FIFA and Sony Music today named "We Are One" by Pitbull featuring Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte the official song for the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament, which kicks off June 12 in Sao Paulo. The song will be released by Sony in the coming months and performed at the World Cup opening ceremony. A video for "We Are One (Ole Ola)" is also in the works.
"I truly believe that this great game and the power of music will help unify us," Pitbull said during an official announcement today (Jan. 23) at the Macarena Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. "Because we are best when we are one."
FIFA General Secretary Jérôme Valcke emphasized the participation of Claudia Leitte, a well-known Brazilian pop singer and judge on The Voice Brasil. "FIFA and Sony Music are extremely excited to share the impressive talent of Claudia Leitte with the world alongside such internationally celebrated artists as Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez," Valcke said. "In my many visits to this country I’ve seen and heard a lot about the great Brazilian music tradition and it gives me great pleasure to see a Brazilian artist at the heart of this song. I’m sure, like me, millions of football and music fans all over the world will be eagerly awaiting the song’s release."
Leitte said she was looking forward to dancing samba with Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez.
Pitbull’s single "Timber" featuring Ke$ha is currently in its third consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where the Miami rapper holds a career total of nine top 10s and two No. 1s.
He and Lopez have recorded three previous collaborations, most recently "Live it Up," a single from JLo’s upcoming album. 2011’s "On The Floor" spent three weeks in the top ten.
Pitbull has sold 2,827,000 albums to date in the U.S., according to SoundScan. Like JLo, he is reportedly preparing a new album for release this year.
Although further details on the song are yet to be revealed, it can be expected to include English, Spanish and Portuguese lyrics, and, particularly given Pitbull’s track record of global hits, will likely be a goal for the artists, FIFA and FIFA partner Sony.
The last FIFA World Cup song, 2010’s "Waka Waka" by Shakira with South African group Freshly Ground, has sold 1,7400,000 digital downloads to date. This week it is No. 2 on the Latin Digital Songs chart, where it spent 42 weeks at No. 1. The video has been viewed almost 600 million times on YouTube.
That song did not instantly catch on. Its lyrics were criticized when the song was released in April 2010, and the title was mocked. Controversy stemmed from an earlier Cameroonian song recorded by a band that was not credited (reportedly Sony later paid them for the rights). Dominican singer and songwriter Wifredo Vargas. sued Shakira, accusing her of stealing from his merengue song "El Negro no Puede," performed by Las Chicas del Can.
"We Are One" could be the third World Cup hit by Latin stars. In addition to Shakira’s smash, Ricky Martin’s "The Cup of Life" (La Copa de la Vida) for the 1998 World cup in France took the bilingual singer to international stardom when the song went to No. 1 in seven countries. Martin’s performance of the song on the Grammy Awards kick-started the so-called Latin pop explosion, essentially paving the way into the mainstream for bilingual Latin artists.
Martin will also record a song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup album, chosen via a Sony-sponsored Supersong contest. The contest allowed aspiring songwriters in countries around the world to upload a recording of their own World Cup song. Submissions are now closed, and finalists are to be announced soon on the Supersong site.
Coca-Cola kicked off World Cup fever last September with its official 2014 song, "The World is Ours," sung in English by former X-Factor contestant David Correy. Several other versions in Spanish and Portuguese have since been released, featuring Gaby Amarantos, Carlos Vives and Wisin of the reggaeton duo Wisin y Yandel, with more expected in the coming months. Coca-Cola, which has been an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup since 1978, scored big in 2010 with their campaign theme "Wavin’ Flag," which made the Somalia-born MC and singer/songwriter K’NAAN’s name known around the world. "Wavin’ Flag" went to No. 1 in 18 countries and sold 918,000 downloads in the U.S., according to SoundScan.
FIFA sponsor Adidas and Brazilian national team outfitter Nike are among other brands that have so far unveiled World Cup campaigns.