Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee graced the world with “Despacito” in January of 2017. Since then, it has become a globally loved feel-good and go-to party song. Today, it hit a whopping number of YouTube views: 7 billion, the most views for any YouTube video.
Again, that’s 7,000,000,000. That’s nearing the world population.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, two Puerto Rican artists, recorded a hit that seamlessly wove Latin, reggaetón and pop. The song has reached unfathomable success.
It was certified diamond—the highest certification level—by RIAA. It held onto No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 16 weeks. It also hit No. 1 on top charts from Argentina to Japan. Plus, “Despacito” raked in four Latin Grammy Awards in 2018, including Record Of The Year.
Just a few months after the original “Despacito” dropped, it got the Bieber boost in April 2017 when Justin Bieber jumped on the track for a remix. His English verse made it easier for English-only speakers to sing along with more than bits of the chorus of the previously fully Spanish song.
Bieber helped “Despacito” get to the top of charts globally, but the song’s success can’t be completely credited to the Canadian pop star. It was already on a path to massive success before Bieber.
These record-breaking YouTube views hit 7 billion just as National Latinx Heritage Month, which includes September 15 through October 15, nears its close. Beyond YouTube views, “Despacito” remains an iconic cultural moment that some have called “one of the biggest hits in Latin music history, period.”
Very recently, the song was pulled into politics when former Vice President Joe Biden played it at a Latinx Heritage Month event in Florida. Shortly after, President Trump tweeted a doctored video replacing audio from “Despacito” with N.W.A.’s “Fuck Tha Police.”
The music video opens with rolling, beautiful, blue waves and the tune that promises the jubilant feeling “Despacito” first gave the world in 2017. The vibes are anything but 2020’s, which has been a particularly tough year.