Chilean singer’s childhood hit Dubidubidu takes social media by storm

Hearing my voice as the soundtrack on viral videos felt profoundly surprising. It moved me and filled me with immense joy to see how my voice brought entertainment to so many people.

  • 2 months ago
  • March 11, 2024
7 min read
Christell Rodriguez, the voice behind the viral song Dubidubidu on social media. | Photo courtesy of Christell Rodriguez Christell Rodriguez, the voice behind the viral song Dubidubidu on social media. | Photo courtesy of Christell Rodriguez
journalist’s notes
interview subject
Christell Rodriguez is a 26-year-old singer and speech therapist from Talcahuano, Chile. From a young age, she dedicated herself to music, and at 18, she moved to Santiago, the Chilean capital, in search of artistic opportunities. After not finding what she was looking for, she relocated to Viña del Mar, where she has lived for the past five years. Having graduated as a speech therapist, she is now refocusing on her musical career. Follow her journey on Instagram: @christell_oficial.
background information
 “Rojo” was a popular Chilean talent show that aired on Televisión Nacional de Chile, featuring contestants in singing and dancing categories. The program, which aired from 2002 to 2018, was a significant audience success, with high ratings and over 1.5 million records sold. It also had international versions in Paraguay and Peru.

On February 23, 2004, Christell Rodriguez, a former participant of the show, underwent emergency surgery for acute appendicitis just before a performance, sparking criticism of her parents and raising concerns about her involvement in artistic work at a young age.
This incident led to discussions about the rights of child artists, resulting in a project entering the Chamber of Deputies to protect their rights. Christell’s song “Dubidubidu” recently experienced a viral resurgence in the United States, bringing renewed attention to her music. Learn more about the trend.

SANTIAGO, Chile — Shortly after Christmas 2023, my social media notifications lit up my screen. People started tagging me in all sorts of videos, from dancing animals to quirky animated characters. At first, I felt puzzled by this, until I played the audio and recognized my voice from years ago. Dubidubidu, a song I recorded over 20 years ago, unexpectedly became the soundtrack to a new social media trend.

Despite the ups and downs of my musical career and falling short of my childhood dreams, I never stopped performing at events. Dubidubidu remained very much alive in my memory. The song remained an important part of my life. Its sudden popularity felt magical, arriving at just the right time.

Read more entertainment stories at Orato World Media.

A childhood of music and performance: “I felt no fear about performing for others”

At two years old, I began staging plays in the family living room. I danced and sang for my parents, uncles, and cousins, enjoying the attention and applause. My parents are Christian musicians, and my mom sang to me in the womb, so music feels like home.

Naturally, at five years old, one of my aunts suggested I audition for a children’s talent television show. I immediately agreed, even though I failed to fully grasp what it involved. I knew it meant singing and performing, and that was all I needed to know. Having grown accustomed to the church stage, I felt no fear about performing for others.

On set, I gazed into the audience, inching closer to sing to them and catch a glimpse of their faces. Singing to the camera also brought me joy. Despite not being fully conscious of it, I believed more people watched me from beyond that camera lens. Yet, the memories that stand out the most come from what happened behind the scenes. A multitude of adults, from security guards to the drivers of the vans, ensured my comfort. Slipping into the kitchen for a sneaky treat or unwrapping a surprise gift felt like the highlight of my day.

As time went on, more people started asking me for autographs. I barely knew how to write, and my hand tired quickly, so they gave me a stamp I could press on the photos. I released some records but never really thought about it. For me, it felt like a big game.

Musicians memories intertwine with stories she heard and a tear-filled video

Unlike other child stars, my parents gave me a normal life. I went to school and played in parks like other kids. The only difference to me was that I also played in special places, like recording studios, where most kids never went. Singing into a microphone felt like all the fun I needed.

At six years old, in 2004, I experienced a sudden stomachache during a performance. I heard stories and later watched a video of me crying, no longer wanting to sing, while my father urged me to continue. The only vivid memories I recall from that time include a hospital stay after my appendix surgery. I felt filled with wonder as a stream of stuffed animals arrived in my room. People sent them, along with letters expressing their affection, to keep me company. The sheer quantity felt astounding.

While I remained unaware, the events of that day coupled with media coverage led to strong accusations against my father. The television invitations began to decline until they ceased altogether. I never felt the absence of it. As a young girl, I quickly adapted and found other ways to entertain myself. Through it all, music remained my constant companion.

Christell performing at the age of five. | Photo courtesy of Christell Rodriguez

Not until 13 years old did I learn the full story and decided to return to television as a judge at festivals. When my parents filled me in on the past, I felt a rush of anger toward those who judged our family. “They didn’t know us,” I thought, “and they caused my parents stress.” At the same time, I admired my mother and father for protecting me from that pain over the years, keeping my innocence intact.

The unexpected return of Dubidubidu

In the following years, my musical career failed to reach the heights of my childhood. I began to feel frustrated. The prospect of recording an album or performing in massive shows seemed increasingly remote. I never stopped singing; it’s who I am, but a time came when the inability to focus solely on music took its toll. Between the ages of 19 and 21, I hit a low and fell into serious depression.

I gradually recovered and found the motivation to explore new avenues of self-development. I completed a degree, and just when I graduated, a new opportunity arose: the viral resurgence of an old song. It provided a chance for me to reconcile many unresolved aspects from my life years prior.

Christell following the viral success of ‘Dubidubidu. | Photo courtesy of Christell Rodriguez

In December 2023, the videos of dancing characters and pets tagged with my name took me aback. Hearing my voice as the soundtrack on viral videos felt profoundly surprising. It moved me and filled me with immense joy to see how my voice brought entertainment to so many people. People in the United States, Japan, and South Korea danced to Dubidubidu not knowing it was my song.

I always believed I would make a significant impact in life, artistically or in any field I pursued. In the last five years while working to rebuild myself, I returned to my essence and reclaimed those childlike qualities I suppressed for so long. When the song resurfaced, I felt the events unfold supernaturally, connecting me with a much larger audience. This renewed sense of purpose I feel gives me courage to plan big projects once again.

From viral hit to new horizons: “I want to tour and release new music”

When my song went viral, I made it, along with my first album, available on streaming platforms. I also began sharing content to let people know I am the voice behind Dubidubidu. Quickly, followers from all over the world flocked to my accounts, and I welcomed them. I have long been a fan of oriental culture, consuming music and different shows from China, Japan, and South Korea. It’s surreal to me that people from those countries are now listening to my music. Even artists I admire began listening.


Once I began sharing, everything exploded. My video with the original presentation of the song reached over 36 million accounts on Instagram and garnered 57 million views. The song on Spotify has around 15 million plays. There are YouTube videos of my song with 24 million views. On the streets, people began to recognize me.

I don’t believe in coincidences, but I still find it hard to grasp why or how this happened. It feels like the start of something grand, catching me at my best. I feel grateful and actively embrace each new development with surprise.

The voice in that recording belongs to a five-year-old girl. Today, I am a 26-year-old woman, and although I consider myself mature, I strive to maintain the joy and spirit of that little girl. I am rediscovering her essence, trying to no longer conceal that part of my personality. As I dream of touring and releasing new music, I’ve begun to put together a show. I feel focused as I live out three phases of my life at all once. The past led me to the present which I am using to build toward the future I always dreamed of.

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