On Thursday evening, Beyonce shared a 20 second video on Instagram announcing she had joined a remix of J Balvin and Willy William's hit "Mi Gente" and would donate all her proceeds to disaster relief charities for Puerto Rico, Mexico and the other recently affected Caribbean islands.
Following in the footsteps of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's record-breaking success with the Justin Bieber-featuring "Despacito" remix, Beyonce's good news with a good cause marked a big moment for Latin music in the mainstream. With Queen Bey singing in both Spanish and English on the track, it and its star-studded music video racked up millions of streams in its first 24 hours, topping iTunes' sales charts in 30 countries and YouTube's trend ranking, and looks prime to hit the Hot 100 top 10.
Here's how the collaboration came to be:
A remake of an original song by French DJ Willy Williams, "Mi Gente" had the makings of a global hit when it was first released in April and immediately sparked talk of a general market remix. "But we wanted it to live for a while and get as big as it could on a global scale in Spanish," says Rebeca Leon, who co-manages Balvin with Balvin's label, Universal Music Latin Entertainment (UMLE).
The "lofty goal," says UMLE president Victor Gonzalez, "was to make it No. 1 on Spotify at a global level."