Daddy Yankee, the reggaeton performer known for hits such as “Gasolina” and “Despacito,” has announced that he is retiring from his career as a musician in order to live for Jesus Christ. The artist, whose real name is Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, made the announcement in Puerto Rico Sunday, Dec. 3, during the last show of his final tour.
“This day for me is the most important of my life,” said Daddy Yankee in the caption of an Instagram post showing his announcement. “Tonight I recognize and I am not ashamed to tell the whole world that Christ lives in me and that I will live for him. This is the end of one chapter and the beginning of a completely new one” [Editor’s note: Quotes have been translated into English via Google Translate].
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Daddy Yankee: ‘Jesus Lives in Me’
Daddy Yankee was born in Puerto Rico in 1977 and is known for pioneering the genre of reggaeton. His 2004 hit “Gasolina” from the album “Barrio Fino” brought the artist worldwide fame and was the first reggaeton song to be nominated for the Latin Grammy Award for Record of the Year. In April 2023, the single became the first reggaeton song to be inducted into the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress.
Daddy Yankee’s 2017 hit “Despacito,” released in collaboration with Latin pop singer Luis Fonsi, was a global smash hit. It became the first Spanish-only song to take the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since the single “Macarena” achieved the feat in 1996.
In 2022, the global superstar announced his retirement. His groundbreaking, decades-long music career would reach its peak with the release of his seventh studio album, “Legendaddy,” and a world tour. Daddy Yankee’s four final shows of that tour took place back-to-back in San Juan over the weekend, with the last one featuring his emotional announcement that he intends to dedicate his life to telling the world about Jesus.
“For many years I’ve tried filling a void in my life that no one could fill. I tried finding a purpose. On many occasions, it seemed as if I was happy, but something was missing for me to feel complete,” said the artist, who was moved to tears. “Throughout the years I was able to travel the world, win many awards…but I realized something that’s in the Bible: For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
“That is why tonight, I recognize, and I am not ashamed to tell the whole world that Jesus lives in me and that I will live for him,” he said.
All of Daddy Yankee’s success did not fill the emptiness inside him, but Jesus did. “To all the people who followed me, follow Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life,” he said. “Just like Jesus, with his mercy, allowed me to travel the world, in your mercy, Father, I hope you allow me to evangelize the world from Puerto Rico.”
The artist said that “all the tools that I have in my possession, such as music, social networks, platforms, a microphone, everything that Jesus gave me, is now for his kingdom. Thank you very much, Puerto Rico, and I hope that you walk with me in this new beginning.”