It’s official: Despacito is now the most streamed song of all time, and it got there in just six months.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s hit original song and its remix featuring Justin Bieber have accumulated more than 4.6 billion streams across all platforms since its release in January.
The record had previously been set by Bieber for the 2015 hit “Sorry,” which, along with remixes, has logged 4.38 billion plays.
“What’s happened with this song is just insane,” said Fonsi, who hails from Puerto Rico and sings in Spanish.
“I don’t want to use the word accident because I was trying to write a hit, but I didn’t plan for it to cross over.
“I just wanted to make people dance.”
Despacito, which means “slowly” in Spanish, was fast out the gate. Just hours after the Latin collab arrived on Jan. 13, the Puerto Rican singers had a monster on their hands. The upbeat track set a new record on Vevo by becoming the Spanish-language video with the most views in 24 hours (it collected 5.4 million hits). Another Vevo record fell when Despacito become the fastest Spanish-language video to reach 200 million views, which it achieved in 22 days. It’s also the fastest ever music video to 2 billion views (154 days).
The Despacito track, which stands as the first primarily Spanish single to top the Hot 100 since the beloved ’90s classic “Macarena,” ran into a spat of controversy in May. During an appearance at the 1OAK in New York City, Bieber drew heavy amounts of ire for forgetting the remix’s lyrics and then proceeding to mock the Spanish language.
Fonsi later spoke with Rolling Stone about the incident, seemingly unfazed. “That chorus is not easy to sing, even for fluent Spanish singers like myself,” Fonsi said. “It’s got a lot of lyrics, it’s kind of tongue-twisty.”
Lucian Grainge, chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group, congratulated Fonsi and everyone who helped make the record a hit. “Luis Fonsi already had the undisputed, biggest song of the year – and now he’s setting even bigger records. Streaming has opened up the possibility of a song with a different beat, from a different culture and in a different language to become a juggernaut of success around the world. My congratulations to Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, as well as everyone at Universal Music Latin Entertainment, Republic Records and Def Jam, on this tremendous accomplishment.”