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Born Armando Christian Perez but known artistically as Pitbull, this Cuban-American rap artist was born on 15 January 1981 in Miami, Florida. Singing both in English and Spanish, Pitbull’s music ranges from rap to reggaeton.
Though Perez admits he always aspired to be a rapper, growing up he admired Latino artists Celia Cruz and Chirino and was influenced by the Miami bass genre whilst living in Florida. There he was introduced to hip-hop artist Lil Jon. His first recorded debut was on Lil Jon and The East Side Boyz’s album “Kings of Crunk” released in 2002. Perez chose the musical alias “Pitbull” to represent him because he relates to the canine’s ferocious nature and determination. “They bite to lock” he explains.
Lil Jon and the Diaz Brothers jumpstarted Pitbull’s musical career by producing his first full-length album “M.I.A.M.I.” in 2004, which featured the single “Culo.” A collaboration with the Ying-Yang Twins on the single “Shake” propelled Pitbull to commercial success. The single jumped to No. 41 on the Hot 100. In 2005 Pitbull asserted a leadership role in the music industry by co-founding the label Bad Boy Latino with rapper P. Diddy.
Pitbull’s sophomore album “El Mariel” released in 2006 was met with rave reviews. Popular singles like “Bojangles,” “Ay Chico (Lengua Afuera),” and “Fuego” pushed the album to No. 17 on the Billboard 200. Pitbull’s subsequent albums such as “Boatlift” in 2007 and “Rebelution” in 2008 released hits that dominated the Hot 100. In 2011 Pitbull’s collaboration with Ne-Yo on single “Give Me Everything” garnered a No. 1 spot on charts. Pitbull has also experienced success into the film industry. The song “Blanco” is featured on the soundtrack of “Fast & Furious” and “Back in Time” appeared in “Men and Black 3.”
Pitbull’s musical fusion of reggaeton, rap, crunk, and hip-hop has garnered success both in the Latino and English-speaking communities. He is one of the most nominated artists at the Billboard Latino Music Awards.