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The 1A Record Club: Daddy Yankee’s last dance?

Daddy Yankee's song "Gasolina" was the first reggaeton song to be nominated for a Latin Grammy. But the 45-year-old artist is now ending his music career.
Daddy Yankee's song "Gasolina" was the first reggaeton song to be nominated for a Latin Grammy. But the 45-year-old artist is now ending his music career.

If there’s one artist synonymous with reggaeton, it’s Daddy Yankee.

A New York Times profile in 2006 deemed him the “king of reggaeton” soon after he released his song “Gasolina” and swept the Billboard charts. The hit’s popularity caught the attention of the mainstream music industry. It became the first reggaeton song to be nominated for a Latin Grammy for record of the year. His album, “Barrio Fino,” also won a Latin Grammy for best urban music album.

Katelina Gata Eccleston describes reggaeton as a “fusion of Puerto Rican bomba, hip hop and Afro or Caribbean dance hall with a mix of other genres. Reggaeton is pretty much the sexiest genre that exists.” Eccleston, who worked on Spotify’s podcast “LOUD”, says before “Gasolina,” reggaeton artists struggled to break into mainstream charts.

“Gasolina definitely proved to the industry that this music is not only fun, but it is marketable. The biggest struggle that reggaeton has faced in the mainstream market is respectability,” she says.

And Daddy Yankee has been giving people a reason to dance ever since. But recently the 45-year-old artist decided to retire and release his final album, “Legendaddy.” Gary Suarez reviewed the album for Rolling Stone and says he’s “going out in glory.”

But how does this album stack against the rest of his discography? And is this retirement for real?

 

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