In the latest episode of My Billboard Moment, Luis Fonsi recalls how it felt when his song “Despacito” hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart in 2017, and how Justin Bieber jumping on the remix opened up even more opportunities for the track’s success.
Fonsi tells Billboard that when the song first topped the chart, it felt like a “beautiful surprise,” because when he first wrote it, he never intended it to be a crossover record.
“It was just another song in Spanish,” he explains. “I’ve been doing this for 21 years. It’s just, I’m putting out an album, let me do a new song. This idea pops to my head then Daddy Yankee jumps on it, it starts to sound really cool. We release it, it becomes a huge hit.”
Four months later, they decided to recruit Justin Bieber for the remix. “He opened up a lot of doors for us,” Fonsi notes. “I’m really grateful that things just happened in such a beautiful way and all the stars aligned…The whole world was dancing and singing in Spanish, I’m proud of that.”
“Despacito” ended up tying Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men‘s “One Sweet Day” for the record of the most weeks at No. 1 ever for a single at 16 weeks in 2017. It has since been surpassed by Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road,” which spent 19 weeks atop the chart.
You can watch the full interview with Luis Fonsi above.