isten in English
The hit song Despacito

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Published: 7.28.2017
Level 4   |   Time: 2:38
Accent: British
Source: BBC Global News Podcast (7.19.2017)

The Spanish language song Despacito has become the most streamed song of all time.

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triangle Directions


  1. REVIEW the vocabulary.
  2. LISTEN to the audio.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary


  • a single [n] - a song released for radio play
  • overtake [v] - pass
  • reggaeton [n] - a Puerto Rican musical style combining rapping and singing
  • longevity [n] - lasting a long time
  • a release [n] - a song released to the public
  • streaming [n] - playing music over the Internet
  • playlisted [adj] - selected to be played
  • latch on to it [exp] - become a big fan of

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression


triangle Questions


  1. What language is the song Despacito sung in?
    English
    Japanese
    Spanish

  2. Who is the singer of Despacito?
    Luis Fonsi
    Justin Bieber
    Justin Timberlake

  3. Where is it number one right now (at the time of the news story)?
    the U.K.
    Japan
    France

  4. What song used to be the most streamed song of all time?
    Gangnam Style
    Sorry
    Hotel California

  5. How many times has the song been played worldwide (at the time of the news story)?
    4 600 000 000 times
    460 000 000 times
    4 600 000 times

  6. What musical styles does the song combine?
    reggaeton
    latin balladry
    rock & roll
    jazz
  7. Where was it first a hit?
    the U.K.
    Latin America
    the U.S.

  8. Why did it become popular in the English speaking world?
    It was released on YouTube.
    It was played a lot in dance clubs.
    Justin Bieber recorded a verse for the song.

  9. In how many countries is it number one (at the time of the news story)?
    10
    35
    over 50

  10. When does the song sound "even better"?
    when you are dancing
    when you are outside
    when you are alone

  11. What did the singer say about the song?
    It was actually very easy to write.
    He is surprised by its popularity.
    He will probably never make a more popular song.

  12. How well do Spanish songs usually do in the US and the U.K.?
    They are very popular.
    They are rarely successful.
    They earn a lot of money.

  13. What was another hit Spanish language songs in the U.K.?
    Las Ketchup
    Mariposa Traicionera
    The Macarena

  14. How is streaming changing music?
    It gives people more control over the songs they listen to.
    It is generating more money for artists.
    It is changing how people discover music.

  15. Who is Mr. Bieber?
    a pop singer
    a git who can't keep his pants on
    a pretty good hockey and basketball player


triangle Script



A Spanish language song called Despacito has become the most streamed song of all time.

Singing

The single by Louise Fonsi is currently number one in the U.K. and has been played 4.6 billion times worldwide, overtaking Justin Bieber's Sorry. Our reporter is Mark Savage.

It was a hit all around Latin America at the start of the year. It was number one in 12 countries. It's sung in Spanish. It's a very unique mix of the kind of Latin balladry and reggaeton, which is a kind of Latin American rap style. So it caught on hugely over there but did nothing in Europe in the English speaking world until Justin Bieber heard it in a nightclub and said, “I'd like to be part of this song” recorded a verse. And suddenly three weeks after that, it's number one in the US, it's starting to come to number one in the U.K., and now it's number one in 35 countries around the world.

How long might we expect it to stay in the top spot then?

Well I mean I think in the U.K., it's been 10 weeks at number one, the same in the U.S. I think it could be there for quite a long time to come because I don’t see any big releases on the horizon. There’s One Direction solo acts who may give a bit of a challenge for a week, but then they'll drop away. It's summer pretty much everywhere now. So the song is even better when you're outside. It feels like it's got a bit of longevity. The question for Louis Fonsi, who recorded it, is what does he do next. How do you beat this? And we spoke to him yesterday. He said, “To be honest, I don't think I ever will.

Now as you say it was already a pretty successful song. And then Mr. Bieber got involved. How would you say streaming is changing music?

Well I think the interesting thing here is that this song probably wouldn't have been playlisted by radio stations in the English speaking world. Particularly, you know, Spanish songs do not do well in America and the U.K. The last time there was a Spanish language number one in America was the Macarena in 1996. In the U.K., there was a song called Las Ketchup in 2002. That was the Spanish language number one. So streaming has kind of democratized music as a whole. If people find a song that they like and they latch on to it, they will play it repeatedly and repeatedly. And then that will influence the people who are programming radio. So it is changing the way that people discover and listen to music.

Yes I said Mr. Bieber.