Spanglish: It's All About Mixing Spanish And English When It Comes To Hit Songs In The U.S


Late last week, hip-hop talent Logic rereleased his song “1-800-273-8255,” this time around adding a new, very special guest: Juanes. For those who don’t know that name, he is one of the biggest and most beloved musicians in the Latin music world, and he, like so many others in that specific industry, has enjoyed more than his fair share of success when it comes to Spanish-speaking music lovers…but not far beyond that group. In fact, Juanes isn’t just featured on the numerical tune, he’s now credited as a lead artist alongside Logic, while singers Alessia Cara and Khalid, who have been there all along, are still labeled as features.

The move is a smart one, but Logic shouldn’t get all the credit for coming up with the idea. In fact, he’s just the latest artist to hop on a trend that seems to be taking over the airwaves and pulling in every big name in the business. The rerecording of already-popular songs to combine English and Spanish into something everybody can enjoy has quickly become a must in the music industry, and it only took a few months to do so.

The trend was launched earlier this year when Justin Bieber shocked the world by hopping on the song “Despacito,” which was already storming charts all around the world. He not only brought his name to the tune, he sang in both English and Spanish, and whether or not his delivery was any good, the fact that he signed on to the catchy single was enough for millions of people to give it a listen…and from there, it was off and running.

The joining of Bieber, along with both Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee (who fronted the song originally), would likely have been enough to kick off a slew of other unexpected collaborations between native English speakers and native Spanish speakers, but the fact that “Despacito” went on to rule for 16 consecutive weeks here in the U.S., tying for the longest stretch at No. 1 of all time, surely convinced many others that this was a winning formula, and that it could (and should) be replicated.

Logic and Juanes have now joined a group of other artists who have paired up in the interest of scoring a joint hit by mixing languages, and that club is sure to continue to grow in no time. Fellow stars like J Balvin, Willy William and Beyoncé (who collaborated on “Mi Gente,” which has thus far peaked at No. 3 in the U.S.) and Little Mix and CNCO (who turned “Reggaeton Lenton” into a top five hit in the U.K.) are also notable members.

Before Juanes stepped in to spice things up, “1-800-273-8255” had already peaked at No. 3 on the Hot 100, a position it has returned to this week, but with a new famous face attached to the project and millions of streams and thousands of downloads likely coming from all parts of the country (and the world), it’s possible that in the coming few weeks, the powerful single could climb to new heights, and at least one turn at the top of the charts isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

If, and when, “1-800-273-8255” rises even higher, it will only encourage more English and Spanish artists to seek each other out to work together in a number of different ways. What began as English acts hopping onto Spanish singles has morphed slightly into the reverse, and it won’t be long before two stars collaborate on something entirely new, instead of one contributing vocals to an already-existing hit, hoping to vault it up important rankings. This new era of Spanglish(-ish) singing, melding two languages into one seamless flow on one song, could go on for some time, and hopefully, it will lead to millions of Americans discovering talented musicians and styles of music they may never have come across before.

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