New York (AFP) – Beyonce has returned to music to raise money for hurricane relief, delivering verses in Spanish in a remix of Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin’s hit “Mi Gente.”
The collaboration marks the first new music by the pop superstar since she gave birth in June to twins — whom she references in the song.
Beyonce, releasing the song late Thursday, announced on Instagram that all her proceeds would go to victims of Maria and other hurricanes that have ravaged Puerto Rico, other Caribbean islands and Mexico.
The Houston native earlier said separately that she planned a relief drive for her hometown in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The new version of “Mi Gente” carries the same reggaeton beat as the original song — which itself is a remix of the African rhythm-driven track “Voodoo Song” by French DJ Willy William.
“Mi Gente,” which means “My People,” shot to number one in much of the Spanish-speaking world after its release in June.
In the remix, Beyonce — rapping more than singing — contributes fresh Spanish-language verses such as: “La fiesta la llevo en mis genes / Yo soy la reina de los nenes,” meaning, “I’ve got the party in my genes / I’m the queen of the kids.”
The remix also goes into English and briefly French. Beyonce in her English verses makes a reference to her newborn twins and also issues a plea for charity: “Lift up your people / From Texas, Puerto Rico / Dem islands to Mexico.”
Beyonce’s husband, rap mogul Jay-Z, a day earlier announced a hurricane relief concert in New York on October 17 as part of his Tidal streaming service.
Jay-Z is among 30 artists on the line-up including Jennifer Lopez, a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent who has already donated $1 million.
Puerto Rico has been hit especially hard in the series of hurricanes that have struck in quick succession.
The remix of “Mi Gente,” from a commercial perspective at least, follows the model of mega-hit “Despacito” which was already popular in Spanish earlier this year when a remix came out starring Justin Bieber.
An earlier remix of “Mi Gente” already came out that featured the Cuban American rapper Pitbull.
Beyonce is no stranger to Latin culture and sang in Spanish on parts of an eight-track EP, “Irreemplazable,” that came out in 2007.