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Daddy Yankee did more than anyone to establish reggaeton as a marketable music style during the early 21st century. Yankee's success was so phenomenal in the wake of his 2004 mainstream breakthrough, Barrio Fino -- and in particular the international hit single "Gasolina" -- that he transcended cultural boundaries and genre trappings. He became more than just a reggaetonero, having transformed himself into an international name brand by the time his 2007 follow-up album, El Cartel: The Big Boss, was released. Daddy Yankee's name, image, and music were used to sell soft drinks for Pepsi and footwear for Reebok, as well as a syndicated show for ABC Radio Networks (Daddy Yankee on Fuego) and a feature film for Paramount Pictures (Talento de Barrio). Daddy Yankee indeed had become a business empire, of which the primary asset -- his music -- remained independent from major-label control: he keenly operated his own independent label, El Cartel Records, and chose to partner with labels such as Interscope only for purposes of marketing and distribution. Although the business side of Daddy Yankee threatened to overshadow his music, Barrio Fino stands tall as the definitive reggaeton album of its time. Boasting a pair of fantastic hits, "Gasolina" and "Lo Que Pasó, Pasó," the album was a standard-bearer, influencing a legion of followers and establishing the production duo Luny Tunes as reggaeton's hottest hitmakers. Barrio Fino was also the first reggaeton album to reach number one on the Top Latin Album chart, a position it held for roughly a year's time while selling over a million copies in the United States alone.
Born Ramón Ayala (aka Raymond) on February 3, 1977, in Río Piedras, the largest district of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Daddy Yankee grew up in a musical family. His father was a bongosero (i.e., a salsa percussionist), his mother's family included numerous musicians, and he himself sang from an early age, with a knack for improvisation. As Daddy Yankee grew older, he took an interest in Spanish-language hip-hop, especially the socially aware raps of Vico C, and he became increasingly drawn into the street life of his neighborhood, the Villa Kennedy housing project in San Juan. The "Yankee" moniker arose from the Puerto Rican slang for "someone tall, who is big in what he does" (according to a 2005 interview with Billboard magazine); "Big Daddy" is thus the rough English translation of Daddy Yankee. He got into reggaeton just as it was taking shape in the early '90s, when San Juan DJs would spin hip-hop alongside dancehall reggae while vocalists would freestyle over the beats. This convergence of hip-hop, dancehall, and freestyling proved popular in San Juan, most notably at the Noise, a long-running club night that spawned a collective of DJs and rappers. Besides the Noise, the other key proprietor of proto-reggaeton was Playero, a mixtape DJ/producer with whom Daddy Yankee got his start, debuting as a featured guest on Playero 37 (1992). A few years later, at age 18, Daddy Yankee made his full-length album debut, No Mercy (1995), again working with Playero. Little came of No Mercy, however, and he continued to work the reggaeton underground for the remainder of the '90s. Toward the end the decade, he began performing alongside Nicky Jam as a duo and had one of his songs, "Posición," a collaboration with Alberto Stylee, featured on the 1998 One Tough Cop soundtrack.
Beginning in 2000, Daddy Yankee furthered his career significantly with independently released albums. El Cartel (2000) and El Cartel, Vol. 2 (2001) came first, each laden with featured guests in mixtape fashion; however, El Cangri.com (2002) was the one that really gave his career the boost it needed to break outside Puerto Rico. Driven by "Latigazo," a single that found airplay in Miami and New York, El Cangri.com climbed all the way to number 43 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart despite no major-label backing whatsoever (released instead by VI Music, a Puerto Rican indie). In the wake of this success, Daddy Yankee assembled Los Homerun-es (2003), a Top Ten album comprised of odds and ends, including a newly recorded hit single, "Segurosqui," as well as some old Playero tracks from a decade prior. Reggaeton was on the cusp of breaking big-time at this point; touchstone albums such as Don Omar's The Last Don (2003), Tego Calderón's El Abayarde (2003), and Luny Tunes' Mas Flow (2003) were making significant impacts in Miami and New York, in addition to Puerto Rico, and a wave of lesser albums were being released also. The stage was well set for Daddy Yankee's mainstream breakthrough, Barrio Fino (2004), which was released in July 2004 (by VI Music in conjunction with Universal Music Group Distribution) and debuted at number one on the Top Latin Albums chart. The first reggaeton album to reach the number one spot, Barrio Fino would dominate the top of the Latin albums chart for roughly a year's time, lodged there well into 2005. It sold over a million copies in the U.S. alone during this chart reign.
The long shelf life of Barrio Fino was partly on account of "Gasolina," a party-oriented single whose appeal was so phenomenal that the song itself became synonymous with reggaeton in the minds of many (and perhaps remains so), especially English-speakers who were unacquainted with the music style. The appeal of "Gasolina" was such that it's been compared to "Macarena," another Latin party song that broke through cultural boundaries to become a dance club staple internationally. It took "Gasolina" awhile to become a craze, several months after the release of Barrio Fino, in fact, yet by November 2004 it had broken into the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually made it all the way to number 32 a couple months later (a genuine Top 40 hit, albeit a novel one). On the Latin charts, though, "Gasolina" didn't even break the Top Ten, only reaching number 17. Rather, "Lo Que Pasó, Pasó" was the album's big hit on the Latin scene, charting at number two. Barrio Fino spawned a few other singles as well: "Sabor a Melao" (featuring salsa superstar Andy Montañez), "No Me Dejes Solo" (featuring Wisin & Yandel), and "Like You" (an English-language song). The success of the album was such that it catapulted Luny Tunes -- an industrious duo who'd produced half the album, and all the key hits -- to stardom of their own, as they became widely recognized as reggaeton undisputed go-to hitmakers. The success of the album also drew significant major-label attention. Machete Music, a Universal company specializing in Latin urban, signed a deal with Daddy Yankee to re-release Los Homerun-es in March 2005 (and later Barrio Fino in December 2006). Meanwhile, VI Music cashed in with Ahora le Toca al Cangri (2005), a live CD/DVD recorded in Puerto Rico in 2003.
In 2005, while the major labels were courting Daddy Yankee, the president of Interscope, Jimmy Iovine, whose roster includes Eminem, 50 Cent, and Dr. Dre, actually flew down to Puerto Rico to discuss business in person. A joint venture deal resulted between Interscope and Daddy Yankee's own label, El Cartel Records. The first release under this partnership was Barrio Fino en Directo (2005), a CD/DVD comprised of live in-concert and newly recorded material. "Rompe," one of the newly recorded songs, was issued as the lead single and charted even better than "Gasolina" had, reaching number 24 on the Hot 100. Moreover, it spent 15 weeks atop the Hot Latin Tracks chart. The Interscope deal was only one of many struck by Daddy Yankee at this point. He began lending his name, image, and music to everything from footwear (Reebok) and soft drinks (Pepsi) to automobiles (Citroën) and radio (ABC); he founded his own charity, Corazón Guerrero, to help ex-convicts; and he teamed with CMN (Cardenas Marketing Network, an event marketing and sponsorship agency) to mount an international tour throughout North, Central, and South America. All the while, he worked intermittently on his next album, El Cartel: The Big Boss (2007), a big-budget affair bringing together an ensemble cast of marquee-name collaborators, including pop-rap hitmakers will.i.am, Akon, and Scott Storch. The buildup to the album was well planned and pervasive, with "Impacto" (and its bilingual remix featuring Fergie) released as the lead single well in advance of the eagerly anticipated June release date. Daddy Yankee then starred in a movie, Talento de Barrio, which broke attendance records in Puerto Rico and helped fuel sales of the film's soundtrack, which Daddy Yankee performed with a host of guests. His 2010 effort Mundial featured less hip-hop and pop, more Latin flavors, and the hit single Descontrol.
Wikipedia:This article is about the Reggetón musician. For the norteño artist, see Ramón Ayala.This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Ayala and the second or maternal family name is Rodríguez.
Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez (born February 3, 1977), known by his stage name Daddy Yankee, is a Puerto Rican reggaeton artist, songwriter and actor. Ayala was born in Río Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and was raised in the neighborhood of Villa Kennedy Housing Projects.
Ayala aspired to be a professional baseball player, and tried out for the Seattle Mariners Major League baseball team. Before he could be officially signed, he was hit by a stray round from an AK-47 rifle while taking a break from a studio recording session with reggaeton mix tape icon DJ Playero. Ayala spent roughly one and a half years recovering from the wound; the bullet was never removed from his hip, and he credits the shooting incident with allowing him to focus entirely on a music career. Since then, he has sold over 10 million albums."The Boss is Back: Daddy Yankee Returns to his Roots". LatinRapper.com. May 22, 2007. Retrieved January 14, 2008. Birchmeier, Jason. "Daddy Yankee Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved January 18, 2008. Daddy Yankee Explains Why Getting Shot Made Him The Man He Is "Daddy Yankee lanzará su álbum bajo un nuevo sello discográfico". El Informador (in Daddy Yankee). Unión Editorialista, S.A. de C.V. July 12, 2012. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
ContentsMusical career1.1 1990–03: Early music career1.2 2004–06: Barrio Fino and "Gasolina"1.3 2007–10: El Cartel: The Big Boss, Talento De Barrio and Mundial1.4 2011–13: Prestige1.5 2013–14: King Daddy
1990–03: Early music career
Daddy Yankee first appeared on the 1990 DJ Playero's Mixtape, Playero 34, with the song "So' Persígueme, No Te Detengas". Ayala was to be originally a professional baseball player, but he was shot in his leg while taking a break from a studio recording session. He made a few songs talking about the shooting incident, but his most "complete" song about it was "6 De Enero", released in 2012. His first official studio project as a solo artist was No Mercy, which was released on April 2, 1995 through White Lion Records and BM Records in Puerto Rico. Early in his career he attempted to imitate the style of Vico C. He went on to emulate other artists in the genre, including DJ Playero, DJ Nelson, and DJ Drako, taking elements from their styles in order to develop an original style. In doing so, he eventually abandoned the traditional model of rap and became one of the first artists to perform reggaeton.
In 1997, Daddy Yankee collaborated with the rapper Nas, who was an inspiration for Ayala, in the song "The Profecy", for the album Boricua Guerrero. He released two compilation albums: El Cartel and El Cartel II, in 1997 and 2001, respectively. Both albums were very famous around Puerto Rico, but were not very successful around Latin America. Between those years, Ayala released a total of nine music videos, including "Posición" featuring Alberto Stylee, "Tu Cuerpo En La Cama" featuring Nicky Jam and "Muévete Y Perrea".
In 2002, El Cangri.com became Ayala's first album with international success, receiving coverage in the markets of New York and Miami. In 2003, Ayala collaborated for the first time with the prestigious reggaeton producers Luny Tunes in the album Mas Flow, with his commercial success song "Cógela Que Va Sin Jockey" (a.k.a "Métele Con Candela"). In 2003 Daddy Yankee released a single that was later charted, "Seguroski", being his first charted single after six of them. Barrio Fino was released in 2004, and the album received numerous awards, including Lo Nuestro Awards and a Latin Billboard, as well as receiving nominations for the Latin Grammy and MTV Video Music Awards. Barrio Fino performed well in the sales charts of the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Japan, and it is one of the most important reggaeton albums in the history of the genre.
2004–06: Barrio Fino and "Gasolina"
Ayala's next album, Barrio Fino, was produced by Luny Tunes and DJ Nelson among others and released in July 2004 by El Cartel Records and VI Music. It was the most highly anticipated album in the reggaeton community. Ayala had enjoyed Salsa music since he was young, and this led him to include music of genres besides reggaeton in the album. The most prominent of these cross-genre singles was "Melao", in which he performed with Andy Montañez. The album was described as his most complete, and with it he intended to introduce combinations of reggaeton and other genres to the English-speaking market. Barrio Fino was followed up by an international tour with performances in numerous countries including the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Honduras, Spain, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, and the United States. The album has sold over 500,000 copies in the United States alone and has sold well throughout Latin America and worldwide. He also preformed in Rio Grande City, Texas before hitting the big stage in 2004.
In 2005, Ayala won several international awards, making him one of the most recognized reggaeton artists within the music industry. The first award of the year was Lo Nuestro Awards within the "Album of the Year" category, which he received for Barrio Fino. In this event he performed "Gasolina" in a performance that was described as "innovative". Barrio Fino also won the "Reggaeton Album of the Year" award in the Latin Billboard that took place on April 28, 2005, where he performed a mix of three of his songs in a duo with P. Diddy. The album was promoted throughout Latin America, the United States, and Europe, reaching certified gold in Japan. Due to the album's success, Ayala received promotional contracts with radio stations and soda companies, including Pepsi. His hit single, "Gasolina", received the majority of votes cast for the second edition of Premios Juventud, in which it received eight nominations and won seven awards. Ayala also made a live presentation during the award ceremony. "Gasolina" received nominations in the Latin Grammy and MTV Video Music Awards.
The successful single, "Gasolina", was covered by artists from different music genres. This led to a controversy when "Los Lagos", a Mexican banda group, did a cover with the original beat but changed the song's lyrics. The group's label had solicited the copyright permission to perform the single and translate it to a different music style, but did not receive consent to change the lyrics; legal action followed. Speaking for the artist, Ayala's lawyer stated that having his song covered was an "honor, but it must be done the right way."
On April 30, 2006, Ayala was named one of the 100 most influential people by Time, which cited the 2 million copies of Barrio Fino sold, Ayala's $20 million contract with Interscope Records, and his Pepsi endorsement. During this period, Ayala and William Omar Landrón (more commonly known by his artistic name Don Omar) were involved in a rivalry within the genre, dubbed "tiraera". The rivalry received significant press coverage despite being denied early on by both artists. It originated with a lyrical conflict between the artists begun by Ayala's comments in a remix single, where he criticized Landron's common usage of the nickname "King of Kings". Don Omar responded to this in a song titled "Ahora Son Mejor", part of his album Los Rompediscotecas.
2007–10: El Cartel: The Big Boss, Talento De Barrio and Mundial
El Cartel: The Big Boss was released by Interscope on June 5, 2007. Ayala stated that the album marked a return to his hip-hop roots as opposed to being considered a strictly reggaeton album. The album was produced in 2006, and included the participation of will.i.am, Scott Storch, Tainy Tunes, Neli, and personnel from Ayala's label. Singles were produced with Héctor Delgado, Fergie, Nicole Scherzinger and Akon. The first single from the album was titled "Impacto", and was released prior to the completion of the album. The album was promoted by a tour throughout the United States, which continued throughout Latin America. He performed in Mexico, first in Monterrey, where 10,000 attended the concert, and later at San Luis Potosí coliseum, where the concert sold out, leaving hundreds of fans outside the building. Ayala performed in Chile as well, and established a record for attendance in Ecuador. He also performed in Bolivia, setting another record when 50,000 fans attended his Santa Cruz de la Sierra concert. This show was later described as "the best show with the biggest attendance in history" and as "somehappy that his album had sold more than those of Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes, and that this was an "official proof that reggaeton's principal exponent defeated the rest of the genres". Ayala made a guest appearance in Bounty Killer, Elephant Man and Wayne Wonder.
He appeared on the 2008 Rockstar Games' videogame Grand Theft Auto IV as the DJ of Radio San Juan Sounds, with spanglish lines. The radio includes reggaeton songs from Ayala's colleges, like Wisin & Yandel, Hector "El Father", Tito El Bambino and Jowell & Randy. San Juan Sounds also featured Daddy Yankee's hit "Impacto".
In July 2008, Ayala announced that as part of his work, he would produce a cover version of Thalía's song, "Ten Paciencia". In 17 August 2008 was released his soundtrack album Talento De Barrio for the eponymous film. Prior to the album's release, Ayala scheduled several activities, including an in-store contract signing. The album was awarded as Multi-Platinum by RIAA on 17 April 2009. On February 27, 2009, he performed at the Viña del Mar International Song Festival in Chile. In this event, the artists receive awards based on the public's reaction. After performing "Rompe", "Llamado de emergencia", "Ella Me Levantó", "Gasolina", "Limpia Parabrisas" and "Lo Que Pasó, Pasó" over the course of two hours, Ayala received the "Silver Torch", "Gold Torch" and "Silver Seagull" recognitions. On April 24, 2009, he received the Spirit of Hope Award as part of the Latin Billboard Music Awards ceremony. The recognition is given to the artists that participate in their community or social efforts throughout the year.
The single, "Grito Mundial", was released on October 8, 2009, in order to promote his ninth album, Mundial. The song was going to be the official theme for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but Ayala rejected the FIFA offer, which gave them 100% of the rights. Despite releasing "El Ritmo No Perdona (Prende)" more than a month before, that single was not considered the first official promotional single. The second single, "Descontrol", was released on January 12, 2010, and topped the Billboard Latin Rhythm Airplay. The music video was filmed in New York and was released on May 17, 2010. "La Despedida" was the third single, released on August 4, 2010. The song reached #4 in both Billboard Top Latin Songs and Latin Pop Songs. Other songs, like "Bailando Fue" (featuring Jowell & Randy) and "Échale Pique" (featuring Yomo) were not included in Mundial.
Daddy Yankee's 6th studio album, Prestige was released on September 11, 2012. It was scheduled to be released on november or december 2011, but a hurricane damaged El Cartel Records and half album was lost. The lost tracks had to be reworked and was finally released nine months later. The first single, "Ven Conmigo," featuring bachata singer Prince Royce, was released on April 12, 2011 and peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Latin Charts. The second single, "Lovumba," was released on October 4, 2011 and was a number one hit on the Billboard Latin Charts and the Latin Songs chart. It was also nominated for Best Urban Song at the 2012 Latin Grammy Awards. The third single, "Pasarela," was released on June 20, 2012. The album peaked at number 39 on the Billboard 200, number one on both the Billboard Latin Albums and Latin Rhythm Albums charts. It also peaked at number five on the Billboard Rap Albums chart. The fourth and last single, Limbo, was released with the album. The song had a great success, reaching three #1 Billboard charts (Hot Latin Song, Latin Pop Song and Latin Rhythm Airplay) and having more than 200 million views on YouTube. The album was certified as Gold by the RIAA on March 8, 2013.
The year 2012 had one of the most importants genre events of the year: the reconciliation between Daddy Yankee and Wisin & Yandel, after some years of rivalry. After 6 years of his last collaboration, Daddy Yankee appeared on the duo's remix song "Hipnotízame", with possitive acclaim of fans. Two months later, on February 16, 2013, Wisin & Yandel collaborated in the remix of "Limbo". Later in 2013, the three artists performed songs like "Hipnotízame", "Mayor Que Yo" and "Noche De Entierro" in two concerts (one in Puerto Rico and another in Colombia).
On February 25, 2013, Daddy Yankee performed in the 2013 Viña del Mar International Song Festival, to a sold-out audience. He performed hits like "Limbo", "Gasolina", "Pose", "Ella Me Levantó" and "Descontrol". He won the Silver and Golden Torch and the Silver and Golden Seagull recognitions.
In 2013, Daddy Yankee performed on his Prestige World Tour, touring several countries in Europe including, Spain, Germany, France and Italy. He has also toured in Colombia, Peru, Chile in to sold out audiences. In 2013 he released music videos of "El Amante" featuring J Alvarez, "Summertime" and "Noche de los Dos" featuring Natalia Jimenez, with a lot of views on YouTube.
2013–14: King Daddy
On October 29, 2013, Daddy Yankee released a mixtape entitled "King Daddy", produced by Los De La Nazza (Musicologo & Menes), as part the Imperio Nazza Mixtapes series and was released as a digital-format only. The mixtape was made because of the high demand from the fans and is a return to his original reggaeton roots. It includes 11 tracks with collaborations from J Alvarez, Arcángel, Yandel, Farruko, and Divino. According to Ayala, "King Daddy" was recorded in two and a half weeks, because there was "a lot of inspiration". The song "La Rompe Carros" has garnered popularity among the public, but his hit single was "La Nueva y La Ex" which has been widely received all over South America, Europe, and North America. During a press conference earlier this year, Daddy Yankee announced the physical release of King Daddy scheduled for later this year with 3 or 4 bonus tracks for a total of 14 or 15 songs included. On June 17, 2014 the single "Ora Por Mí" was released as part of the King Daddy's bonus tracks. The song is about Ayala's life and uses the Scorpions' "Send Me An Angel" instrumental, with a rap sampler. The official video for "Ora Por Mí" was released on June 24, 2014. It was filmed in many locations in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and shows the dark side of fame. According to Ayala, it is the most personal song of his career.
From May 13 to June 22, 2014, Ayala performed on his King Daddy Tour, touring several cities in Europe, including Köln, Calabria, Nantes, Lyon, Toulouse, Paris, Bordeaux, Napoli, München, Rome, Cologne, Zürich, Milan, Brussels, Valencia and Madrid. He has also toured in American cities, like Quito, Guayaquil, Lima, Valledupar, Washington D.C. and Houston.Cite error: The named reference amg was invoked but never defined (see the help page). Miguel López Ortiz. "Biografias: Daddy Yankee". prpop.com. Retrieved January 5, 2008. "Daddy Yankee". MTV. Retrieved January 10, 2008. "Daddy Yankee Receives Five Gold And Platinum Albums". latin-artists.com. March 13, 2005. Retrieved February 18, 2008. "Daddy Yankee: Biografía". Univision. Retrieved January 7, 2008. "Daddy Yankee". CMT.com. Retrieved February 18, 2008. Nathalia Morales. "Gasolina grupera". Univision. Retrieved January 10, 2008. Carolina Miranda (April 30, 2006). "Daddy Yankee". Time. Retrieved May 12, 2007. Cite error: The named reference YANKEE was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "Dadddy Yankee arrasa en conciertos en Mexico" (in Spanish). Reggaetonline.net. Retrieved January 10, 2008. "Apoteosico concierto de Daddy Yankee en Bolivia" (in Spanish). Reggaetonline.net. December 3, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2008. "Daddy Yankee, número uno en la lista Billboard". People en Español. December 14, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2008. "Se juntan los "mostros"" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. June 3, 2008. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved June 4, 2008. Sigal Ratner-Árias (July 22, 2008). "Daddy Yankee hace remix de tema de Thalía" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved July 28, 2008. Aixa Sepúlveda Morales (August 11, 2008). "Cara a Cara con su gente El Cangri" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved August 11, 2008. "Talento De Barrio: Album certification" (in English). RIAA. Retrieved July 1, 2014. Jorge Zapata (February 28, 2009). "Daddy Yankee desató la locura en la Quinta Vergara" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved February 28, 2009. Aixa Sepúlveda Morales (April 25, 2009). "Con más corazón Daddy Yankee" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved April 25, 2009. mundoSIX (September 29, 2009). "Daddy Yankee Da Un "Grito Mundial"". Mundosix.com. Retrieved May 8, 2012. Daddy Yankee Guest at Zumba Fitness 2012 Concert LOVUMBA #1 en Hot Latin Songs Billboard Dery, Yanik (November 16, 2012). "Latin Grammys : Don Omar wins the Urban categories". Reggaetonline. Retrieved November 16, 2012. "Billboard 200 2012-09-29". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 10, 2012. "Top Latin Albums 2012-09-29". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 10, 2012. "Latin Rhythm Albums 2012-09-29". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 10, 2012. "Top Rap Albums 2012-09-29". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 31, 2012. "Limbo on YouTube" (in Spanish). youtube.com. Retrieved June 22, 2014. "Daddy Yankee y Romeo Santos agotaron entradas para Viña 2013" (in Spanish). Terra. Retrieved July 1, 2014. "Daddy Yankee's "Ora Por Mi" single" (in Spanish). youtube.com. Retrieved June 21, 2014. ""Ora Por Mí" (Official video)" (in Spanish). youtube.com. Retrieved June 24, 2014. "Daddy Yankee Attends His Own Funeral In 'Ora Por Mi'" (in English). The Huffington Post. Retrieved June 29, 2014.
Film and other career projects
Ayala has negotiated promotional deals with several companies outside of the music industry, releasing merchandise under his name. In 2005, he became the first Latin artist to sign a deal with Reebok, in order to produce accessories, including the licensed clothing line "DY", which was released in 2006. He also teamed up with the company to have his own shoes and sporting goods made, which were first distributed on May 23, 2006. Reebok continued the partnership with the introduction of the Travel Trainer collection in July 2007. In August 2007, Pepsi began an advertising campaign titled "Puertas", in which Ayala is depicted returning to his youth by opening a series of doors.
Ayala has worked in the film industry as both an actor and producer. His acting debut was as an extra in the 2004 film Vampiros, directed by Eduardo Ortiz and filmed in Puerto Rico. The film premiered at the Festival of Latin American Cinema in New York, where it received a positive reaction. This led Image Entertainment to produce a DVD, internationally released in March 2005. Ayala played the main role, "Edgar Dinero", in Talento de Barrio, which was filmed in Puerto Rico and directed by José Iván Santiago. Ayala produced the film, which is based on his experience of growing up in a poor city neighborhood. While the film is not directly a biography, Ayala has stated that it mirrors his early life. Talento de Barrio's debut was scheduled for July 23, 2008, in New York's Latino Film Festival. After the premier, Ayala expressed satisfaction, saying that he had been invited to audition for other producers. On release, Talento de Barrio broke the record held by Maldeamores for the most tickets to a Puerto Rican movie sold in a single day in Caribbean Cinemas.
Ayala has been involved in the administration of three organizations, the first being El Cartel Records which he co-owns with Andres Hernandez. He also created the Fundación Corazón Guerrero, a charitable organization in Puerto Rico which works with young incarcerated people. On April 26, 2008, he was presented with a "Latino of the Year Award" by the student organization Presencia Latina of Harvard College, receiving it for his work with Puerto Rican youth and creating Corazón Guerrero. On February 6, 2008, Ayala announced in a Baloncesto Superior Nacional press conference that he had bought part of the Criollos de Caguas' ownership. He has also been active with Cruz Roja Puerto Rico in several media campaigns.
In March 2013, Daddy Yankee talked about a new movie production during an interview in Las Vegas. During an interview in a radio station on January 2014, Ayala announced the film, but he only mentioned that many reggaeton exponents would take part of it. On February 2014 it was confirmed that the movie will be about the boxer Macho Camacho's life. According to Ayala, he had the boxer's support to film the movie, but it remained in nothing after Camacho's death on November 24, 2012. The film is due for release in 2015.
The most recent Daddy Yankee's out-music project was the release of his game Trylogy, a 3D video game based in Tower Defense games. The game was succesfully presented at the New York Comic Con and both young and old people were impressed by the 3D action video game. It was released on November 29, 2013 and also features Ayala's songs like "Gasolina" and "Limbo".Cite error: The named reference YANKEE was invoked but never defined (see the help page). "Daddy Yankee lanzará su propia línea de ropa". People en Espanol. December 6, 2005. Retrieved January 14, 2008. "Pasarela musical: Artistas que imponen moda". APL Latino. Retrieved January 14, 2008. Ivan (July 12, 2007). "Daddy Yankee Pepsi Puertas Commercial". Artistas del Genero. Retrieved January 14, 2008. "Daddy Yankee debuta en el cine". Univision. Retrieved January 10, 2008. Fabián Lira. "Cangri, todo un 'talento de barrio'". Univision Online. Retrieved January 14, 2008. "Daddy Yankee estrena película en Nueva York". Primera Hora. July 11, 2008. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved July 14, 2008. Aixa Sepúlveda Morales (July 25, 2008). "Busca ser el "Cangri" del cine" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved July 28, 2008. ""Talento de barrio" bate récord de taquilla en un día" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. August 15, 2008. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved August 17, 2008. "Daddy Yankee anuncia oficialmente creación de la fundación "Corazón guerrero"" (in Spanish). Terra. June 29, 2007. Retrieved January 5, 2008. "Harvard Crimson: Latino of the year: hip-hop artist Daddy Yankee". Retrieved August 26, 2008. Carlos González (February 6, 2008). ""El Cangri" ya es un Criollo" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved May 26, 2008. "Daddy Yankee habla sobre una nueva película" (in Spanish). YouTube. March 3, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2014. "Daddy Yankee interpretará a Macho Camacho en película" (in Spanish). TVyNovelas. February 20, 2014. Retrieved June 30, 2014. "Reggaeton Artist to Avid Gamer: Daddy Yankee to Release New Video Game 'Trylogy'" (in English). Latin Post. November 29, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
Daddy Yankee is said to be influenced by Big Daddy Kane, Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson, Sean Combs and Nas. In addition, he mentioned Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, and Juan Luis Guerra as major influences to his tropical music.
In 2008, Ayala participated in a campaign to promote voting in the 2008 general elections in Puerto Rico. This initiative included a concert titled "Vota o quédate callado" (Vote or Remain Silent).
On August 25, 2008, Ayala endorsed Republican John McCain's candidacy for President of the United States, stating that McCain is a "fighter for the Hispanic community". As part of this campaign, Ayala moderated a debate titled "Vota o quédate callado: los candidatos responden a los jóvenes", which was aired on October 9, 2008.Aixa Sepúlveda Morales (August 11, 2008). "Unen sus voces en "Vota o quédate callao"" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Archived from the original on 2014-04-21. Retrieved August 11, 2008. Cooper, Michael (August 25, 2008). "McCain’s Daddy Yankee Endorsement". The New York Times. Retrieved June 21, 2013. "Encuentro de políticos multimedial" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. October 7, 2008. Archived from the original on 2014-04-01. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
Ramón has kept most of his personal life private, rarely speaking about it in interviews. He has said that he avoids doing so because such details are the only aspect of his life that are not public and that they are like a "little treasure". He made an exception in 2006 when he spoke about his relationship with his wife and children in an interview with María Celeste Arrarás in Al Rojo Vivo. He stated that his marriage is strong because he and his wife are "friends above anything", adding that he has tried to ignore other temptations because "weakness is the reason for the downfall of several artists." His first daughter was born when he was seventeen years old, which he has described as confusing at first, adding that raising a daughter at that age was a hard experience."Daddy Yankee rompe el silencio" (in Spanish). People en Español. April 27, 2006. Retrieved January 10, 2008. "Daddy Yankee, una padre joven y abierto" (in Spanish). entretienes.com. Retrieved January 10, 2008.