Luis Fonsi and the Alzheimer’s Association are joining forces to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and its significant impact on the Latino community. For the multi-platinum-selling global artist, the disease is close to home; therefore, using his platform to help Music Moments expand its reach to a bilingual audience was a no-brainer.
The Puerto Rican star is now the first Latin artist featured in the digital storytelling series, recording a powerful rendition of his song “Girasoles” in Spanish and English.
“I’m excited to be the first Latin artist to join the Alzheimer’s Association Music Moments campaign. ‘Girasoles’ is a special song for me because it talks about love, coming together, and being there for someone, no matter what,” said Fonsi.
“I hope the song will resonate not only for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but also for their loved ones and caregivers who also need that love,” the singer/songwriter added.
An estimated 6.5 million Americans over age 65 live with Alzheimer’s dementia, one of them being Luis Fonsi’s abuelita. “We should talk about it, and we should take time and read about it and learn. I did not know that us Latinos were more affected,” Fonsi told People, referring to the data in the 2022 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report.
The Alzheimer’s Association statistics revealed that Hispanic people are about one and one-half times more likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementias. The data also shows that missed or delayed diagnoses are higher among Hispanic older adults.
“All of a sudden, you start talking to people, to friends, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, my aunt. Yeah, my grandfather.’ And then you’re like, ‘Wait a minute.’ We all need to talk about this. We all need to figure out a way to educate ourselves, to help, to see how we can fund more investigation to see if somehow we could figure out a way to end this,” he told the publication. “And instead of just living with it, be proactive about it. Let’s do it through music.”
According to Fonsi, his grandmother no longer recognizes him, but he keeps close to his heart their “beautiful” relationship. “I don’t want to say I was her favorite, but I was. It’s one of those things that I grew up with her; I’m the oldest in my family. My parents were working a lot when we were living in Puerto Rico, so I just have always stayed with her,” he says. “She was the singer of the family, and my grandfather, who just passed, was the trumpet player. It was one of those households that as soon as you came in, you just always heard music.”
Music is very much part of her, and she refuses to let it go. “And she still remembers all her favorite songs. All she does is sing. She doesn’t remember much. However, there’s just one file, this one hard disc in her head that she will not forget any of her favorite songs. And I just think that’s so beautiful,” he revealed.
For the past 23 years, Fonsi has taken the world by storm with several No. 1 song, including his record-breaking global hit “Despacito,” which earned seven Guinness World Records and is still one of the most-viewed videos in YouTube’s history. As one of the leading Latin music artists of his generation, Fonsi uses his voice for good and has received recognition for his philanthropic and humanitarian work.
“Music Moments highlights the emotional connection between music and the moments in life that we never want to lose. For families facing Alzheimer’s and other dementia, these moments are all the more precious,” said Joanne Pike, president of the Alzheimer’s Association. “Our partnership with Luis Fonsi helps connect the cause through music to his millions of fans and spark personal conversations with a community that is oftentimes disproportionately represented.”