Pitbull

  • Rapper, singer, songwriter born Armando Pérez in Miami Florida in 1981.
  • Pérez’s parents immigrated from Cuba, and his parents emphasized his Latin heritage as he grew up. He was influenced by southern rap groups like 2 Live Crew and Poison Clan, and as his appreciation of rap grew, he took notice of rap styles from New York and the West Coast. After high school, he decided to make a career of rap music, choosing the name Pitbull because that breed of dog is such a tenacious fighter.
  • He developed his style using the Southern party rap style called Crunk. He began contributing to rap mixtapes from Miami, and in 2001, he was signed to a rap record label and he was featured on an album by rapper Uncle Luke. Later that year, he was introduced to rapper Lil Jon, who liked Pitbull’s sound. Lil Jon allowed Pitbull to do a track called Pitbull’s Cuban Ride Out for his Kings of Crunk album in 2002. This greatly increased Pitbull’s national exposure. The following year, he contributed a track to the 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack.
  • As he developed his sound to make it more radio-friendly, he was signed to a recording contract and he released his debut album M.I.A.M.I. (meaning “Money Is A Major Issue”) in 2004, with Lil Jon contributing as co-executive producer. The album peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200 album chart and at #2 on the Rap Album chart, with the singles Culo and Toma (both featuring Lil Jon) getting some exposure for Pitbull. Two more albums in 2006 and 2007 were released, with moderate success. Also from 2005 to 2009, other rap and hip hop artists featured Pitbull on tracks from their albums – but nothing really became big.
  • His breakthrough came with 2009’s Pitbull Starring In Rebelution album. It included 2 songs that were top 10 hits on the Hot 100 chart – I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) peaked at #2, and Hotel Room Service made it to #8. In 2010, he was the featured artist on top 5 hits I Like It by Enrique Iglesias and DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love by Usher, and in early 2011, he contributed to Jennifer Lopez’ On the Floor, which reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Dance Club Songs chart, as well as #1 in over 25 International markets. Pitbull had become a mega-star, with particular appeal in global markets.
  • His 7 albums released in the 10s included some huge party hits, and his music became legendary in dance clubs. His first #1 hit on the Hot 100 chart was 2011’s Give Me Everything. He scored top 5 Dance hits with International Love, Don’t Stop the Party, Feel This Moment, Timber (his second #1 on the Hot 100), and Time of Our Lives.
  • Pitbull’s popularity grew outside of popular music. Sometimes referred to as “Mr. Worldwide,” he hosted the American Music Awards in 2013 and 2014. He appeared in 2 films and 5 reality television shows, as well as the television show Empire, and he provided voice roles in 2 animated films. His 2016 album Dale won the Grammy award for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album, and he also won a Latin Grammy Award. He promoted many products, from Kodak to Dr. Pepper, to Bud Light, to Walmart. He had his own XM Radio channel in 2015. Pitbull has had a show based in Las Vegas since 2015, though his 2020 residency there was interrupted by COVID.
  • You may not care for rap music, but it is hard not to at least tap your feet to his music. While his most watched YouTube video is J.Lo’s On the Floor (over 1.56 billion views), it only “features” Pitbull. The most watched video that is a Pitbull product is Timber (featuring Ke$ha), with 1.21 billion views. Enjoy!

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