Nuevo Culture

Daddy Yankee Stuns Reggaeton Fans By Announcing His Retirement

In a video released on Sunday night, the Puerto Rican reggaeton icon Daddy Yankee announced that he’s retiring from music. To close out his three-decade career, he shared that he’s releasing a final album called Legendaddy and planning one last tour.

Daddy Yankee, whose real name is Ramón Ayala, posted the video on his official website, where he also shared a link to pre-save the upcoming album and outlined his upcoming La Ultima Vuelta tour. The U.S. leg kicks off in Portland, Oregon on Aug. 10 and ends in New York on Sept. 20. The musician will then move through Latin America, stopping in Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and more.

In his video, he addressed his fans directly in Spanish. “This career has been a marathon,” Ayala said. “I finally see the end-goal. Now I’m going to enjoy with all of you in what you’ve given me. People say I made this genre global, but it is you who gave me the keys to open the doors and make this genre the biggest in the world. He also spoke about his influence on younger generations. “In the barrios, where we grew up, most of us wanted to be drug dealers. Today, I go to barrios and caserios, and the majority want to be artists, and that means a lot to me.”

Ayala described his upcoming album as his “best production.” He said he’d celebrate ending his 32 years as an artist with “all the styles that ave defined me on one album.” Legendaddy will be his first studio album in 10 years.

Ayala began making music in the mid-Nineties. He broke through with his 2004 album Barrio Fino, which included the smash hit “Gasolina”— voted one of Nuevo Culture’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time—which brought reggaeton to mainstream audiences across the world.