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Will Smith is making a return to music, recording the official 2018 World Cup anthem with Colombia-based reggaeton star Nicky Jam, and Kosovar pop singer Era Istrefi. According to reports in Billboard and other publications, the track is to be released on 25 May, and is being produced by Diplo, the US producer behind hits with his group Major Lazer including Lean On and Cold Water.
Will appeared to confirm his involvement by posting a picture on Instagram with the caption: One Life to Live. Live it Up. #WorldCup. He tagged Diplo, Nicky Jam and Kosovar Albanian singer Era Istrefi in the post.
Alongside his burgeoning acting career in the late 1980s and 90s, Smith was a successful pop-rapper, first with DJ Jazzy Jeff and then as a solo artist. He had nine UK Top Five hits in all, including No 1s with Boom! Shake the Room and Men in Black.
He hasn’t released an album since 2005’s Lost and Found, and a new track with Jazzy Jeff in 2017, Get Lit, was a flop. More recently he starred in Hollywood blockbusters like Men In Black, Suicide Squad, Hitch and The Pursuit of Happyness.
“Will appeared to confirm his involvement by postinga picture on Instagram with the caption: One Life to Live. Live it Up. #WorldCup”Will Smith
Nicky Jam, meanwhile, is one of Latin America’s biggest stars– his most recent single, X, has been streamed almost 800m times on YouTube, while previous hits like El Amante and El Perdón have over a billion each. Istrefi is a rising star whose track BonBon was a dance hit across Europe in 2016, and who has worked with rapper French Montana.
Although there are multiple songs associated with the World Cup, the official anthem is usually the most high-profile and is performed at the finale of the World Cup, which will be watched by an estimated 2 billion people. Past anthems include Shakira’s “Waka Waka” and Ricky Martin’s “The Cup of Life”.