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This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
FIFA and Sony Music today named “We Are One” by Pitbull featuring Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte the official anthem for the 2014 tournament, which kicks off June 12 in Sao Paulo. The song will be performed at the Opening Ceremony at the Arena de Sao Paulo.?
Pitbull revealed the collaboration in a tweet sent Wednesday evening:
“One song brings the world together #WeAreOne@JLo@ClaudiaLeitte @FIFAcom #WorldCup” the bilingual superstar wrote, and posted a photo of himself with Leitte, currently a judge on The Voice Brasil.
— Pitbull (@pitbull) January 23, 2014
“We Are One (Ole Ola)” will debut ahead of the World Cup, and will be included on the upcoming Official 2014 FIFA World Cup Album which will be released by Sony. A video is currently being filmed for the song.
FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke noted in a statement the significance of Leitte. “In my many visits to this country, I’ve seen and heard a lot about the great Brazilian music tradition, and it gives me great pleasure to see a Brazilian artist at the heart of this song. I’m sure, like me, millions of football and music fans all over the world will be eagerly awaiting the song’s release.”
Lopez spoke about her soccer background. “I grew up in a house that loved futbol,” she said, “so I am thrilled to be performing at the World Cup Opening Ceremonies with Pitbull and Claudia Leitte.”
Pitbull’s single “Timber” featuring Ke$ha is currently in its third consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where the Miami rapper holds a career total of nine top 10s and two No. 1s.
He and Lopez have recorded three previous collaborations, most recently “Live It Up,” a single from JLo’s upcoming album. 2011’s “On The Floor” spent three weeks in the top ten.
Pitbull has sold 2,827,000 albums to date in the U.S., according to SoundScan. Like JLo, he is reportedly preparing a new album for release this year.
The last FIFA World Cup song, 2010’s “Waka Waka” by Shakira with South African group Freshly Ground, has sold 1,7400,000 digital downloads to date. This week it is No. 2 on the Latin Digital Songs chart, where it spent 42 weeks at No. 1. The video has been viewed almost 600 million times on YouTube.
That song did not instantly catch on. Its lyrics were criticized when the song was released in April 2010, and the title was mocked. Controversy stemmed from an earlier Cameroonian song recorded by a band that was not credited (reportedly Sony later paid them for the rights). Dominican singer and songwriter Wifredo Vargas sued Shakira, accusing her of stealing from his merengue song “El Negro no Puede,” performed by Las Chicas del Can.
“We Are One” could be the third World Cup hit by Latin stars. In addition to Shakira’s smash, Ricky Martin’s “The Cup of Life” (La Copa de la Vida) for the 1998 World cup in France took the bilingual singer to international stardom when the song went to No. 1 in seven countries. Martin’s performance of the song on the Grammy Awards kickstarted the so-called Latin pop explosion, essentially paving the way into the mainstream for bilingual Latin artists.
Martin will also record a song for the 2014 FIFA World Cup album, chosen via a Sony-sponsored Supersong contest. The contest allowed aspiring songwriters in countries around the world to upload a recording of their own World Cup song. Submissions are now closed, and finalists are to be announced soon on the Supersong site.
Coca-Cola kicked off World Cup fever last September with its official 2014 song, “The World Is Ours,” sung in English by former X-Factor contestant David Correy. Several other versions in Spanish and Portuguese have since been released, featuring Gaby Amarantos, Carlos Vives and Wisin of the reggaeton duo Wisin y Yandel, with more expected in the coming months. Coca-Cola, which has been an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup since 1978, scored big in 2010 with their campaign theme “Wavin’ Flag,” which made the Somalia-born MC and singer/songwriter K’NAAN’s name known around the world. “Wavin’ Flag” went to No. 1 in 18 countries and sold 918,000 downloads in the U.S., according to SoundScan.
FIFA sponsor Adidas and Brazilian national team outfitter Nike are among other brands that have so far unveiled World Cup campaigns.
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