The lyrics to “Despacito” are a bit tricky. Luis Fonsi knows this and he doesn’t hold it against his remix partner Justin Bieber. A week after Bieber was caught flubbing the words to No. 1 Hot 100 charting Spanish-language hit featuring Daddy Yankee during an appearance at New York’s 1 OAK club, Fonsi said it’s all good.
“That chorus is not easy to sing, even for fluent Spanish singers like myself,” Fonsi told Rolling Stone. “It’s got a lot of lyrics, it’s kind of tongue-twisty.” With that scandal put to bed, Fonsi explained how non-native Spanish speaker Bieber ended up on the first mostly Spanish language song to top the Hot 100 since the “Macarena” did it in 1996.
He explained that when Bieber was on tour in South America the singer heard “Despacito” in a club and reached out to ask if he could add a verse. “He saw how people reacted, and right away he was like, ‘I want to be part of this movement.”
Unexpectedly, Bieber decided on his own to sing the song’s chorus in Spanish, which was his first attempt to sing in Spanish on a song. “It’s big for Latin music that a global star like Justin Bieber takes the time to do the song, to do it in Spanish,” Fonsi said. “I’ve done songs in other languages, I know how hard it is.”