“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” Unexpectedly Secures #1 Spot on Billboard Charts

Maria Nguyen, Staff writer

It’s on the radio. It plays in the background of restaurants and cafes. Young kids and adults alike hum the tune. It’s the latest hit on the Billboard Top 100…a Columbian-inspired song from a Disney movie.

“We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from the hit Disney movie “Encanto” took the number one spot on the Top 100 the week of Jan. 31, surpassing Adele’s “Easy On Me.” The only other time Disney had a song in the top spot was  “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” in 1993. Adding on to the success of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” the movie “Encanto” marked the 60th animated film for Disney. 

Though I only saw “Encanto” a week or two ago, I have listened to “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” countless times. I’ve heard my siblings, my friends and even my parents sing along, tap along or dance along to Disney’s latest hit.

The renowned writer of the song, Lin-Manuel Miranda, also wrote other rising songs on the Billboard Top 100 such as “Surface Pressure” and “The Family Madrigal.” Though Miranda is well known for his Broadway hits such as Hamilton and In the Heights, it’s the first time one of his songs has topped the charts. The unprecedented popularity of these “Encanto” songs, boosted by duets, singalongs, and commentary on TikTok and Instagram, paved the way to the number one spot for “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.”

When I first heard this song while watching “Encanto,” I immediately noticed the catchy rhythm and witty lyrics so associated with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s style of songwriting. Having seen and listened to Hamilton, In the Heights and other works by Miranda, I was distinctly familiar with his creative and catchy style, which was fused with Colombian-style jazz in a story-like pattern that contributed to the song’s popularity. 

The song follows the Madrigal family members’ description of the mysterious and infamous Bruno, estranged from the family after clashing over his problematic powers of seeing the future. Five different family members sing about their own experiences with Bruno, and the  five different pitches and rhythms are woven together into a chorus that seems to have gotten stuck in everyone’s head. Furthermore, the cleverly worded lyrics as well as the fun theatrical parts add a musical element to the song that gets everyone singing along.

I was surprised to see a Disney song, and even more so such a theatrical song, on top of tunes like Adele’s “Easy On Me” and Glass Animals’ “Heat Waves,” which are all over the radio and have also gained a considerable amount of popularity in recent weeks. This just goes to show how popular hits can come from anywhere and anyone, and not just solo singers or songwriters. It’s a good reminder to give every song, no matter if it’s a Disney tune or not, a fair chance to impact not only the Top 100, but our own individual playlists to keep the music we listen to diverse and maybe just a tiny bit more fun. 

It seems that despite its title, everyone is talking about Bruno. The tune has clearly captivated many more than just children and Disney enthusiasts, and it would not come as a surprise if it held on to the Top 100 spot for just a little longer.