Encanto knows the power a good piece of gossip can hold. When Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), the sole Madrigal family member without magical powers, investigates her household’s secrets, the search leads to her shunned uncle, Bruno (John Leguizamo). That queues up “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” a song in which the clan spends three minutes and 36 seconds insisting they don’t, well, you know.
The world has also ignored the track’s central plea. Since November, everyone’s been streaming, singing, and reacting to Bruno in record numbers. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, has amassed a dizzying number of stats. Encanto currently sits atop the Billboard 200, while the song is also Billboard’s current no. 1—making Encanto and its signature tune the first movie soundtrack and song since 2019’s A Star Is Born to reach No.1 on both charts. Only one other song from a Disney animated film has reached no. 1 on the Billboard singles chart: Aladdin’s “A Whole New World.” For those keeping score, “Bruno” has officially toppled Elsa, too: Frozen’s “Let It Go” peaked at No.5 on the charts. “Bruno” is also currently in the Top 10 most-streamed songs on both Spotify and Apple Music.
Even the song’s creator has been surprised by its historic rise. Miranda learned of the tune’s runaway success weeks after Encanto debuted, upon returning from a vacation he took following the film’s premiere, he told The Associated Press. “By the time I got back, ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ had kind of taken over the world along with the rest of the Encanto soundtrack,” he said. The song wasn’t an immediate hit; its gradual rise, and surprising staying power, “helps you have the perspective of: The opening weekend is not the life of the movie. It’s just the very roughest draft. Two months out, people are talking about Bruno, and his whole family.”
The Hamilton creator said the track’s popularity “feels random in one sense,” yet fitting for a time when the world has been homebound for two years. “The notion of a bunch of voices happening within one home feels very resonant, with hindsight,” Miranda said. “There’s kind of a part for everyone to play in singing along with the song. If you’re not bopping to this melody, another melody is coming along in two seconds because almost every character gets a little feature in it.”
Indeed, the Madrigals’ familial dynamics are on display in every verse as each relative penalizes Bruno for his prophetic gifts. Various musical styles are represented: Camilo (Rhenzy Feliz) twists his retelling into a spooky story, morphing into Bruno as he speaks. Mirabel’s sister Dolores (Adassa) raps in hushed tones about hearing Bruno through the walls. Meanwhile, married couple Pepa (Carolina Gaitán) and Félix (Mauro Castillo) sing over each other, angling to tell the story of their joyous, but rainy, wedding day. Miranda has compared the song’s structure to that of other Broadway ensemble numbers, including “One Day More” from Les Miserables and Hamilton’s “Non-Stop.”