Perreando to rezando: Daddy Yankee announces devotion to faith after final concert

Daddy Yankee wears a light red jacket with a peach shirt as he talks into a microphone while seated
Daddy Yankee announced at his final concert that he is rededicating his life to his faith.
(Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press)

Daddy Yankee is trading in his days at the club for more days at church.

As he wrapped up the final show of his La Última Vuelta (the Last Lap) world tour on Sunday in his native Puerto Rico, Daddy Yankee — whose legal name is Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez — stated to the packed crowd at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan that he was honored by their reception and gave fans a sneak peak at what lay ahead for him.

“This day for me is the most important day of my life, and I want to share it with you all because living a successful life is not the same as living a life with purpose,” the 46-year-old rapper told the crowd. “For a long time, I tried to fill an emptiness in my life that nobody could fill.”

The “Gasolina” artist explained that winning awards and having the external validation of adoring fans all over the world could not fill that void. But now those days are behind him because he’s found someone to fill that emptiness: God.


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“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” he said, paraphrasing a Bible verse from the book of Matthew. “And that’s why tonight I recognized and am unashamed to tell the world that Jesus lives in me and that I will live for him.”

Daddy Yankee then thanked his fans for their support throughout his career and urged them all to “follow Jesus Christ, who is the way, the truth and the life.”

As a group of drones in the shape of a cross flew over the stadium, the “Despacito” rapper supplicated for God’s assistance, saying, “Father, I hope you allow me to evangelize the world from Puerto Rico. Amen.”

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The reggaetonero’s pivot from the often racy themes of reggaeton music to the traditionally more laced-up values of Christianity may seem like an unprecedented move, but it’s not all that uncommon among some of the genre’s biggest names.


Just last year, reggaeton artist Farruko, perhaps best known for his mega hit “Pepas,” announced during a concert in Miami that he was sorry for the vulgar lyrics in his tracks and spoke at length about God throughout his set.

Others who have shifted to a life of faith include genre icons El General, Héctor El Father, Julio Voltio, Kartier and Jomar El Caballo Negro. Reggaeton historian Katelina “La Gata” Eccleston discussed this trend in a 2020 episode of her podcast “Perreo 101.” She pointed to the guilt over sexually explicit lyrics, the desire to go to heaven and the particular relationship that Latino cultures have with organized religion as some of the reasons these artists may have chosen to redirect their lives.