Newcomer Ivan Cornejo secures his first entrance on any Billboard chart as Alma Vacía, his debut album, arrives at No. 2 on the Regional Mexican Albums tally (dated Oct. 16). The seven-track set starts in the list’s top 10 mainly on the strength of streaming activity, with 6,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Oct. 7, according to MRC Data.
“AlI can say is wow! I feel very honored and incredibly grateful,” Cornejo tells Billboard. “I’ve known of many incredible musicians that don’t get the recognition they deserve and so to be on Billboard still seems very surreal, I’m still processing it through. I feel even more motivated to work even harder now that I’ve been given this opportunity.”
With Alma’s No. 2 arrival, 17-year-old Cornejo is the latest teenager to debut in the top 10. He follows Junior H (who was 18 when Atrapado En Un Sueño also launched at No. 2 in April 2020) and Natanael Cano (also 18 when Corridos Tumbados debuted at No. 1 in November 2019). Plus, Brian Tovar, of Eslabon Armado, was only 16 when Tu Veneno Mortal opened at No. 2 on the May 16, 2020-dated list.
Alma concurrently gives the Riverside, Calif.-born singer his first Top Latin Albums visit with a No. 11 debut. The set, released Aug. 20 via Manzana Records, earned 9.4 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs in its opening week.
“The most challenging aspect of the recording process for me is probably the synchronization of instruments and vocals,” Cornejo adds. “Usually when I’m improvising and coming up with new songs, I’m in the comfort of my room just jamming with my cousin; but once we step foot in the studio, everything is more surreal and amplified mistakes can be more noticeable, and all I want to create is something perfect, that I’m proud of.”
Cornejo’s recent popularity is fueled by his strong TikTok presence. He took a first shot uploading a requinto cover of regional Mexican Esteban Gabriel’s “Hay Niveles” with immediate credit from the singer. He has since dropped Alma’s “Noche de Relajo,” “Llamadas Perdidas” and latest viral hit “Está Dañada,” which debuts at No. 7 on Hot Latin Songs and at No. 96 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 and becomes the second regional Mexican hit ever on the latter chart, after Gera MX and Christian Nodal’s “Botella Tras Botella” (No. 60 in May).
Cornejo concurrently hits the global charts: “Está Dañada” arrives at No. 181 on the Global 200 ranking.