for nearly 15 years longer than her "competitor," and probably would still have the record if the tally hadn't started so relatively recently. The classification of the the chart in question also hurts her chances. "Tropical" is defined as Latin music coming from tropical regions—including salsa, bachata, reggaeton, cumbia, merengue, vallenato and similar forms. Although Estefan has certainly specialized in "tropical" music across her career, she's certainly experimented with numerous genres across her 23 albums.

Accordingly, Estefan has no. 1s that don't fit into the "tropical" classification. She's had 12 no. 1 songs on the Latin charts during her career, and has also topped the outright Hot 100 three times.

India has done very well within her own niche, although that hasn't exposed her to wider American audiences as Estefan has experienced. Her popularity is increasing however: Her last album of original material, 2010's Unica, was India's fifth no. 1 album on the Tropical charts, but it also marked her first appearance on the Billboard 200, peaking at no. 180.

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