Caribbean Reggaeton Star Joins Forces With Universal Music

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Singer, songwriter and rapper Daddy Yankee performing at Calibash Las Vegas 2020 at the T-Mobile Arena on January 25, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
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New York, NY, Fri. Sept 11, 2020 (Reuters) – Caribbean-born reggaeton music star and entrepreneur, Daddy Yankee, has joined forces with Universal Music Group, a unit of French media conglomerate Vivendi SA, to create music, film and television projects, starting with a new track release today.

The global entertainment partnership is “one of the biggest commitments to an artist in the history of Latin music,” the partners said in a statement on Thursday, without disclosing financial details.

Yankee’s new song “Don Don,” featuring fellow Puerto Rican rappers Anuel AA and Kendo Kaponi, will be rolled out by digital distributor Ingrooves Music Group, a unit of Universal Music, which is minority-owned by China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd .

Yankee, also a songwriter, actor and producer, will develop visual media projects via Polygram Entertainment.

Born Ramon Luis Ayala Rodriguez, Yankee, 44, is best known for the 2004 single “Gasolina,” the first reggaeton song nominated for a Latin Grammy Record of the Year award.

He is credited with coining the word reggaeton to describe the new dance music genre in the early 1990s that blends hip-hop, Latin Caribbean music and reggae rhythms with Spanish rapping and singing.

“Despacito,” Yankee’s collaboration with Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi in 2017, scooped multiple Latin Grammys and Billboard awards that year.

Yankee has sold over 17 million albums, with hit singles such as 2018’s “Dura,” 2019’s “Con Calma,” “Gasolina,” “Rompe,” “Limbo” and “Que Tire Pa’Lante.” He has won over 100 industry awards.

(Reporting by Lisa Giles-Keddie; Writing by Richard Chang; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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