The Beautiful Epiphany Of Johnny Drille’s Count On You

 

It isn’t a far stretch to imagine that every piece of music is an expression of love for something, whether it is money, drugs or abstract things like hate and justice.

Johnny Drille, perhaps Nigeria’s most impressive vocalist recording now, makes music that is an expression of love for love. In Johnny Drille’s world, love is as it is in a rom-com, a rollercoaster of highs and lows, heartbreak and epiphanies, grief and joy, but with a happy ending.

When it doesn’t end happily, it leaves a throbbing ache behind, of regret, of sadness, that is maybe even more beautiful than the former’s joy.

On Wednesday, Drille, who was born John Ighodaro, took to Twitter and announced that he was soon releasing “The greatest love song ever”.

He repeated the phrase in caps. When Count On You dropped on Friday, he tweeted “you can count on me to always deliver good music” and urged his fans to help promote the new single.

By Saturday morning, Count On You had racked over 100,000 views on YouTube.

Read Also: #BamTeddy Tie The Knot In Johnny Drille’s New Music Video

For an artiste who is yet to really break into the mainstream, the numbers seemed to be adding up, slowly.

Count On You is a typical Drille song: the lyrics are poetic, heavy with layered meaning; the rhythm is designed to start slow and pick up into something of a crescendo and climax; and, of course, Drille’s unique voice which caresses the ears like a stick of soft wool.

The song is another point for Drille in the imaginary race to become this country’s musical love connoisseur.

Now, on to the appearance of Bambam and Teddy in Count On You’s video, which, at first, appears to be a stroke of marketing genius. But it is more than that. Drille is also tapping into the strange chemistry of one of the most unexpected public love stories in 2019.

No one gave the duo a chance, after their Big Brother sultry rendezvous. “Nobody thought we’d ever come this far,” Drille crooned.

The BamBam and Teddy romance is a vivacious rejection of Nigeria’s conservative idea on how marital love develops and Drille appears to agree with their story of lasting love. “Baby this is day one of forever,” he sang.

Count On You is a beautiful work of art, if not for its realism, but for its evocation of a world where love triumphs over everything, including societal expectations. It is an ode to the power of trust and vulnerability in a world low on faith.

 

Celine Dion Returns To Canada To Kick Off World Tour

 

After living and crooning for years in Las Vegas, French-Canadian superstar Celine Dion has returned home to Quebec to kick off her first world tour in a decade on Wednesday.

At 51, the Grammy winner also recently announced the release of a new album entitled “Courage,” which will be her 12th in English and is due out on November 15.

The first single “Flying On My Own,” featuring her powerful vocals backed by techno beats, has already received airplay, while three more dropped Wednesday: “Courage,” “Lying Down” and “Imperfections.”

Known for her blockbuster ballads, Dion said in April that she felt motivated to create new music and hit the road after the 2016 death of her husband and manager Rene Angelil.

READ ALSO: ‘The Cars’ Lead Singer, Ric Ocasek Dies At 75

“When I lost Rene, he wanted me back on stage. He wanted to make sure I was still practicing my passion,” she said. “I wanted to prove to him that I’m fine, we’re fine, we’re going to be OK. I’ve got this.”

So, after more than 1,140 concerts for 4.5 million fans over 16 years in Sin City, she bid adieu to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace with a final two-hour show.

“Courage is exactly the way I feel,” she told public broadcaster CBC at the time, talking up the upcoming tour of the same name.

“In the past three years, it has been difficult for me to talk to my children, to raise them, to lose my husband, wondering am I going to sing again… so much has happened, but at the same time I feel that I’m in control of my life.”

Carrying on with ‘Courage’

Some 60 dates in North American have been confirmed so far, her label said, with two arena shows in Quebec City on Wednesday and Saturday kicking off the tour, which will run through April 2020. Dates elsewhere in the world are still being firmed up.

During her Las Vegas residency, the diva went on a few short regional tours, mostly in Europe and Asia, but her last worldwide tour was in 2008-2009.

“Courage” marks the first album and tour in Dion’s long career without Angelil, who steered her success beginning in 1981 when he mortgaged his house to finance the young teen’s debut album.

The pair began a personal relationship in 1988 when she was only 19 years old, and married in a lavish ceremony in 1994. Angelil died of throat cancer at age 73.

In an interview with NBC’s Today show, Dion revealed that she longs for the hugs and laughs that come with a relationship, but added, “I’m not ready to date.”

The youngest of a family of 14 children raised in the suburbs of Montreal, Dion has sold 250 million copies of 23 studio albums in English and French, including collaborations with French singer-songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder.

Back in Canada, she told the Montreal Gazette that the tour schedule was “a little crazy,” but that she had found time in advance to take in life’s small pleasures.

“Even though it’s raining today here, it’s wonderful to see some rain because I live in (dry) Vegas so rain is beautiful,” she commented. “And the trees are just about to change colour. We’ve had two corn-on-the-cob parties with the family.”

At a press junket last Friday, Dion was described as jocular, flamboyant, effervescent, and as always, speaking her mind.

She told Radio-Canada she hoped for “a good show and a great album that will please everyone.”

“There are good wines that age well, and there are good wines that age badly. I hope to be a good bottle of wine. I would like that, age well. I would like that,” she said.

“I’m not a new Celine,” Dion added. “I’m a continuity of myself.”

Rapper Nicki Minaj Announces Retirement

In this file photo taken on May 06, 2019 US rapper Nicki Minaj arrives for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. ANGELA WEISS / AFP

 

Rap queen Nicki Minaj on Thursday shocked fans by announcing her retirement from music, saying she was going to focus on family.

The provocative 36-year-old known for hits like “Super Bass” is engaged to music executive Kenneth Petty, and she recently said a wedding is in the cards in the coming months.

“I’ve decided to retire & have my family,” tweeted the wildly successful rapper raised in the New York borough of Queens.

“I know you guys are happy now,” she continued. “To my fans, keep reppin me, do it til da death of me, X in the box – cuz ain’t nobody checkin me.”

“Love you for LIFE.”

The surprising news fueled pregnancy rumors that had already been swirling since June after she appeared on a late-night television show and opted against drinking.

She went Instagram-official with her partner Petty in December 2018, after rebooting the relationship decades after they were involved as teenagers.

The rekindled romance raised eyebrows considering Petty’s criminal past: he is a registered sex offender in New York and was convicted in 1995 of attempted rape.

Minaj dismissed criticism of her new relationship, saying “He was 15, she was 16 … in a relationship. But go awf Internet. Y’all can’t run my life. Y’all can’t even run y’all own life. Thank you boo.”

– ‘Walking exaggeration’ –
Minaj’s profanity-laced lyrics, skin-baring music videos and unique, animated flow first catapulted her to fame in 2010.

Known for her bold sartorial style that includes neon costumes and wigs, Minaj — whose hits include “Starships,” “Bang Bang” and “Anaconda” — is considered one of rap’s most influential female artists.

The Grammy-nominated artist born in Trinidad and Tobago cites Foxy Brown and Jay-Z as major inspirations, and has crafted a lightning-speed sound distinctive for her use of alter egos and accents, especially British cockney.

She’s “a sparkling rapper with a gift for comic accents and unexpected turns of phrase,” wrote a New York Times critic in 2018. “She’s a walking exaggeration, outsize in sound, personality and look.”

“And she’s a rapid evolver, discarding old modes as easily as adopting new ones.”

Her brash personality and penchant for controversy also made Minaj a tabloid regular, especially for a feud at a Fashion Week 2018 after party that saw rap rival Cardi B throw a shoe and allegedly attempt to fight Minaj.

Cardi B later said Minaj had dissed her aptitude as a mother.

The rap queen’s retirement announcement was a particularly surprising turn of events as Minaj has been quite active in music this summer

Last month, she appeared in rising star Megan Thee Stallion’s song “Hot Girl Summer.”

In June 2019, she released a single entitled “Megatron” and said she had a new studio album in the works, which would be her fifth.

But Minaj is no stranger to spectacle, and some fans wondered on social media whether her retirement announcement was but a marketing strategy ahead of an album drop.

“Nicki minaj is deadass lying watch her drop a whole new album featuring Rihanna,” tweeted one user.

Exclusive: Mr Eazi Reacts To Zaaki Azzay’s Copyright Infringement Claim

Nigerian music star, Mr Eazi, is out to swiftly put an end to the controversy surrounding newly released single “Do You”.

Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie had featured the “Leg Over” singer on the track, which was released in August. But barely two weeks later, both acts have been accused of copyright infringement by veteran Nigerian singer, Zaaki Azzay.

In a social media post, Azzay alleged that his song “Marry Am” was lifted in the track.

“I released the monster hit way back in 1996, and I want to believe that you guys should know the consequences of copyright infringements,” Azzay’s post read in part.

READ ALSO: Zaaki Azzay Accusses Mr Eazi, Sarkodie Of Copyright Infringement

“This is a massive violation of my musical copyright dues and the illegal exploitation of my intellectual property as I haven’t been contacted for permission/approval for the lyrics of my song to be used.”

Zaaki who had been off mainstream music for a while now has yet to make any demands off the two artiste neither has he also stipulated his next line of action.

In an exclusive interview with Channels TV, Mr Eazi was quick to confirm that the new track actually samples Azzay’s “Marry Am”.

He is, however, optimistic that the matter “would be resolved quickly”.

“I actually reached out to him, we were messaging earlier today. I am going to get on a call with him to really get to the bottom of that. I am sure it would be resolved quickly. Zaki is one of my idols growing up you know,” he said.

“There is a sample. Actually, if you listen to the music, you will hear it in the beginning and you will see that there is actually a sample. So, it is an undeniable sample and I am sure he will be given, if he hasn’t already been given, his publishing split on that record.”

DJ Arafat Gets Royal Send-Off With Grand Funeral Concert

People hold a portrait of late Ivorian singer DJ Arafat as others take pictures during his funerals at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on August 30, 2019. SIA KAMBOU / AFP

 

Tens of thousands of fans of Ivorian singer DJ Arafat, star of the hugely popular musical style “coupe-decale” who died this month in a motorbike accident, gave him a spectacular send-off at the country’s main stadium early on Saturday.

The overnight funeral concert at the 35,000-capacity Felix Houphouet-Boigny stadium in Abidjan began Friday evening and ended early Saturday when Arafat’s body was brought for a final farewell.

Placed in the centre of the football pitch, it drew wild applause. Then the mood turned sombre with fans bursting into tears.

“The ceremony was really moving,” said Raymonde Nguessan. “We have lost a great man.”

Another fan, Samuel Kablan, was in tears as he declared: “Arafat was my life, my source of inspiration.”

 

 

Throughout the night, A-list African stars such as Davido, Sidiki Diabate, Fally Ipupa and Serge Beynaud sang for the music sensation, who died aged 33 on August 12 after a motorbike crash in Ivory Coast’s main city Abidjan.

Before the ceremony, Ivorian Culture Minister Maurice Bandaman conferred on him the national order of cultural merit for “his immense contribution to the artistic radiance” of Ivory Coast.

DJ Arafat, whose given name was Ange Didier Houon, was one of the most popular African musicians in the Francophone world, and had been referred to as the “king” of coupe-decale (cut and run), an Ivorian form of dance music.

News of his death led to scenes of hysteria among some of his fans and Twitter tributes from fellow artists. President Alassane Ouattara called him “a youth icon and ambassador of Ivorian music and culture”.

Coupe-decale originated in the bars of the lively Rue Princesse in the working-class Yopougon district of Abidjan and clubs and spread across West Africa.

 

‘Curious about everything’

DJ Arafat was due to be buried in the Williamsville cemetery in the working-class Adjame district.

His five children were present at the concert. There was tight security at the venue with some 6,500 security forces deployed across the stadium overlooking Abidjan’s picturesque lagoon.

 

State radio and television broadcast the event live and giant screens installed in Yopougon and other working-class areas, as well as the upmarket Cocody-Angre district where DJ Arafat lived.

With a professional recording engineer for a father and a singer for a mother, the young DJ Arafat was well placed to discover musical techniques on the job.

“He toured the studios to learn, he was curious about everything,” said Franck Alcide Kacou, label and publishing manager of Universal Music Africa, a subsidiary of the multinational Vivendi, which produced DJ Arafat’s work from 2013.

Working as a disc jockey on Rue Princesse, DJ Arafat made his breakthrough with “Jonathan” in 2003, which he followed with a string of other hits.

‘Divisive personality’

He “revolutionised coupe-decale by mixing sounds and rhythms. For instance, he was inspired by African traditional music, but also by Nigerian Afrobeat, by rap and by Brazilian funk,” Kacou said.

“He was also an exceptional dancer and he linked the music he made to new dance forms.”

Such broad interests were reflected on DJ Arafat’s last album “Renaissance”, released in December 2018 and featuring Maitre Gims, Dadju, Davido and Fally Ipupa.

The Ivorian star could also be prone to controversy.

 

“He had a divisive personality. He was very sensitive, which explains his ‘unfiltered’ reactions and clashes with other artists, which formed part of his musical career,” Kacou said.

“But this was also a matter of marketing. Arafat was a genius for communication, he used social media very well.”

Twice winner of the best artist of the year in the Coupe-Decale Awards of 2016 and 2017, Arafat already had recognition across the continent in 2012, when he was named “Best African Artist” in the pan-African Kora Music Awards.

AFP

R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Trafficking Charges In New York

In this file photo taken on June 6, 2019 Singer R. Kelly arrives for a court hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP

 

R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty on Friday in a New York court to federal charges including racketeering that allege he systematically recruited girls for sex while touring.

The disgraced superstar — who for decades has faced sexual abuse accusations — was brought to the Brooklyn courthouse from Chicago, where he was being held without bond on separate federal charges linked to child pornography.

“Yes sir,” was all Kelly, dressed in blue prison scrubs, said during the arraignment, when asked by the judge whether he understood the charges against him.

His two girlfriends and some family members were in court, along with around a dozen fans.

One wore a t-shirt that had “Free R Kelly” written on the front and “Unmute R Kelly” on the back. A couple had also made crowns with his image on it and the words “Justice 4 R Kelly”

The New York indictment unsealed last month says Kelly, 52, would regularly issue wristbands to girls via his associates that granted them backstage access and face time with the musician known for hits like “I Believe I Can Fly.”

Kelly would tell members of his entourage to obtain contact information from girls he wished to see again, the charges read, some of whom were invited to later concerts and provided with lodging.

Girls were to call Kelly “Daddy” and stay inside their rooms without permission from the singer to leave, even to eat or use the restroom, according to court documents.

The New York case involves five unidentified women, three of whom were minors at the time of the alleged crimes, which include coercing sexual activity.

He is also accused of kidnapping one of the victims, and exposing another to a venereal disease without her knowledge.

Kelly, whose given name is Robert Kelly, additionally faces charges of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting people across state lines for purposes of prostitution.

‘Extreme danger’

Following the arraignment in New York, Kelly is expected to be taken back to Chicago, where he is being held on suspicion of having sex with five underage girls, recording some of it, and then attempting to hide the evidence.

Kelly must attend a status hearing in the Midwestern city on September 4, having pleaded not guilty to that 13-count indictment.

Last month, he was denied bond after prosecutors described him as “an extreme danger to the community, especially to minor girls,” arguing that neither house arrest nor electronic monitoring would suffice.

Prior to his arrest in July over the federal indictment, Kelly had been out on bond in connection with state felony charges of aggravated sexual assault in Chicago’s Cook County criminal court.

Kelly has a decades-long history of abuse allegations, especially of underage girls.

In 1994, he wed his protegee Aaliyah, the late R&B star who was 15 at the time.

After a dramatic trial, Kelly was acquitted in 2008 of child pornography charges, also in Chicago.

Despite the slew of disturbing claims against him, the award-winning musician continued to perform for years and maintained a solid fan base.

But he began facing renewed scrutiny earlier this year upon the release of the docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly,” which nabbed an Emmy nomination for outstanding informational series or special.

AFP

R Kelly Arrested On Child Pornography Charges

In this file photo taken on June 6, 2019 Singer R. Kelly arrives for a court hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago. KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI / AFP

 

R. Kelly has been arrested on child pornography and other charges, the New York Times reported, in the latest criminal investigation into the R&B superstar dogged by allegations of sexual misconduct.

The 52-year-old, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, was taken into custody by federal agents in Chicago late Thursday, the newspaper said.

Federal prosecutors have issued a 13-count indictment against the singer, which also includes enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice charges, assistant US attorney Joseph Fitzpatrick told the Times.

Kelly has a decades-long history of abuse allegations, especially of underage girls, and was acquitted in a child porn trial over a decade ago.

READ ALSO: Rapper Jay-Z Joins Cannabis Business

In 1994 he wed his protege Aaliyah, the late R&B star who was 15 at the time.

Kelly, then 27, had produced the teenage singer’s debut album titled “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.” Their marriage was later annulled, and Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001.

Despite unsettling claims against him, the decorated musician — known for hits including “I Believe I Can Fly” — has continued to perform and maintain a solid fan base.

But his fortunes began to shift after the January release of a six-part documentary called “Surviving R. Kelly.”

The documentary, which alleged that Kelly engaged in sexual, mental and physical abuse of girls and women, prompted Chicago prosecutors to publicly seek out potential victims.

Prior to Thursday’s arrest, Kelly was on bail for a slate of charges in Chicago, including five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault.

He spent three nights behind bars and was released after coming up with $100,000, 10 percent of the $1 million bail set in court.

The sex acts are alleged to have occurred between May 1998 and January 2010, according to prosecutors.

If convicted of the most serious charges in that case, Kelly would face mandatory sentences of six to 30 years in prison on each count.

In a March interview, Kelly vehemently denied the charges and said he was “fighting” for his life.

“I didn’t do this stuff,” he told CBS News.

“Whether they’re old rumors, new rumors, future rumors, not true,” added Kelly, who became upset and emotional during the interview.

He denied a report by BuzzFeed in 2017 that said he had kept women as virtual sex slaves at homes he owns in Chicago and Atlanta.

Kelly was also briefly detained in March for failing to pay $161,000 in child support payments he owed to his ex-wife and their three children.

AFP

The Sad End Of Joao Gilberto, The Voice Of Bossa Nova

In this file photo taken on August 14, 2008, Brazilian singer and composer Joao Gilberto, then 77, one of the trio of Brazilian artists who brought Bossa Nova to the world in 1958, performs during a concert in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Marco HERMES / AFP

 

As if to say goodbye, Joao Gilberto emerged from seclusion a few days before his death and had dinner at a restaurant on Rio’s Copacabana beach.

The musician who gave the world the bossa nova and is remembered for his haunting version of “The Girl from Ipanema” died Saturday at age 88 after a life of international stardom but also mounting family, financial and health difficulties.

On Tuesday, he made a final public appearance at a restaurant in Leme, at one end of the Copacabana beach, with his partner Maria do Ceu Harris and his lawyer, Gustavo Carvalho Miranda, who posted photos of the event.

He had shellfish, his favourite dish, and drank Portuguese wine.

On his way home, he reminisced about glorious dinners past, in New York after performing at Carnegie Hall, in Italy and in Rio after another show, his lawyer told O Globo.

The memories were likely a pleasant escape from the pressures of recent years, aggravated by the death in December of his ex-wife Miucha, another name associated with the explosion of Brazilian music in the late 1950s.

According to press reports, Gilberto and Miucha had remained close over the years.

Sadness

For the artist — financially ruined, sick and living in a borrowed house in Rio — his end, like many of the songs he made famous, was suffused in sadness.

His last years were marked by a bitter fight that pitted his two eldest children — the musicians Joao Marcelo and Bebel Gilberto — against Gilberto’s last ex-wife, Claudia Faissol, a journalist and mother of his adolescent daughter.

Bebel — the daughter of Miucha and Joao Gilberto — and Joao Marcelo accused Faissol of taking advantage of their father.

Joao Gilberto was declared incompetent by a Brazilian court in 2017 at the request of Bebel, who said her father was in no condition to care for his health or finances because of physical and mental frailty.

Ruy Castro, author of a book about bossa nova called “Chega de Saudade,” after an early Gilberto song, said the musician was obsessed with control.

“In front of the microphone, he achieved it. Offstage, it was the opposite: he never had control over his life. He tended to delegate to others… but life writes its own verses and, at times, it’s out of tune,” Castro wrote in the daily Folha de Sao Paulo.

Eccentric genius

Despite his genius, or perhaps because of it, Gilberto was never an easy person.

He was almost as well known for his perfectionism and eccentricities — he would shut himself in for long spells, opening his door mainly to receive meal deliveries from restaurants — as for his beloved interpretations of “Desafinado,” “Corcovado” or “Chega de Saudade,” often sung as duets with his first wife, Astrud Gilberto.

“Gilberto is like Michael Jackson or Prince, an artist of rare genius, although his peculiarities intensified to culminate in today’s terrible situation,” the music critic Bernardo Araujo told AFP last year.

The fall

To some, Gilberto’s decline dates to 2011, the year Faissol convinced him to do a concert tour to celebrate his 80th year.

Gilberto ended up cancelling the tour, citing health problems, but then had to repay some $600,000 he had received in advance.

Two years later, in the midst of a prolonged battle with his first recording company, and with no new release since 1989 or public concert since 2008, he sold 60 percent of his rights to his first four records.

One of the last times Brazilians saw him perform was in a 2015 home video, when the singer was recorded in his pajamas playing “The Girl from Ipanema” on the guitar to his daughter.

AFP

Stevie Wonder To Have A Kidney Transplant

Stevie Wonder will be undergoing kidney surgery in September.  ANGELA WEISS / AFP

 

Legendary musician Stevie Wonder has announced that he will be taking a break from music to have a kidney transplant.

The multiple-Grammy award winning artist informed fans about his health challenges during his performance at British Summer Time Hyde Park.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Nollywood Reels In Foreign Investors

“What is going to happen is this; I am going to have surgery. I am going to have a kidney transplant in September of this year,” he told fans.

The fans, who fell silent upon hearing the news, quickly started cheering the 69-year-old and cheered even louder when he announced that he had already found a donor.

He added, “I want you to know I came here to give you my love and to thank you for your love. You ain’t gotta hear no rumours about nothing, I told you what’s up. I’m good. All right?”

Wonder is one of the most successful artists of all time. Since he broke onto the music scene in the 60s, he has sold more than 100 million records and won 25 Grammys.

Asa Thrills Fans With New Single After Five-Year Hiatus

 

After a five-year hiatus, Nigerian singer and songwriter, Asa, has released a new single.

She released the song titled ‘The Beginning’ on Tuesday, to the delight of fans who had long anticipated her comeback, while hinting that the song is an opening track off an upcoming album.

 

The Beginning announces the start of a new musical chapter for Asa and with soft harmonies, the strength of emotions filter through her voice.

 

Prior to her break, her last album titled Bed of Stone was released in 2014 with hit tracks such as Dead Again and Eyo.

Other albums by her include Beautiful Imperfection and Asa which offer a rich blend of pop, jazz and soul.

Born to parents who at the time, were working and studying cinematography in France, Asa over the years, drew inspiration from the collection of great music her father had built up for his work as a cinematographer.

The records featuring American, Nigerian and African soul classics, included musical greats such as Fela Kuti, King Sunny Adé, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Miriam Makeba, King Diana Ross and Nina Simone.

Spotify Lodges EU Complaint Against Apple Over Unfair Music Competition

 

Swedish music streaming giant Spotify said Wednesday it had filed a complaint with the EU Commission against Apple, accusing its US rival of stifling competition in the online music market.

“In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience — essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers,” Spotify said in a statement.

Hit Song ‘Despacito’ Breaks Youtube Record With Six Billion Views

 

The mega-hit “Despacito” by the Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi has become the most watched video ever on YouTube with more than six billion views, the Google-owned service said Tuesday.

The video, first released in January 2017 by Fonsi and Puerto Rican rapper Daddy Yankee, already holds the record for the fastest two billion, three billion and four billion views (272 days).

Fonsi’s Spanish-language hit, whose English title is “Slowly”, has had nearly two billion views more than its nearest challenger, “Shape of You”, by the British singer Ed Sheeran.

The South Korean singer Psy was the first to cross the two-billion-views barrier on the platform with his “Gangnam Style” in 2012, which also set off a dance craze.

Psy is now fifth in the YouTube charts with 3.3 billion views.