Entertainment

21 Facts You Didn’t Know About Reggaeton Legend Ozuna

Ozuna is one of the biggest up-and-coming performers on the music scene today. He’s had tons of hit songs across multiple genres, and has collaborated with artists like Bad Bunny, Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha, and Cardi B. This multi-talented artist has already won two Billboard Music Awards and three Latin American Music Awards. His YouTube videos, which have billions of views, all speak to his pride in his home country of Puerto Rico. He’s so talented that it’s sometimes hard to see the man behind the song. Today, we’re going to explore some little-known facts about this young legend.

1. His full name is Juan Carlos Ozuna Rosado 

Instagram / @ozuna

His original stage name was J Oz, and he only started going by Ozuna when his videos started attracting attention on YouTube.

2. He’s 28 years old 

Instagram / @ozuna

The singer’s birthday is March 13, 1992. He first started composing songs and writing lyrics when he was 12 years old.

3. Ozuna was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico 

Instagram / @ozuna

Even though he was born in Puerto Rico, he claims Dominican heritage through his father. His dad was a backup dancer for reggaetón rapper Vico C, but died when Ozuna was only 3 years old.

4. He was raised by his abuela

Instagram / @ozuna

After his dad passed away, his mom wasn’t able to raise young Juan Carlos on her own, so he moved in with his paternal grandmother. He lived with her in Puerto Rico until 2010.

5. His first big move was to NYC in 2010 

Twitter / @Ozuna_Pr

Ozuna moved to NYC in 2010, when he was only 18 years old. He spent three years there, debuting with his song “Imaginando” while he was still living on the mainland. He signed a recording contract with Golden Family Records in 2014, immediately after he left NYC. He started posting music online immediately.

6. His first big hit was “Si No Te Quiere”

Twitter / @Ozuna_Pr

The song featured rapper D.OZi, and it was Ozuna’s first real hit. It was a popular radio jam, and peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Latin charts in late 2016. Right now, it has over 250 million views on YouTube and it’s still climbing.

7. His next hit was “La Ocasión,” which was released in early 2016

Instagram / @ozuna

This trap rap track featured a ton of well-known artists including Arcangel, De La Ghetto, DJ Luian, and Mambo Kingz. He followed it up with a cover of his lesser-known single “No Quiere Enamorarse”, which he re-released with Daddy Yankee.

8. After “La Ocasión” dropped, he released four more singles

Instagram / @ozuna

His singles “No Quiere Enamorarse”, “Dile Que Tu Me Quieres”, “Si Tu Marido No Te Quieres (Remix)” and “En La Intimidad” all reached the top 30 on the Billboard Latin charts. Some of the artists he collaborated with on those singles include Arcangel, Farruko, and Daddy Yankee.

9. After those successful singles were released in 2016, there was a switch-up with his management, and he was signed to Sony Music Latin. 

Instagram / @ozuna

At the time, all of the artists repped by Vincente Saavedra moved to Sony Music Latin. This affected the production of Ozuna’s debut album “Odisea.”

10. His first studio album, “Odisea,” dropped on August 25, 2017

Instagram / @ozuna

The album features 16 tracks, nine of which were released as singles. There are a ton of featured artists on the album, including De La Ghetto, Anuel AA, and J Balvin. “Odisea” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Latin charts, and hit No. 22 on the Billboard 200 album ranking. “Odisea” broke the record for the longest time at the top of the Billboard Latin charts, topping Luis Miguel’s 29-week record for “Segundo Romance” by one week.

11. “Odisea” went 11x platinum 

Instagram / @ozuna

This means that the record has sold at least 660,000 copies within the United States alone. Ozuna started touring to promote the album 3 months before it actually came out, starting in Atlanta and hitting major American cities like Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles before moving to South America and Europe.

12. He has two kids with wife Taina Melendez

Instagram / @ozuna

His wife Taina is an active promoter of her husband’s career. She’s also a full-time mother to their children. Sofía Valentina was born in 2014, and Jacob Andrés was born in 2016. The couple tries to maintain a normal family life for their two children, rarely posting photos of them on social media.

13. He tries to avoid disrespecting women on his tracks 

Twitter / @Ozuna_Pr


Although he does sing about sex, drugs, and other adult subjects, Ozuna has said that he tries to avoid objectifying women on his tracks out of respect for his young daughter. During an interview with Argentinian newspaper Clarin, he said “I do not want to offend anyone with my music, I just want to convey a message of joy, but everyone is free to choose what they want to hear.”

14. He’s proficient in English, but isn’t fluent yet 

Instagram / @ozuna

He’s said that he’s practicing with the intention of being able to rap and record songs in English. He’s also stated that his goal is to become a multi-talented artist like Drake or Rihanna one day. However, even if he says his English isn’t great, he’s still fluent enough to be interviewed, in English, by the New York Times- which is pretty damn good.

15. The video for his 2017 single “La Modelo” was shot on location in Jamaica 

Instagram / @ozuna

The track, which is a collaboration with Cardi B, features shots of the two dancing under Rastafarian colors. It also marked the first time that we’ve heard Cardi sing on a track, and she knocked her verses out of the park. The video is split between shots of the duo in a massive oceanfront mansion, and on the dance floor of a Jamaican club.

16. He got in some trouble for hitting a security guard during a show in 2017 

Instagram / @ozuna

Apparently the guard stepped too close to the stage, and Ozuna, who had been suffering stress from the long tour, hit him in the head with a microphone. The New York Police Department declined to press charges.

17. His second album, “Aura,” was released in August 2018. 

Instagram / @ozuna

It debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Latin charts. The Aura tour started one month earlier in Madrid.

18. His success is super meaningful for the Latin music genre 

Instagram / @ozuna

The New York Times’ pop music critic wrote in September 2017 that the fact that Ozuna “can work across all these genres at the same time is a testament to the current fluidity of Latin pop.” His success mirrors the rise of reggaetón and Latin trap across North America.

19. He started a charity called Odisea Children in 2017 

Instagram / @ozuna

The foundation exists so that he can use his resources to help others. He’s currently helping people in Puerto Rico who were affected by Hurricane Maria.

20. He thinks of himself as a pretty normal guy. 

Instagram / @ozuna

In the past, he’s described himself as a ” típico boricua con sangre dominicana.” He loves extreme sports, spending time with his family, and making people laugh.

READ: 21 Things You Gotta Know About Reggaeton Myth Don Omar

21. He doesn’t want to remain in the spotlight for long 

Instagram / @ozuna

He’s said that he wants to save his money, and in a few years, return to living a more normal life with his family. He has several investments in Puerto Rico, but unlike many other famous artists, his are smaller, family businesses rather than luxuries like champagne or sports cars.

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Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

Entertainment

Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

As you probably know by now, a new season of the never-ending reality series “The Bachelor” has just started.

And this season is destined to be especially exciting–not just because of the promise of non-stop drama, but because the franchise has finally hired its first Black male lead, Matt James, after 18 years on the air.

And with the first Black “Bachelor” comes the most diverse group of contestants competing for the lead’s heart that they’ve ever had.

And one of the contestants that is capturing the hearts of both fans and Matt James alike is 24-year-old Puerto Rican-born pageant queen Mariela “Mari” Pepin.

On this season’s premiere episode of “The Bachelor”, Mari was immediately clocked by viewers as one of the front runners by the way that Matt reacted to meeting her. The former Wake Forest wide receiver was struck speechless by her beauty and couldn’t keep his eyes off her when she parted ways with him. It was obvious that Mari had made quite the first impression on him.

And because we love to see #representation on screen (and especially on reality TV), we decided to do our due diligence and find out as much as we could about this gorgeous and accomplished Latina. Here’s everything you need to know about Mari Pepin.

She’s Boricua–and proud of it!

Something that immediately endeared Mari to fans was the fact that she is so vocally proud of being Puerto Rican. In her first sit-down conversation with Matt, she opened up about how hard its been for her family to live through the relentless natural disasters that the island is going through.

She’s a military brat.

According to Mari’s personal blog, she spent the first few years of her life in PR before relocating to Germany because of her father’s military career. According to Mari, her unique childhood contributed to her love of traveling as an adult.

She was 2019’s Miss Maryland USA.

According to Mari’s official “Bachelor” bio, she began competing in pageants when she moved to Maryland as a teenager. She won Miss Teen Maryland and then went on to win the title of Miss Maryland. After that, she placed in the Top 10 of the Miss USA competition.

She’s wicked smart.

According to Mari’s LinkedIn page, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Towson University and she’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marketing Intelligence from the same institution. It’s safe to say she values education.

She’s multilingual.

Not only does Mari speak both Spanish and English flawlessly, but she’s also fluent in French and American Sign Language.

Based on all this info alone, we can’t wait to see Mari Pepin crush this season of “The Bachelor”. Hopefully, this Boricua beauty will be popping up a lot on our screens for years to come!

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Music’s Biggest Night Is Officially Postponed As COVID-19 Wreaks Havoc On California

Entertainment

Music’s Biggest Night Is Officially Postponed As COVID-19 Wreaks Havoc On California

Kevin Winter / Getty

The 2021 Grammys won’t be taking place as expected at the end of the month. According to Rolling Stone, the Grammys have been postponed indefinitely thanks to the extreme surge of COVID-19 cases in the Los Angeles area – which is where the Grammys take place year after year.

The shocking surge in cases of COVID-19 have forced the Grammys to postpone the award show.

It was announced just this week that Los Angeles County – which is currently experiencing one the worst outbreaks in the world – is seeing someone die of COVID-19 every 15 minutes. Meanwhile, a reported 7,600 people in LA are hospitalized with COVID symptoms.

As many Angelenos – and Americans across the country – remain under strict stay-at-home orders, it would definitely not seem right to move forward with a glitzy award show that would risk making the outbreak worse.

As a result, the Grammys are planning a limited production event to take place in March, according to The Fader. In other words, no live audience and only performers and presenters on-site. Nominees and winners would likely accept their awards remotely like many of last year’s award ceremonies during the first wave of the pandemic.

This year’s Grammys were expected to feature big moments for the Latin music industry.

Bad Bunny was expected to pick up awards and was rumored as a performer. Other Latino nominees included J Balvin, Camilo, Arca and Lido Pimienta. Meanwhile, Selena was also scheduled to receive a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award that her family was planning to accept on her behalf.

Original Story Posted November 10, 2020:

Seriously, it was just last year that some of the world’s most popular artists – reggaetoneros and trap artists like Bad Bunny and J Balvin – were completely ignored. I mean it was so serious there was even a hashtag: “Sin Reggaetón, No Hay Grammy.”

At the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards, the top award categories very conspicuously left out these very artists. However, this year they’re dominating all the categories and bringing in a record number of nominations.

The 2020 Latin Grammy nominations are in and they definitely do a better job at representing the community than last year’s.

In 2019, the Latin Grammy’s went viral but really for all the wrong reasons. social media exploded as Latin artists posted images of the Grammy logo with a large red “X″ across it, with words on the image reading in Spanish: “Without reggaeton, there’s no Latin Grammys.” Balvin even skipped the live show and Bad Bunny, who won best urban music album during the telecast, told the audience: “With all due respect, reggaeton is part of the Latin culture.”

This definitely forced the Grammy’s to reconsider this year’s awards.

“Over the last year, we continued engaging in discussions with our members to improve the awards process and actively encouraged diverse Latin music creators to join and participate,” Latin Academy President and CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. said in a statement, calling this year’s nominees “a group that reflects the constant evolution of Latin music.”

To honor Latin rap and reggaeton performers, the Latin Grammys added new categories this year, including best reggaeton performance and best rap/hip-hop song.

J Balvin leads the pack with an astonishing 13 Grammy nominations.

In announcing this year’s nominees, J Balvin is in the lead with 13 total nods, including two nominations Album of the year, thanks to his own album Colores and his collab with Bad Bunny, OASIS.

The Colombian reggaetonero has a chance to win his first album of the year prize — a category with 10 contenders – and his chances look pretty good. However, even if he doesn’t pick up that, he’s in the running for several other awards.

Bad Bunny is close behind with nine nominations for what was a record-breaking year for the artist.

Bad Bunny is included in the Album of the Year category for his album YHLQMDLG (which was this year’s best-selling Latin album), however, his surprise album, LAS QUE NO IBAN A SALIR, wasn’t recognized in any category.

In the Best Urban album category, Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG is up against Anuel AA’s Emmanuel, Benito’s Oasis with J Balvin, Balvin’s Colores, Feid’s Ferxxo: Vol. 1 M.O.R., Ozuna’s Nibiru, Sech’s 1 of 1, and rising Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers’Easy Money Baby.

Meanwhile, the Album of the Year category could get pretty interesting with this caliber of nominees.

This year’s Album of the Year category prove what an incredible year 2020 was for Latin music. We were blessed with hit after hit which was all the more important considering what a traumatic year it’s been.

Bad Bunny and J Balvin are both competing for the award. San Benito’s YHLQMDLG faces off against Balvin’s Colores and their joint album OASIS. Meanwhile, albums from Camilo (Por Primera Vez), Ricky Martin (PAUSA EP), and Kany García (Mesa Para Dos), are all up for the same award. What’s extra special about this category this year is that it’s also featuring three nominees from the LGBTQ community.

This year’s top-selling record, “Tusa”, is also up for a Grammy.

Colombian reggaetonera Karol G along with Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj are nominated for this hit song that has just blown up the airwaves this entire year.

“Tusa” is the sole Latin trap nominee in the song of the year category, where 11 tracks are in contention. It’s a departure for Karol G, who didn’t receive a single nomination last year and was part of the group of uber-successful Latin trap and reggaeton artists who were dissed in top categories like album, song and record of the year. This year, the Colombian performer who was named best new artist in 2018 has four nominations, including two shared with Minaj.

It’s encouraging to see the academy actually reflect what is happening in Latin music. The inclusion of this larger variety of artists helps illustrate just how diverse the Latin music industry really is. But to see who actually takes home the awards will be a different story. The Latin Grammy Awards will air live from Miami on Nov. 19 on Univision.

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