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‘Despacito’ Sets YouTube Record as First Video to 5 Billion Views

Luis Fonsi’s global hit “Despacito” has broken a new digital record.

The official video of the catchy Spanish-language track, featuring Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee, on Wednesday surpassed 5 billion views on YouTube — becoming the first video in the platform’s history to hit that watermark.

Note that it’s not the version of “Despacito” with Justin Bieber; the official audio version of that remix on YouTube sits at 617 million views since its April 2017 release. The song, whose title means “slowly” in English, is basically an ode to the pleasures of protracted lovemaking.

“Despacito” claimed the title as most-viewed YouTube video of all-time last August, and was No. 1 on YouTube’s ranking of music videos for 2017. The music video, published to YouTube on Jan 12, 2017, by Universal Music Latino, was directed by Carlos Perez and shot in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in December 2016.

Until last year, the most-viewed YouTube video had been South Korea’s Psy for “Gangnam Style.” Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” featuring Charlie Puth topped “Gangnam Style” in July 2017 — before “Despacito” took the crown the following month.

Fonsi, in a recent interview with Variety, explained that he awoke one morning in 2015 with the song stuck in his head. “I was home with my family and I woke up one morning with this idea,” the Puerto Rican pop star said. “I grabbed my guitar and ran into the studio. I had a clear picture of how I heard it in my head and I jotted down as much as I could.”

Adding Daddy Yankee to the track “made the song explode,” according to Fonsi, while the subsequent remix featuring Bieber helped it reach an even wider audience.

Fonsi shares “Despacito” writing credits with Erika Ender, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber along with co-producers Andres Torres and Mauricio Rengifo. It has won several awards, including song of the year and record of the year at the 2017 Latin Grammy Awards.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly cited a fan-made video for the “Despacito” remix featuring Justin Bieber. The official audio version of that remix on Fonsi’s YouTube channel has 617 million views to date.

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