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"DESPACITO" DOMINION

"Despacito" by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee f/Justin Bieber (UMLE/RBMG/DefJam/Republic) appears to be on its way to becoming the biggest song of the modern era.

The juggernaut of a single was already a global smash before the Bieber-fortified remix made it a monster in the U.S., and it has been parked at or near #1 on the iTunes, Spotify, Shazam and other charts since its arrival, and is rocketing toward the top at Pop radio. “Despacito” notched 28m audio streams for the week of our most recent Song Revenue Chart (where it was also #1).

In worldwide audio and video streams (totaling Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube), "Despacito" takes a step closer to the lofty perch of biggest modern song today as it hits 3.5 billion, displacing the Mark Ronson smash “Uptown Funk” for third place. It could edge past the #2 song, the Wiz Khalifa Furious 7 giant "See You Again" (3.7 billion), sometime in the next few weeks. Then, perhaps by summer’s end or possibly sooner, it will surpass the current champ, "Sorry," by none other than Justin Bieber, currently at 4.2 billion.

The Bieberized "Despacito" will also be the first song to hit 5 billion streams.

Subtracting YouTube views from the equation, Drake has the biggest streaming song in "One Dance," but "Despacito" is said to be on track to clear that bar by summer’s end as well.

"We were going over different ideas and strategies, and Scooter Braun said, ‘I’ve got a brilliant idea for you—how do you feel about Justin Bieber?’ Well, who wouldn’t want Justin Bieber?” recalls Republic chief Monte Lipman of the remix’s origin. “The phone call came on a Tuesday and by Friday the remix was alive and well. We flew his engineer down to South America [where Biebs was on tour], cut the record, sent it back to New York, made a tweak, uploaded it and kaboom."

"And that’s what's great about it: With the effort of Republic, UMLE, Scooter and Steve Bartels and his team at Def Jam, we’re able to turn this around in 72 hours," he points out. "It’s a great example of today’s marketplace. You can come up with an idea and mobilize in real time."

Lipman underscores that the last Spanish-language record to break big in the U.S. pop marketplace was another Republic-UMLE collaboration, Enrique Iglesias’ "Bailando." It’s got nearly 3 billion YouTube views.

"This record, too, will be beaten in the near future—we’re in uncharted waters right now," Lipman emphasizes. "There were never videos with a billion views until PSY’s 'Gangnam Style,' which was also ours, working with Scooter. There’s a DNA pattern here, doing things people haven’t done before. Now the biggest artists in the world are in the billionaires’ club. It’s only a matter time before an artist does a billion in the first week."

After speaking with us, Monte resumed rummaging through a drawer in search of his Berlitz Learn Spanish While You Jazzercise cassettes.

 

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