Daddy Yankee, often credited with helping to popularise Latin pop in the States with the 2017 song “Despacito,” is giving up his music career to serve the Lord.
In a video posted to Instagram, the 46-year-old rapper and singer announced his retirement and hinted at his new life following Jesus Christ.
“Tonight I recognise, and I am not ashamed to tell the whole world, that Jesus lives in me and that I will live for him,” Daddy Yankee said at the last concert of his farewell tour, held in his native Puerto Rico over the weekend.
The “Gasolina” singer, who will now go by his birth name Ramón Ayala, said he had been feeling empty and trying to fill a void in his life for a long time, which led him to religion.
Luis Fonsi, who collaborated with Daddy Yankee on the massive “Despacito” and shared the stage with him in his farewell show, wrote on X (formerly Twitter), “I owe you a lot bro, a lot! Enjoy this well-deserved break, we will continue to enjoy and celebrate your music ALWAYS.”
Released in 2017, “Despacito” spent 16 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified 13 times platinum, becoming the first Latin song to receive a diamond certification from the RIAA.
A winner of five Latin Grammys and seven Billboard Music Awards, the most of any Latin artist, Daddy Yankee released his debut album, No Mercy, in 1995 and released his seventh, and final, album, Legendaddy, last year. He had previously announced his plans to retire with the news of Legendaddy’s release.
“This is the end of a chapter and the beginning of a completely new one,” Ayala wrote in the caption of his video.