The Justin Bieber “Despacito” Remix Is First Spanish-Language Song to Hit No. 1 in 20 Years

Lead Photo: "Despacito" still via YouTube
"Despacito" still via YouTube
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Whether you love it or hate it, it’s time to accept your fate: “Despacito” is going to be playing from every car radio, bodega, and quinceañera banquet hall this summer. The Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi, and Justin Bieber collab just nabbed the no. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the first mostly Spanish-language song to reach the top since Los del Río’s Bayside Boys remix of “Macarena” in 1996. As Billboard notes, the song scored 54.3 million U.S. streams in the week ending May 11, and topped the Digital Song Sales chart with 104,000 downloads. Billboard claims that the Bieber feature is fueling the song’s success; the remix accounts for 73 percent of the song’s sales last week.

The Latino remix continues to be a lucrative enterprise for Latino performers, and the success of “Despacito” will likely transform the Latino remix into an industry standard. Whether the massive success of the song will trigger another “Latin boom” remains to be seen. Bieber’s feature undoubtedly boosted the song into the spotlight, proving that Anglo audiences still need the familiar face of an English-language pop star to fully get on board with a song in a different language. One thing’s for sure: it means gringolandia is finally paying attention.

[H/T Billboard]