In this sensitive ballad, Enrique Iglesias asks his lover a series of questions, assuring her that if she wants in, he'll be her "hero" - the guy who will take away her pain and be there through thick and thin. It went over very well with Enrique's female fans.
Iglesias wrote "Hero" with the British songwriters Paul Barry and Mark Taylor, who also collaborated on his hits "Be With You" and "Bailamos."
This song was released on August 14, 2001, just a month before the September 11 attacks on the US. The song doesn't describe the type first-responder heroes, but the theme of standing by a loved one resonated at this time, and the song became quite popular, reaching a chart peak of #3 November 17.
Iglesias attributes the success of this song to a combination of good lyrics, melody, and excellent production. He feels those three qualities need to work together to make a timeless hit.
Iglesias performed this at the 2001 Tribute To Heroes telethon, which aired September 21 and raised over $150 million for victims of the terrorist attacks. He said on VH1's Behind The Music: Enrique Iglesias: "That is the one moment in my career that I'll probably always remember, walking around that studio and seeing all these legends, there was no egos, it was about that moment and trying to help out and trying to make, trying to make it better with music. After I was done singing the song, looking around, everybody was crying. I almost felt like crying. It was unlike anything I've ever felt in my whole life."
The video, directed by Joseph Kahn, follows Iglesias as a criminal on the run with his girlfriend, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Actor Mickey Roarke plays one of his pursuers, who eventually kills him at the end of the video. The UK version gives a more hopeful outlook as Iglesias still moves his legs, implying he survives Roarke's attack. Other videos Kahn directed in 2001: U2's "Elevation
" and "Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
," Papa Roach's "Between Angels And Insects
" and Garbage's "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)
," to name a few.
This was a #1 Adult Contemporary hit in the US. It continues to get lots of play on "Lite Rock" radio stations.
Chrysler used this in a commercial for the 2002 Jeep Liberty.
This song featured prominently in the 2010 comedy movie Hot Tub Time Machine. It also shows up in the 2008 movies Beverly Hills Chihuahua and Drillbit Taylor.
The Latin-American boy band CNCO covered this in 2020 for their album Déjà Vu
, marking their first fully-English release. The video, directed by Carlos Perez, is a tribute to the Backstreet Boys video for "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely