Daddy Yankee, the ‘king’ of reggaeton, retires from music


Daddy Yankee | Wikimedia Commons

David Alvarado

Daddy Yankee, the 45-year-old Puerto Rican rapper and songwriter who changed the aesthetic of American hip-hop, is saying goodbye to his music career after 32 years.

The Latin singer is parting ways with his illustrious career by giving his fans one last album, “Legendaddy,” on March 24.

“Today, I’m announcing my retirement from music by giving you my best production and my best concert tour,” Yankee said in a statement obtained by People. “I’m going to give you all the styles that have defined me, in one single album.”

Born Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, the reggaeton “king” with solid vocals and unrivaled swagger, has a $40 million net worth. The musician began rapping at 13 when he watched music videos of Dr. Dre on MTV.

Yankee released his first album, “El Cartel,” in the late 90s before shaking the nation with his most memorable single, “Gasolina,” in 2004, Biography reported.

Regardless of his troubled upbringing, the Puerto Rican artist is one of today’s most prominent musicians, selling over 17 million albums and acquiring a fan base surpassing 60 million on social media platforms, according to Pressparty.

An enormous milestone in the artist’s career was the release of Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” in 2017. The song initially featured Yankee before Justin Bieber’s contribution positively sparked a global uproar. The three artists collaboratively created a hit remix that would become synonymous with good memories and fun summer times.

“Despacito” obtained over 669 million views on YouTube, winning the top streaming song and music video at the Billboard Music Awards in 2018, according to IMDb.

Yankee reached the peak of his stardom in 2004 amid the release of his best-selling album, “Barro Fino.” The aggression and unique verses Yankee incorporated in his songs challenged rappers and boy bands who already obtained well-established reputations.

“Con Calma,” “Yo Voy” and “Dura” are some of his best works to date. The spicy rhythms and electric beats accompanying Yankee’s strong vocals raised the bar for artists who wish to pursue a career in the reggaeton industry.

The early 2000s were the best years for the rapper to execute his ambitions in the music world since new and unusual trends were constantly rotating around the U.S. after the millennium. Nonetheless, Yankee never allowed his career to falter like other talented artists.

He continued to produce music authentically, allowing him to obtain a loyal and admirable fan base. His rap style was adored by many as the years went by, which made him the first Latin artist to reach No. 1 on Spotify in 2017, according to Billboard.

“I feel so much pride to represent my community and be Latino. No doubt about it, above my career and sales comes being a Latino first,” Yankee said in a 2013 interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine.

The Puerto Rican rapper is finally stepping back from a world of fame. However, his legacy and glamour that effortlessly coincides with his dominant personality will last and follow him forever.