Thanks to a Justin Bieber feature, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (“Gasolina,” anyone?) now have a smash hit on American radio. “Despacito” is the only Spanish-language song to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 since “Macarena,” which topped the chart over two decades ago in 1996.
For those of you who aren’t Spanish speakers, “despacito” means “slowly” in English and is also the only word that Bieber could remember onstage during an impromptu performance of the track at New York’s 1 OAK club last night. Ironically, last night was also the The Voice finale, on which top-ten finalist and Spanish speaker Mark Isaiah flawlessly performed Bieber’s part with Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.
In Bieber’s defense, it is hard to remember a second language when you aren’t sure what the words mean. Most likely, Bieber recorded his vocals by memorizing sounds rather than by trying to comprehend the lyrics. Basically, unless you’ve successfully learned an entire language in a couple of months, you should probably cut the guy some slack. If Biebs fumbles an official performance of “Despacito,” then you have our permission to give him some grief. For now, enjoy his lighthearted attempt to get the crowd going at 1 OAK.
You can watch Bieber “blah, blah, blah” his way through the tune around the two-minute mark in the video above (or via TMZ here), and watch Isaiah’s performance of the song below.