Daddy Yankee

Active - 2007 - 2007  |   Genres - Music, Drama, Culture & Society

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Biography by Nathan Southern

The be-all-end-all of reggaeton superstardom during the early 21st century, musical pioneer Daddy Yankee (born Ramón Ayala in Puerto Rico) managed to transcend cultural and stylistic barriers and turn himself into a veritable household name, a unique accomplishment for someone in his genre. He did so chiefly on the basis of two albums, 2004's Barrio Fino and 2007's El Cartel: The Big Boss; the real secret to his popularity, however, lay in his ability to parlay the towering success of those records into commercial endorsements (with brands such as Rebook and Pepsi), a syndicated radio program, and most significantly, a movie deal: Yankee headlined the Maya Entertainment release Talento de Barrio (2007), playing a young Puerto Rican man violently torn between life in the criminal underworld and his dreams of becoming a successful recording star. Since then, he has kept busy with both new music, releasing the albums Mundial (2010), Prestige (2012), and King Daddy (2013), and new creative ventures, such as a video game called Trylogy (2013) that boasts his imprimatur and several of his songs.