Daddy Yankee attends Univision’s “Reina de la Cancion” at Univision Studios on August 7, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images)
MUSIC

The Musical Departure of Daddy Yankee: King of Reggaetón

Daddy Yankee announced his retirement from music last Sunday on Instagram. What exactly is he leaving us with?

After a decorated music career spanning over 30 years, “King of Reggaetón” Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, better known as Daddy Yankee, has decided to hang up the mic. The announcement shocked music fans around the globe. Luckily, Yankee is officially riding off in a blaze glory after a world farewell tour in support of Legendaddy, his first album in 10 years.

“Today, I’m announcing my retirement from music by giving you my best production and my best concert tour,” Daddy Yankee said in a statement last Sunday, March 20. “I will say goodbye celebrating these 32 years of experience with this new collector’s item, the album Legendaddy. I’m going to give you all the styles that have defined me in one single album.”

Legendaddy released Thursday. The high-energy project houses 19 tracks, including features by Bad Bunny, Becky G, Lil Jon, Nile Rodgers, Pitbull, and more.

Fans around the globe will instantly recognize the singular flair and groundbreaking reggaetón soundscapes that made Daddy Yankee a legend. The 45-year-old Puerto Rican shot to stardom with his 2004 crossover hit “Gasolina,” and he proved his longevity in the genre — and across genres — as a featured artist on Luis Fonsi’s 2017-defining “Despacito.” The original track is a 55-time RIAA Latin Diamond-certified smash — 13-time RIAA Diamond — and it infiltrated U.S. radio waves with the remix featuring Justin Bieber, which held at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 16 weeks.

“People say that I made this genre worldwide, but it was you who gave me the key to open the doors to make it the biggest in the world,” he said humbly on his YouTube channel.

The sound made famous by Yankee was influential in shaping the careers of stars such as Anuel AA, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Ozuna — all of whom credit Yankee as one of the best-ever Latin artists.

Digital Footprint

  • Instagram followers: 44.7 million
  • Twitter followers: 15 million
  • Tik Tok followers: 10.3 million
  • Spotify monthly listeners: 38.1 million, and he was the first Latin artist to reach No. 1 on the platform
  • YouTube: No. 2-most viewed video of all-time with “Despacito” at over 7 billion views

Musical Milestones

  • Albums sold: Over 17 million
  • Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart entries: 84
  • Headlining world tours: 10
  • Latin Grammys: 6
  • Grammys: 4 nominations
  • Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame member
  • Guinness World Record: 56 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart (“Despacito”)

Legendaddy’s not-so-modest title and heavy-hitting features is the perfect bow to put on an undeniably one-of-one discography. For fans of Daddy Yankee, Legendaddy is everything that they’ve grown to love about him — making its arrival bittersweet.

One thing Legendaddy is not is a swan song, as Yankee has had a hand in four Platinum singles, one Diamond single and one Gold-certified track since 2022 began.

Additionally, he believes that the record is his best body of work yet. Ultimately, his fans will have the final say — experiencing the music on a 42-city world tour entitled “La Ultima Vuelta” (The Last Turn).

The tour kicks off Aug. 10 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. From there, the four-month run — and storied career — will end in Mexico City on Dec. 2. A complete list of dates can be found on his website.

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