Luis Fonsi Defends Justin Bieber for Not Knowing the Lyrics to "Despacito"

Bieber appeared to forget the lyrics to their collaboration at a nightclub performance and also denied a fan's request to perform the song at another show, saying he doesn't "even know it"

By Corinne Heller Jun 16, 2017 3:27 PMTags
 Justin Bieber, Luis FonsiGetty Images

Luis Fonsi says he does not blame Justin Bieber for not knowing the lyrics to their collaboration of "Despacito."

In April, the Puerto Rican singer released a remix of his and rapper Daddy Yankee's hit single, which features Bieber singing in Spanish for the first time. In May, the Canadian pop star appeared to forget the lyrics while performing the song at the 1 Oak nightclub in New York City. He improvised; Instead of singing, "Nos vamos pegando, poquito a poquito," he sang, "Nos vamos pegando, I quit smoking ciggies." 

This past weekend, Bieber denied a fan's request to perform "Despacito" at the Summerburst Festival in Stockholm, saying, "I can't do 'Despacito. I don't even know it." Another fan pelted a water bottle at him in response.

"I mean, obviously I would love for him to...learn it," Fonsi told ABC News Radio. "I don't blame him not knowing [the lyrics], and I think we have to give him a little bit of a pass because that's not his main language." 

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"We can't expect the guy to just out of the blue get it perfectly," he added. "I mean, it's obvious when he was recording the song he had the lyrics in front of him."

Fonsi said Bieber was the one who chose to record the chorus in Spanish "because he wanted to keep the originality of the song."

"So I actually applaud the fact that he took the time in the recording studio to do it, and he did a great job," he said.