Luis Fonsi is once again ruling the airwaves.
The 40-year-old singer became a household name in the U.S. last year with his hit single, "Despacito," featuring Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee. But, his latest single, "Échame la Culpa," featuring Demi Lovato is equally infectious and proves Fonsi continues to have dominance over the music charts.
"Échame la Culpa," which premiered in November and was co-written by Fonsi, is nominated this year for an MTV Video Music Award in the newly implemented Best Latin category. Fonsi spoke with ET ahead of the awards show and revealed how his collaboration with Lovato came to be and what it means to share the success of the song with the 26-year-old singer.
“I think it’s fantastic. I’m really happy that, you know, they added this new category, and they gave a little space for Latin music,” Fonsi told ET. “Latin music has grown so much and it’s such a part of just global music in general. We’ve seen how general market artists are collaborating so much with Latino artists and vice-versa and, little by little, languages and cultures are mixing and, you know, that’s what music is really all about.”
“You know, music is a mixture of all kinds of different influences,” he continued. “I think it’s just so great that they implemented this new category and I’m really proud to be nominated.”
In March, Fonsi and Lovato performed the song for the first time during the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer’s Tell Me You Love Me World Tour in Miami, Florida.
“It was really special for her to bring that Latin flair to her concert,” Fonsi said ecstatically. “You know, to share it all throughout the world and to her fans was really cool. She had so much fun performing it, so I hope, down the road, we’re able to perform it once again.”
"'Échame la Culpa' was the next release after 'Despacito,' which is obviously not an easy thing to do. And, I wasn’t really, I didn’t really feel pressure but it was the obvious question I would get every day, you know, what are you going to do now after such a big hit?” Fonsi shared. “So, I figured I would do something a little bit different and I worked with the most amazing vocalist I’d ever work with, Demi.”
“We did this bilingual, kinda fun, uptempo, very Latin-influenced song, and the song became, you know, a big hit, still to this day it’s number one in many Latin and European countries, so people embraced it amazingly well and everybody loves Demi,” he continued. “It doesn’t matter where they’re from, they love Demi, so it was really special to be able to work with her.”
The song also marks the first time Lovato sang in Spanish.
“When I reached out to her, she was my first choice, I wanted this powerful female voice,” Fonsi explained. “I’m a big fan of her music. And, when I reached out to her I spoke directly with her, we did a Facetime call and she was like, ‘Hey, look I’m going to do this [song] but I’m singing in Spanish.’ That was her only request.”
“She’s like, I better sing in Spanish and I was like, ‘Oh, hell yeah, you’re singing in Spanish,'” he continued. “She was really excited, we recorded her vocals in New York. She came in extremely prepared to the studio, there wasn’t a lot of coaching as far as her accent or her pronunciation. You can tell that she brought it, you know. It was fun, for her fans, for everyone, in general, to be able to hear her do that in Spanish, it’s huge.”
Last month, Lovato was hospitalized after an apparent drug overdose. ET has learned that the 26-year-old singer is in Chicago working with a specialist who focuses on mental health and sobriety. She is expected to return to rehab once she's done seeing this specialist.
Fonsi says he hasn’t been able to speak with Lovato directly following the health scare, but that he has “been in contact with her team from day one.”
“I consider her my friend and she’s somebody I care a lot for,” he said. “I was concerned, but I’m glad she has her priorities clear and she knows what she needs to do. As I said in my Instagram post, she’s a strong soul and I know she’ll get through it, through the sickness and we’re only here to support her.”
“The world is behind her and we all want her to get better and we’re all sending her nothing but positive vibes,” he continued. “I have faith that she’s going to come back stronger than ever and she’s going to be an example for many people who have gone through this.”
The 2018 MTV Video Music Awards airs Monday, Aug. 21, at 5 p.m. PST on MTV. For more on Fonsi, watch the video below.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
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