THE SINGER HOPES TO BE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE
“Despacito” marked a before and after in Luis Fonsi’s carreer. It is impossible to read or listen to that word without trying to sing the song. But, this artist who just turned 40, didn’t succeed by coincidence. He has evolved as a singer and songwriter by producing his eleven albums and many for other artists. Fonsi formed a new family with his second wife, with whom he has two children. He hopes that as a human being he has had a positive influence.
Born with talent
Ever since he was a child, Luis Fonsi showed his talent by imitating the artists he heard on the radio. He was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but moved to Florida with his family when he was 10 years old. He went to school in Florida and got a scholarship for the Florida State (FSU) School of Music to prepare for the competitive world of music. He studied theory and solfege, music appreciation, composition and singing.
While going to college, he joined the FSU choir and had the opportunity to go on tour throughout the U.S. and England. His music studies bore fruit. Soon after graduating in 1998 at the age of 20, he was hired by Universal. His first album became a gold record.
Hard work and commitment
During the first 10 years of his career, Fonsi recorded seven albums. He gained recognition and toured Latin America, Europe and the U.S. That was a time of growth as a singer and songwriter. His singles “No me doy por vencido”, “Aquí estoy yo”, and “Llueve por dentro”, from the album “Palabras del silencio” made the top lists for weeks. He then returned to the Viña del Mar festival where he was awarded the Antorcha de Plata and the Gaviota de Plata.
Fonsi has also worked in production. More than just a singer, he is a singer-songwriter. He has been recognized for other work, like the song “Tanto que te di”, sang by Ednita Nazario, that was nominated for the Latin Grammy. He also wrote songs for Olga Tañón. He collaborated with Christina Aguilera for the song “Si no te hubiera conocido”, and he has duets with David Bisbal, Noel Schajris, and Aleks Syntek, among others.
He continued working and his big hit “Despacito” came. “Despacito”, however, don’t resemble the ballads that made him known. The song began as a collaboration with Panamanian songwriter Erika Ender. He feels good about sharing credit with Ender for this creation. “I think the song became more wholesome with a man’s and a woman’s input”
Later, they were joined by Daddy Yankee at the studio. Fonsi has said that collaborating with Daddy Yankee “brought the song to a new level.” And, finally Justin Bieber added his voice for the version in English. This song has been translated in 30 languages, including Japanese, Mandarin and Russian. Its impact is such that it became the most watched video in the history of YouTube with more than 5,000 million views.
The artists’ opinion
“I am sure there is more than one that is sick of listening to the song,” explained Luis Fonsi. The single became omnipresent in every and any venue. “I don’t want to take too much credit, because a mix of pop with urban music is not a new thing. I just wanted to write a happy and sensual song, and everything else came from God. I the song has been a good influence on people!”
With this song, Fonsi also beat the record that the “Macarena” song had as the Spanish song with the most weeks at the top of the U.S. charts. The duet who recorded Macarena congratulated Fonsi for that feat during the 2018 Latin Grammys. Fonsi was nominated to the Grammy Awards as the best song in the U.S., and he took every single Latin music award.
Being so successful with a song like “Despacito,” leads to believe there are rivalries with other Latin musicians. About this, Luis Fonsi said “There are always exceptions, but there is a brother-sisterhood with other artists. If you do well representing Latin music, everyone wins. From my point of view, the music is for sharing not for competing.”
That is why singers like his fellow Puerto Rican Ricky Martin, who has also had great success, could be considered as a strong rival, but the opposite is true: They are good friends, and Martin praises all of Fonsi’s successes. Reggaetoneros Maluma and J Balvin also celebrated Fonsi winning all the Billboard awards even in categories where they were all competing.
Two children, a Spanish wife
Not all in Fonsi’s life is about music. Luis Fonsi has a 6-year-old daughter called Mikaela, and a one-year-old son named Rocco. Both have a birthday on the same day, and they are the product of his relationship with Spanish model Águeda López. The couple met in 2010 and had their first child the following year. Four years later, in 2015, they got married in a private ceremony attended by close friends and relatives.
Before Águeda, Luis Fonsi was married to Adamari López, Puerto Rican actress. They met in Mexico in 2001, but announced their engagement in 2004, almost simultaneously when she announced that she had breast cancer. For that reason, they delayed their wedding until 2006. The marriage between Luis and Adamari lasted three years.
In 2013, Fonsi’s ex-wife published a book where she assured Fonsi had cheated on her. Also, when “Despacito” was at the top of popularity, Adamari made confessions that were less than flattering. According to Spanish newspaper “El Mundo,” Adamari commented that the singer told her that he didn’t love her anymore and that he had never been attracted to her.
Later, on an interview, Fonsi confessed that his divorce had been the hardest time of his life. While all this was happening, “Despacito” never left the top of the charts, or lost popularity. Fonsi also remains popular and successful and he is also living a great time in his life in the company of his family, which he misses greatly when on tour.
Luis Fonsi turned 40 on April 15th. The singer was congratulated widely on social media, but he also had several parties with his famous friends. Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee, Pitbull, amongst others, threw parties to celebrate with him.
He became stable in his personal life when he met Spanish model Águeda López. From their relationship was born Mikaela in 2011, the same year when he released his seventh album “Tierra Firme”. Their second child, Rocco, came in 2016, one year before “Despacito.”
All the achievements of “Despacito”
“Despacito” was released on January 12th, 2017. Fonsi wrote the song with Erika Ender, and Daddy Yankee added a touch of rap to the first version of the single. Later, Justin Bieber joined the two Puerto Ricans for the English version. The official video of the song, recorded at the “La Perla” neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico, featured the performance of former Miss Universe from Puerto Rico Zuleyka Rivera.
- Most weeks number one for a non-English song at the Billboard list.
- Most weeks number one for all decades and for the XXI century at the Billboard list.
- Most watched video in the history of YouTube.
- Most popular song in 2017 in Spotify in the U.S., Spain and Latin America.
- Most streamed song in history.
- First song to surpass 100 platinum and diamond certifications.