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‘Despacito’ Becomes Most Streamed Song Ever


FILE - Singers Luis Fonsi, left and Daddy Yankee perform during the Latin Billboard Awards in Coral Gables, Fla., April 27, 2017. Malaysia has banned their hit song "Despacito" on state radio and television.



The hit summer dance song Despacito has become the most streamed song of all time. It now has more than 4.6 billion plays across major streaming services.

It passed Justin Bieber’s 2015 song Sorry this week to break the all-time record.

Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and rap singer Daddy Yankee released Despacito in January. They later released a version that included Justin Bieber. The remixed song helped increase its popularity in several English-speaking countries, including the United States.

Despacito, which means “slowly” in Spanish, is also now the most successful Spanish-language pop song of all time.

The chief of Universal Music Group, Lucian Grainge, released a statement about Despacito’s success. It said, “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.”

Fonsi is 39 years old. Until Despacito, he was not well known outside of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory.

It is the first mostly Spanish song to reach the top of the Billboard’s Hot 100 list in the U.S. since the 1996 summer hit Macarena. Despacito has been the top song this year in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Also this week, officials in Malaysia banned broadcasts of Despacito on government-run radio and television. Malaysia’s communications minister said the government acted in answer to public protest that the words in the song are offensive.

The ban, however, does not extend to private stations, YouTube, or music streaming services.

When the new record was announced this week, Fonsi gave credit to streaming services for helping his music reach every part of the planet.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Anne Ball.

Ashley Thompson adapted this story from Reuters and AP News reports. Caty Weaver was the editor.

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Words in This Story

stream - v. to transmit or receive over the Internet as a steady, continuous flow.

pop - adj. of or relating to popular music

juggernaut - n. something (such as a force, campaign, or movement) that is extremely large and powerful and cannot be stopped

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