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"Hero" is a song by Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias from his second English-language studio album Escape (2001). It was written by Iglesias, Paul Barry and Mark Taylor. Iglesias released the song to radio on August 14, 2001 to a positive critical and commercial reception. To the date the single has sold over 8 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best selling singles of all time.

Enrique - Hero.jpg
Single by Enrique Iglesias
from the album Escape
ReleasedAugust 14, 2001 (2001-08-14)
RecordedFebruary–May 2001
  • 4:24 (album version)
  • 4:11 (radio edit)
Producer(s)Mark Taylor
Enrique Iglesias singles chronology
"Sad Eyes"
Music video
"Hero" on YouTube

After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, which took place eight days after the song's release on CD, it was one of the few songs chosen by radio DJs in New York City to be remixed with audio from police, firefighters, civilians at Ground Zero, and politicians commenting on the attacks. Iglesias was asked to sing the song live at America: A Tribute to Heroes. He had performed the song earlier at that year's Miss Venezuela, but due to the terrorist attacks the show was not aired on television.

The American television series Glee featured a version of the song as a mashup mixed with the Gipsy Kings' "Bamboléo". The release from the twelfth episode (called "The Spanish Teacher") in season 3 of the show is named "Bambolero/Hero". The main vocals were done by Chord Overstreet (playing the character Sam Evans). An Italian version of this song was covered by Micheal Castaldo, in his studio album Bergamot.



"Hero" has a meaning of love and assurance with a desire to be a hero for the love of a woman.[1] Iglesias stated that his high school days were the inspiration for the song. During a 2013 radio interview with Ryan Seacrest, he stated, "I went back to when I was 17 in high school, and this might be cheesy, but I thought about what would be the song I want to slow dance to with my prom date. When I wrote it, it felt good and ... I thought I know there is something special in this song."[2]

"Hero" was first released on 3 September 2001, just eight days prior to the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.[1] Due to the song's subject matter, it was one of the few songs chosen by radio DJs in New York City to be remixed with audio from police, firefighters, civilians at Ground Zero, and politicians commenting on the attacks. Iglesias was also asked to sing the song live at the America: A Tribute to Heroes, which took place on September 21. His performance was broadcast from a warehouse in New York alongside Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Sheryl Crow.[3] The location of the warehouse was kept secret in case of further attacks. It was Iglesias's first televised performance of the song. He had performed the song earlier at that year's Miss Venezuela, but due to the terrorist attacks the show was not aired on television.[3]

Chart performanceEdit

"Hero" topped many charts in the US including the Billboard adult contemporary chart for fifteen weeks.[4] On the latter, the song would re-enter the top ten a year later, the first song ever to do so. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart,[4] though it is actually his most played song on the chart, outdoing prior singles "Bailamos" and "Be with You", both of which went to number one on the chart. A remixed recording also topped the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in January 2002.

In January 2002, the song was released in the UK, where it debuted at number 86 before jumping 85 places to number one, where it remained for four weeks. Up to this point, Iglesias had already had two hits in the UK ("Bailamos" and "Could I Have This Kiss Forever") but was largely unknown. "Hero" was seen as his breakthrough in the UK and it became the third best-selling single of 2002 there, whilst Escape was also the third best-selling album of the year. With sales of 836,500, "Hero" was the 17th best-selling single of the 2000s in the UK. In April 2015, it was announced that the song had sold 1 million copies in the UK.[5]

In Australia, the song reached number one on the ARIA Chart, becoming his first number-one in that country. The song also topped the charts in Spain, Switzerland, the Philippines, Romania, Ireland and Canada. This is one of Iglesias' best-selling singles and has sold 8 million copies.[6]

Music videosEdit

The music video for "Hero" was directed by Joseph Kahn. It features Iglesias as an honorable criminal hunted by his enemies, whilst Jennifer Love Hewitt plays his love interest[7] and Mickey Rourke plays one of the men hunting him.[8] The video follows Iglesias and Hewitt running from their enemies in the desert. Finally, Iglesias' enemies track him down and confront him outside a church. The confrontation leads to Iglesias being floored by Rourke, before being struck with a baton. The video skips ahead where Iglesias and Hewitt are seen in the rain surrounded by police cars. Iglesias, though heavily injured, walks towards Hewitt and breaks down beside her. The video ends with Iglesias' death.

In addition to this video, a second video was made for the UK with less violence. The final shot of this video shows Iglesias' legs moving, suggesting that he's not dead. While originally made for the UK, this version has since replaced the original video on many music video stations throughout the world. It is also the version shown on Vevo and YouTube.

Portions of the video were filmed in the ghost town Amboy, California in the Mojave Desert and just outside Desert Hot Springs, California near Palm Springs. The historic gas station location that they filmed at, outside of Desert Hot Springs, was one of the first gas stations in the Palm Springs area. As of September 2018, the video has been viewed over 300 million times on YouTube.

Track listingEdit


  1. "Hero" (Album Version) – 4:24
  2. "Hero" (Metro Mix – English Version) – 3:28
  3. "Bailamos" (Album Version) – 3:37
  4. "Hero" (Video) – 4:24

UK CD2 – The Remixes

  1. "Hero" (Metro Mix – English Version) – 4:19
  2. "Hero" (Ventura & Colombo Remix) – 3:43
  3. "Hero" (Metro Mix – Spanish Version) – 4:19
  4. "Hero" (Thunderpuss Radio Edit) – 3:18

DE CD single

  1. "Hero" (Radio Edit) – 4:11
  2. "Be With You" (Thunderpuss Radio Mix) – 3:56
  3. "Hero" (Metro Mix – Spanish Version) – 4:19

Japanese CD single

  1. "Hero" (Radio Edit) – 4:11
  2. "Be With You" (Thunderpuss 2000 Remix) – 7:46
  3. "Hero" (Metro Mix – Spanish Version) – 3:28

Japanese "Hero/Escape" maxi single[9]

  1. "Hero" (Album Version) – 4:27
  2. "Escape" (Album Version) – 3:30
  3. "Hero" (Instrumental Version) – 4:23

Television and film soundtracksEdit

"Hero" has become wildly popular due in part to the fact that it has been featured in many television shows and movies around the world. The earliest appearance of the song on an American television show was on a 2001 episode of The WB show Smallville entitled "Craving". Since then the song has been featured in such American sitcoms and reality television shows as Scrubs, Saturday Night Live: The Best of Jimmy Fallon, Glee, The X Factor, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with the Stars and the mini-series I Love the New Millennium The song has also been featured in such international television shows as Hinter Gittern – Der Frauenknast and So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Numerous films also feature the song, including Hot Tub Time Machine, Premios Amigo 2001, Zoom, Lady Godiva, Drillbit Taylor, Don Quixote, and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

Although the song has appeared in many television shows and movies the first televised performance of the song was scheduled to be Iglesias's performance of the song at Miss Venezuela on September 11, 2001, but this performance was not televised due to the terrorist attacks on that day. The actual first televised performance of the song was when Iglesias performed the song at the America: A Tribute to Heroes concert on September 21, ten days after the attacks.[10]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Ceremony Award Result
2002 My VH1 Music Awards Best Actor in a Video (Jennifer Love Hewitt) Nominated
Is It Hot In Here, Or Is It Just My Video Nominated
The Record of the Year Award Record of the Year Nominated
Billboard Latin Music Awards Latin Dance Club/Play Track of the Year Won
Canadian Fannie Awards Favourite Video Nominated
Comet Awards Best Male Video Won
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Song Nominated
Lo Nuestro Award Video of the Year Won
Los Premios MTV Latinoamerica Video of the Year Won
MTV Video Music Awards Best Male Video Nominated
Viewer's Choice Nominated
MTV Latin America (North) Nominated
MTV Latin America (Pacific) Won
2003 ASCAP Pop Music Awards Song of the Year Won
Ivor Novello Awards Best Selling UK Single Nominated

Charts and certificationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Aviles, Hector (11 September 2011). "Released on Iglesias's second English album, Hero shows love and determination". Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  2. ^ Marquina, Sierra (24 September 2013). "Enrique Iglesias on New Single 'Heart Attack,' His Writing Process". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  3. ^ a b Aviles, Hector (3 September 2011). "Enrique Iglesias "Hero" Uplifted Nation After 9-11 Attacks". Latino Music Cafe. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  4. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  5. ^ a b Copsey, Rob (19 September 2017). "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Enrique Iglesias top 10 hits". Music Videos & Lyrics. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  7. ^ Manan, Dazman (12 October 2002). "At Home with Hewitt". Life & Times. Retrieved 14 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Jennifer Love Hewitt in Enrique Iglesias' 'Hero': The Best Music Video Celebrity Cameos Ever". Capital FM. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
  9. ^ " ヒーロー/エスケイプ: エンリケ・イグレシアス: 音楽". Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  10. ^ Axelrod-Contrada, Joan. "Iglesias, Enrique: 1975—: Singer, Songwriter." Contemporary Hispanic Biography. 2002. April 2, 2015 <> Archived December 29, 2016, at the Wayback Machine.
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  13. ^ " – Enrique Iglesias – Hero" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
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  22. ^ "Topp 20 Single uke 1, 2002 – VG-lista. Offisielle hitlister fra og med 1958" (in Norwegian). VG-lista.
  23. ^ "Nielsen Music Control". Archived from the original on 17 October 2007.
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  31. ^ "Enrique Iglesias Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  32. ^ "Enrique Iglesias Chart History (Adult Contemporary)". Billboard.
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  34. ^ "Enrique Iglesias Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Enrique Iglesias Chart History (Hot Latin Songs)". Billboard.
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  37. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 2002". Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
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  39. ^ "End of Year Charts 2002". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  40. ^ "ChartsPlus Year-end 2002" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
  41. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 2002". Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
  42. ^ "ARIA Chart Sales - End of Decade Top 100 Singles" (PDF). Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  43. ^ Radio 1 Official Chart of the Decade, as broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on December 29, 2009, presented by DJ Nihal
  44. ^ [2] publisher:Billboard at the Wayback Machine (archived May 17, 2012)
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  46. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2002 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  47. ^ "Austrian single certifications – Enrique Iglesias – Hero" (in German). IFPI Austria.
  48. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Enrique Iglesias; 'Hero')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  49. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2002" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden.
  50. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Enrique Iglesias; 'Hero')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  51. ^ "British single certifications – Enrique Iglesias – Hero". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Hero in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  52. ^ "American single certifications – Enrique Iglesias – Hero". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit