Daddy Yankee is turning in his microphone for good and entering retirement after three decades in the music industry. The King of Reggaeton posted a statement to YouTube Sunday night with the news, saying, "This race, which has been a marathon, finally sees the finish line. Now, I am going to enjoy what all of you have given me. 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’s not leaving quite yet, though. The musician, whose real name is Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, will give his fans one final album on March 24, called Legendaddy. "I'll give you all the styles that have defined me on one album,” he said in his video. “Legendaddy — it's fight, it's party, it's war, it's romance."
Daddy Yankee, who is known for iconic hits like “Despacito” with Luis Fonsi, “Gasolina” and “Con Calma” with Snow, also announced his farewell tour, aptly named La Última Vuelta starting in Portland, OR in August before wrapping up in Mexico City in December. The 41-show tour will cross the United States and Canada before heading to South and Central America.
Over the years of his career, Daddy Yankee has sold more than 30 million records, giving Reggaeton a place in music history. Despite not releasing a full-length album of his own in 10 years, Daddy Yankee has dropped a number of singles and has been featured on other artists’ tracks. The Puerto Rican musician is one of the top-selling Latin artists in the music industry and is credited with influencing so many artists who came after him.
Bringing Reggaeton into the mainstream wasn’t easy for him, though it was something important that he wanted to do. "I like to say I took the bullets,” he told Billboard in 2021 about making Reggaeton music. “I wanted people to understand my essence, where I come from, what I represent. But at the same time, I wanted to take my culture to the very top. ... I had to take the culture with me everywhere so it became permanent instead of fizzling out like other genres where artists simply promote themselves. When I did promotion, I talked about all the artists in my album: 'This is me. But this album also features Zion & Lennox, Plan B, Ivy Queen.' I had to play their music and say, 'This is them. This is reggaetón.''"
Photo via Getty/ Terence Patrick/ CBS
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