The Colombian pop superstar and current Madonna collaborator cements his rise with an bang-on-trend album that’ll generate heat from Bogotá to Bognor

It’s easy to reel off stats illustrating Maluma’s global pop phenomenon status: the Colombian singer has 40 million Instagram followers, more videos with a billion YouTube views than Ed Sheeran and an ongoing 43-date arena tour that’s headed for Madison Square Garden. But it’s more interesting and probably more revealing to note that he proposed a collaboration to Madonna when they met at the 2018 VMAs, displaying the sort of savvy, ambition and, well, sheer balls that the Queen of Pop herself has built a career on.

So while Madge might tell him to “slow down, papi” on their excellent collaboration ‘Medellín’, in career terms there’s no chance of Maluma doing anything of the sort. This fourth album arrives nearly a year to the day after his third, ‘F.A.M.E.’, and includes collaborations with Ty Dolla $ign, huge Puerto Rican artist Ozuna, OG Latin pop crossover king Ricky Martin, super-producer Max Martin and, naturally, Madonna. She returns the favour for ‘Medellín’ (which doesn’t appear here) by singing in a not strictly necessary cod-Spanish accent on ‘Soltera’, a fun and flirty duet about playing hard to get. This time, she cools him off with, “I’m not a girl you’ll drink like wine”, a line that presumably wasn’t inspired by a shared bottle of tepid Echo Falls rosé.

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