Back in January of this year, a Spanish-language single by two Puerto Rican music artists was released. Its title “Despacito” translates “slowly” in English. But when it came to both music charts and online streaming, it would turn out into anything but. By the time year 2017 reached its midpoint the song by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee – boosted by a remix featuring more English lyrics with Justin Bieber – has become the latest big music phenomenon in several countries the world over. There really was nothing slow in “Despacito” and its six-month run to become the most-streamed song ever.

Billions reached

As of the latest tally by Universal Music Latin Entertainment on Wednesday, July 19, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s single “Despacito” has now gotten played a record 4.6 billion times across all major streaming platforms. This is quite the accomplishment for a Spanish-language track. This milestone was certainly achieved with the help of a remix collaboration single released April, featuring added vocals from Justin Bieber as well as partial English translations of some lines. That version was a smash hit due to the Canadian pop star’s remarkable Spanish pronunciation, though he could not quite duplicate it during live performances. It has led to a brief backlash against Bieber, who has since been defended by Fonsi.

The previous record holder for the most-streamed song was “Sorry”, which interestingly is also a Bieber hit (that had multiple remixes of its own). It's 4.38 billion streams were blown past by “Despacito” which is now the number one song in America, the UK, and Australia. “Sorry” also its record of the fastest music video to hit 2 billion views (394 days) to “Despacito” which needed only 154.

Other achievements the collaborative reggaeton-pop-rap number racked up from January to July are the most views in 24 hours by a Spanish-language song and fastest Spanish-language song to reach 200 million views (22 days), both records set on Vevo.

Yet to come

The music video of “Despacito” was filmed in the singers’ native Puerto Rico, particularly in the La Perla neighborhood of the capital, San Juan.

Also featured in the vid with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee was Puerto Rican model Zuleyka Rivera, who was Miss Universe 2006. Despite its success thus far, it has yet to surpass Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” for the most views on YouTube. It had very recently beaten out “Gangnam Style” by PSY for the honor.

When asked about his opinion on the meteoric rise of “DespacitoFonsi – who co-wrote the lyrics with singer-songwriter Erika Ender from Panama – could only say, "Streaming is a connector for audiences worldwide and it has helped my music reach every corner of the planet.” The Puerto Rican artist described himself as honored by the song’s new status as the most-streamed song ever.