"Hero" is a single released by Enrique Iglesias from his second English album Escape and was written by Iglesias, Paul Barry and Mark Taylor. Iglesias first released the song to radio in early September 2001 to a positive critical and commercial reception.
After the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the song was one of the few songs chosen by radio DJs in New York to be remixed with audio from police, firefighters, civilians at Ground Zero, and politicians commenting on the attacks. He was asked to sing the song live at the benefit concertAmerica: A Tribute to Heroes ten days after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Iglesias broadcast his performance from a warehouse in New York alongside Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Sheryl Crow. 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.
The music video for "Hero" was directed by Joseph Kahn and features Iglesias as an honorable criminal hunted by his enemies. Jennifer Love Hewitt plays his love interest, while Mickey Rourke plays one of the men hunting him. 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 While originally made for the UK, this video has since replaced the original video on many music video stations throughout the world.
The song topped many charts in the US including the Billboardadult contemporary chart for fifteen weeks. 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, 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 BillboardHot Dance Club Play chart in January 2002.
In February 2002, the song was released in the UK, where it went straight to number one for four weeks, becoming one of the biggest hits of the year there. Up to this point Iglesias had already had two hits in the UK but was largely unknown. "Hero" was seen as his breakthrough in the UK and Escape became one of the best-selling albums of 2002. With sales to date of 836,500, "Hero" stands as the 17th best-selling single of the 2000s in the UK. 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 Iglesias' best selling single and has sold eight million copies.