After concluding his farewell tour, La Meta (The Goal), on Sunday night in Puerto Rico, Daddy Yankee, the iconic reggaeton artist renowned for chart-toppers like "Gasolina" and "Despacito," announced his official retirement from the music genre to dedicate his life to his Christian faith.
Addressing a crowd of more than 18,000 fans at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, the 46-year-old artist, whose real name is Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, expressed his profound decision in a heartfelt speech following a dynamic performance of his groundbreaking hit "Gasolina," which played a pivotal role in the globalization of reggaeton, NBC reported.
In Spanish, Daddy Yankee shared, "My people, this day for me is the most important day of my life. And I want to share it with you because living a life of success is not the same as living a life with purpose."
Expressing a deep sense of fulfillment, he confessed: "Despite all the accolades, awards, and global adoration, a part of me felt unfulfilled for a long time. I have to confess that those days are over. Someone was able to fill that emptiness."
Visible tears streamed down Daddy Yankee's face as he disclosed his decision to retire from reggaeton. Quoting a Bible verse in Spanish, he said, "What good will it be for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?"
In a momentous declaration, Daddy Yankee affirmed, "That is why tonight, I recognize, and I am not ashamed to tell the whole world, that Jesus lives in me, and I will live for him."
Embarking on what he described as "a new beginning," Daddy Yankee, now embracing his birth name Ramón Ayala, conveyed, "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."
The artist extended gratitude to Puerto Rico, stating, "Thank you very much, Puerto Rico, and I hope that you walk with me in this new beginning."
Drones illuminated the Puerto Rican sky in a post-show spectacle, forming a cross and the message "Cristo viene" ("Christ will come").
While Daddy Yankee had previously acknowledged his Christian faith, the depth of his commitment surprised many fans. Social media responses varied, with most expressing support and admiration, while a minority responded with skepticism and mockery.
"If I loved you before, now I love you even more," said one supporter, reported ABC7 News.
"My favorite singer, the best of all, how great," said another.
"Now I admire you more! If before you were an example for many, now you will be the true example!" said a third.
Daddy Yankee joins a list of reggaeton artists, including Farruko, Héctor "El Father," and Voltio, who have chosen to conclude their music careers to pursue a life devoted to their Christian faith.
Jim Thomas ✉
Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.
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