Who Is Bad Bunny?
Bad Bunny is a Puerto Rican musician with fans around the world. He became a success while writing and singing in his native Spanish, unlike previous acts who switched to English to broaden their fan bases. Instead of catering to the machismo-fueled mentality that pervades música urbana’s hip-hop, trap and reggaeton, Bad Bunny is comfortable painting his nails, wearing skirts and dressing in drag. He was part of 2021’s WrestleMania 37 and has also started to take on acting roles.
Early Life, Family and Education
Bad Bunny was born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio on March 10, 1994, in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, which is approximately 30 miles west of San Juan. Bad Bunny was raised in a lower middle-class household in Vega Baja’s Almirante Sur neighborhood. His father was a truck driver and his mother taught English. He has two younger brothers, Bernie and Bysael.
Young Bad Bunny was a fan of reggaeton (a blend of hip-hop and reggae) and liked performers such as Daddy Yankee and Vico C. He sometimes got to hear reggaetonero Tego Calderón in the car on the way to school. Bad Bunny also listened to salsa, merengue and rock. At one point, his preferred music was the Bee Gees.
Bad Bunny sang in the choir of his local Catholic church until he was 13. He then concentrated on making his own beats in his room and free-styling at school.
Bad Bunny enrolled in the audiovisual-communications program at the University of Puerto Rico’s Arecibo campus. To support his studies, he bagged groceries at an Econo supermarket.
Bad Bunny first began sharing his music on SoundCloud when he was still a college student. In 2016, the popularity of his song “Diles” resulted in calls from producers, which Bad Bunny had to answer while at work in the grocery store.
After Bad Bunny found a manager, Noah Assad, the pair developed a plan to get attention by releasing singles and videos on YouTube instead of trying to sign with major record labels.
Albums and Songs
In 2017, Bad Bunny was part of a number of successful singles, such as “Pa Ti,” “Loco Pero Millonario” and “Sensualidad.” His singles success continued in 2018 with the Grammy-nominated “I Like It.”
Bad Bunny’s debut album X 100PRE came out on Christmas Eve 2018. It climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. The record showcases Bad Bunny’s skills in multiple music genres, which provided a way for him to both cope with his success and demonstrate his abilities. X 100PRE received a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Music Album.
In 2019, Bad Bunny released a collaboration EP called Oasis with Colombian rapper and reggaeton star J Balvin. It earned a Grammy nomination for Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album.
Bad Bunny performed at the 2020 Super Bowl with Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and J Balvin. On Leap Day of that year, he released a reggaeton album, YHLQMDLG (Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana, which translates to “I Do Whatever I Want”). It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. It also won a Grammy for Best Latin Urban/Pop Album, which Bad Bunny dubbed his “gringo Grammy.”
In May 2020, another Bad Bunny album, Las Que No Iban a Salir, arrived. Its 10 tracks include outtakes from previous recording sessions. Later that year his single “Dakiti” had a No. 1 debut. And on Thanksgiving 2020, Bad Bunny’s third album of the year, El Último Tour del Mundo, arrived. It became the first all-Spanish album to launch at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.