'Encanto's' breakout song is now a No. 1 hit — a first for Lin-Manuel Miranda

Nardine Saad
Los Angeles Times (TNS)

There's still a lot to say about Bruno.

The breakout single "We Don't Talk About Bruno," a joyful group number from Disney's animated musical "Encanto," has claimed the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100 chart.

The milestone marks only the second time that a Disney song has reached the top spot and the first time that the film's writer and co-producer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has reached the peak, Billboard reported Monday.

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Just as remarkable, the film has landed several other songs on the Hot 100 chart. The reggaeton smash "Surface Pressure" (sung by Jessica Darrow) weighs in at No. 9. Other entries include the intro number "The Family Madrigal" (No. 20), the upbeat "What Else Can I Do?" (No. 27), emotional ballad "Waiting on a Miracle" (No. 48), group finale "All of You" (No. 82) and the Oscar hopeful "Dos Oruguitas" (No. 36).

Reacting Tuesday to the chart breakthrough,  Miranda tweeted: "Grateful grateful grateful grateful grateful grateful grateful to all of you, ALL of you."

If Miranda earns an Academy Award in March — whether for "Encanto" or "Tick, Tick ... Boom" — the Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner will clinch prestigious EGOT status and become the 17th person to do so. (The celebrated "Hamilton" and "In the Heights" scribe was previously Oscar-nominated for "How Far I'll Go" from Disney's 2016 musical "Moana").

In January, the film's soundtrack bumped Adele's blockbuster "30" from its perch on top of the Billboard 200 album chart. But  "We Don't Talk About Bruno," a layered song about the magical Madrigal family's prophetic black sheep (performed by cast members including Carolina Gaitán, Stephanie Beatriz and the reggaeton artist Adassa), made its way up the ranks on other charts too.

The "Bruno" music video has garnered 161 million views on YouTube and 101 million streams on Spotify. (The Spanish-language version, "No se habla de Bruno," has 16 million streams on Spotify.)

"Encanto" introduces the Madrigal family, who have each been granted extraordinary gifts, except one, our heroine, Mirabel (Stefanie Beatriz), who has yet to discover her own personal magic. (Disney/TNS)

The success of "Bruno" has also drawn comparisons to Disney's "A Whole New World" from "Aladdin" (sung by Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle), which landed in the Hot 100's No. 1 spot in March 1993. And to the ubiquitous "Frozen" hit "Let It Go" (sung by Idina Menzel), which peaked at No. 5 in 2014.

But "Encanto" hits different, as they say.

The colorful musical tells the story of a rural Colombian family and their magical gifts, homing in on emotional, multigenerational family dynamics that are driven home by Miranda's catchy songs. "Bruno" is so narrative-driven that it doesn't really make sense outside the film. But thanks to its upbeat dance track and expertly choreographed shifts, it has become as inescapable as Dolores Madrigal's ability to hear everything around her.

"The ('Encanto') rollout began with a fantastic film, incredible music and a strong marketing campaign," Disney Music Group President Ken Bunt told Billboard, noting that he thinks "Bruno" connected because it "includes the entire Family Madrigal, which reflects the dynamics of so many families."

The film was released in theaters in November but found much broader — and repeat — audiences when it landed on Disney's streaming service Disney+ in December. It also had its irresistible songs swiftly  embraced by the TikTok set, remixed and repurposed for everything from makeup tutorials to motivational speeches.

Countless think pieces have been written about the film's strides in representation, and children have gone viral for sharing photos of themselves twinning with a character on screen.

Miranda recently told the Associated Press that he and co-directors Byron Howard, Jared Bush and Charise Castro Smith, along with the head of music at Disney, Tom MacDougall, have a running text thread on which they share viral clips of choreography or TikToks of people singing along.

The appetite for "Encanto" content has been insatiable, and Miranda, the directors and animators have obliged by filling their Twitter timelines with behind-the-scenes details and answers to fan questions about the film. In the last week, co-director Bush ("Moana," "Zootopia") shared several blink-and-you'll-miss-it tidbits, including a deleted post-credits scene that would have given the Madrigals' sentient Casita the last laugh.

"We considered an after credit joke to end the movie, but ultimately felt going out on the emotion and joy of the family coming back together was the way to go," Bush wrote.