“Despacito” may translate to “slowly,” but the Latin pop megahit’s ascension up the YouTube leaderboard has been rapid. The addictive tune, performed by Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, has become the first YouTube video to reach five billion total views.
The story of “Despacito” has become the stuff of internet legends. The song arrived on YouTube on January 12, 2017 and leveraged the rising global popularity of Latin music to become the de facto Song of the Summer. It became YouTube’s most-viewed video in August, surpassed four billion views in October, and rolled past five billion hits on April 4. For those keeping score at home, that amounts to roughly 11.16 million views per day(!!!). Not bad for music video that was shot in 14 hours.
The most astonishing part of the song’s rise is not its raw viewership but the distance it has put between itself and all of the other popular music videos on YouTube. The second most-viewed clip on the site, which accompanies Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth‘s ‘See You Again,‘ has accrued fewer than 3.5 billion hits. On its own, the difference in viewership between those two videos would be the 24th most-viewed video on YouTube.
And yet, for all of the astonishing numbers “Despacito” has put up, the song’s view count is now advancing more despacito than it was last year. From our current vantage point, it seems nigh-impossible for another video to claim YouTube’s top spot, but “Gangnam Style” seemed similarly invincible a few years ago, and look where we are now.
For now, let’s celebrate Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s achievement in the only manner that makes sense: by adding a few more views to that impressive total.