After 16 straight weeks at no. 1, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” has finally ended its reign on the Billboard Hot 100. Last week, “Despacito” broke chart records by tying with Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day” for the most weeks spent at no. 1 in the history of the Billboard Hot 100. Today, Taylor Swift’s revenge anthem “Look What You Made Me Do” dethroned “Despacito” with a total of 84.4 million U.S. streams. (Yes, summer is over and it is officially snake season. We are now forced to trade one white devil for another. Pour one out for the far-off hope of “Wild Thoughts” and unseating “Despacito”).
As we reported in late August, “Despacito” claimed the record for the longest-running Spanish-language hit of all time. The song has no doubt reignited interest and conversation around Latin music in the U.S., with many speculating on the long-term industry impact of “Despacito,” though its significance for U.S. Latino artists remains to be seen. Only time will tell if Latino artists continue to be perceived as kitsch novelties in the mainstream, but “Despacito” has certainly sparked plenty of debate surrounding the exploitation of Latinos in the music industry, as well as their continued struggle to break out of a segmented market.