'Despacito,' 2017's Summer Music Hit, Makes Daddy Yankee the First Latin Artist to Top Spotify and Boosts Puerto Rico's Economy

You’ve heard “Despacito,” the summer’s most unignorable song, right?

The English-language remix of Luis Fonsi’s Latin crossover hit, featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, just scored its eighth week atop the Billboard Hot 100. It’s also helped Daddy Yankee become the first Latin artist to be named Spotify’s top artist.

Yankee, real name Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, has surpassed 44,735,586 million monthly listeners, Spotify announced Sunday. That puts him around 200,000 listeners ahead of British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, who was the previous record holder with 44.5 million monthly listeners.

"Being the first Latin artist to reach #1 in Spotify marks a precedent not only for my career but for the industry in general," the Puerto Rican rapper said. "The musical digital revolution has unified the world and this is the proof. We are all in the same boat with no labels or stereotypes."

Spotify tracks how many people have streamed a particular artist in a rolling 28-day period and all of the listeners must be unique. That means that 44.7 million people streamed “Despacito” and Yankee’s other hits like 2005’s “Gasolina” in the space of 28 days.

The Spanish language version of “Despacito,” co-written by Fonsi and Yankee, and the English-language remix featuring Bieber have each been streamed over 500 million times each on Spotify.

The reggaeton-tinged pop ditty has boosted the popularity of Latin music globally, and particularly in the U.S., where relations between Latin countries and America have been tense to say the least under President Donald Trump and his threat of building a wall along the Mexican border.

“Despacito,” then, has done more for diplomatic relations than any political wrangling.

According to local reports, the song—which features the line, “This is how we do it down in Puerto Rico”—has boosted Puerto Rico’s economy, two months after the country’s government declared it bankrupt owing to debts of $70 billion.

Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia reported last week that tourism has risen by 45 percent since “Despacito” took off. Local tour operators have included some of the sights seen in the music video (which has two billion YouTube views) in their excursions.

In an Instagram post, Fonsi, the singer-songwriter who leads the track, said he was “so happy” to hear that the song had benefited his home country’s economic growth. “Puerto Rico is the true protagonist of this song and this video. It was always my great inspiration,” he added.

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