Will Smith confirmed for 2018 World Cup song

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Will Smith has teamed up with fellow artists Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi for the official World Cup song for Russia 2018, FIFA has confirmed.

Hollywood actor and rapper Smith, fellow American singer Jam and Kosovar musician Istrefi have collaborated on the song, titled Live It Up.

The three-man line-up will perform at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow before the final on July 15 and the song, produced by American DJ Diplo, will be officially released on Friday.

“As part of another exciting collaboration between FIFA and Sony Music, Will Smith, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi will perform Live It Up, the official song of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia,” FIFA announced in a statement.

“Fans will have enough time to learn the lyrics as Live It Up will be released on multiple streaming platforms this Friday, May 25. The FIFA World Cup official music video will be available as of June 7.”

Grammy Award-winning actor, songwriter and artist Smith said it had been a privilege to have been involved in the collaboration.

“It’s an honour to be asked to perform at the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” he said.

“This global event brings people from all over the world together to cheer, laugh and experience magic.

“Collaborating with Nicky, Diplo and Era on this track represents harmony, eclectic flavours and genres coming together. At the end of the day, we just want to see the world dance.”

The first official World Cup song, World Cup Willie, was for the 1966 tournament finals in England and was performed by Lonnie Donegan.

“The synergy between football and music is striking, both stirring up fans’ emotions across the globe,” said FIFA’s chief commercial officer Philippe Le Floc’h.

“This song, with a world-class line-up worthy of the greatest show on earth, embodies the excitement, the celebration and the unity that people all over the world will share during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”

Official songs at recent World Cups include Un’estate italiana by Edoardo Bennato and Gianna Nannini in 1990, La Copa de la Vida by Ricky Martin in 1998 and Shakira’s Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) in 2010.

We Are One (Ole Ola), by Cuban-American rapper Pitbull and featuring guest vocals from Jennifer Lopez and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte, was the official song of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

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