image from jenesaispop.com
Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee
Writer(s): Luis Rodríguez/ Erika Ender/ Ramón Ayala (see lyrics here)
First Charted: 2/4/2017
Peak: 116 US, 111 UK, 116 CN, 113 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales *: 8.0 US, 1.9 UK, 15.62 world (includes US + UK)
Radio Airplay *: --
Video Airplay *: 5723.17
Streaming *: 2079.00
* in millions
When “Despacito” was first released, Dance-Charts music critic Sebastian Wernke-Schmiesing said it “has the magic it takes to reach the world.” WK His words proved prescient – the song topped the charts in 47 countries WK and become, by some measures, the biggest song of all time.
Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi initially pnned the reggaetón-pop song as a ballad, but decided he wanted something more urban and danceable, so he contacted Daddy Yankee, with whom he’d collaborated on the 2010 “Una Oportunidad.” WK The upbeat track immediately made a splash on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart, debuting at #2. It went on to log 39 non-consecutive weeks at #1, putting it only behind the 41 weeks logged by “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias with Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona in 2014 and 2015. WK
The song was also scaling the pop charts when an April 2017 remix, with added vocals by Justin Bieber, gave the song an extra boost. It became the first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since 1996’s “Macarena” by Los Del Rio to be sung predominantly in Spanish. WK “Despacito” held on to the top spot for a whopping 16 weeks, tying “One Sweet Day” by Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey as the longest-reigning number one in the chart’s history. The video also reached new heights, becoming the most-viewed music video on YouTube in August 2017. WK It became the first video on the site to reach three, and then four, billion views. WK
In its review of the songs of the year, Time magazine said that “in a year where xenophobia reared its head worldwide, it inspires hope that the charts were dominated by such a universal, multicultural hit.” WK Desmond Child and Rudy Perez, the founders of the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame, said there hadn’t been a song since Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” which had “the global impact of ‘Despacito,’ changing the course of pop music forever.” WK Billboard’s Jeff Benjamin said the song, which won Latin Grammys for Song and Record of the Year, signaled that “English is no longer a requirement for mainstream U.S. success.” WK
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Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.