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21 Facts You Didn’t Know About Reggaeton Legend Ozuna

Twitter / @Ozuna_Pr

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 26 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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21 Things You Didn’t Know About Celia Cruz, The Indisputable Queen Of Salsa

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21 Things You Didn’t Know About Celia Cruz, The Indisputable Queen Of Salsa

celiacruzonline / Instagram

Celia Cruz is the legend of all legends; the Queen of Salsa, La Guarachera de Cuba, an icon of Afro-Latinidad. We all know her for classic hits like “La Vida es Un Carnaval” and “Guantanamera” but she’s the icon we inherited from the last generation.

Here the woman, the myth, the legend behind “Azúcar!” and 21 facts you probably didn’t know about her.

Her full name is Ursula Hilaria Celia de la Caridad Cruz Alfonso.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

She was born October 21, 1925, making her the most famous Libra Latina to ever grace the planet Earth. She was born in the poor, working-class neighborhood of Santos Suárez in Havana, Cuba.

Cruz was brought up a devout Catholic, but the first angelic notes she sang were to Santería.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Her neighbor practiced Santería and while her father highly opposed any other religion, she had a good time with her neighbor.

Cruz later studied Yoruba to sing alongside Merceditas Valdés.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Cruz stayed in this religious genre for a little while, singing backup for female led productions. Eventually, she made her big break, though.

She started singing as a teenager because her tía took her to cabarets.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

A little context: back in the 1940’s, singing wasn’t considered a respectable profession. It was a different time where people weren’t as free to express themselves as they are now.

Her father’s influence won for a minute when she attended the Normal School for Teachers in Havana.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

One of her teachers at the school gave her the down low and told her to escape, quickly. They told her that she could earn a teacher’s monthly salary in a single day as an entertainer.

To appease her father, she went to school…at Havana’s National Conservatory of Music.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Once she started getting gigs, however, another maestro told her to drop out of school and just pursue her career full-time. This was her moment.

Cruz started winning multiple “La hora del té” singing contests on the local radio.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Venezuela was actually the first country to truly embrace her stardom. Her first recordings were made there in 1948. From there, she found her in.

Cuba’s Sonora Matancera lost their Boricua lead singer to her home island and Cruz tried out for the empty slot.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

She was the best thing to happen to Sonora. Soon, her name was far bigger than the band’s and she stuck with the band for 15 years.

Cruz didn’t even get to say goodbye to Cuba before she was exiled.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

It’s impossible to find a picture of Celia not smiling, but we know this was a very difficult time for her. The band was on tour in Mexico during the 1959 Castro take over of Cuba and the band decided not to return home. Instead, they crossed into the U.S.

Castro was so enraged by Cruz’ defection that he barred her from ever returning to Cuba.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

In 1961, she became a US citizen. She tried to go back to Cuba when her mother died in 1962 but the government wouldn’t let her in.

Never returning to her home was heartbreaking.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

In 1990, she visited Guantanamo Bay, U.S. territory on the island of Cuba. She heartbreakingly was on her homeland, but not in her Cuba. She reached between the fence to collect the Cuban soil that she would later be entombed with.

She ended up marrying Sonora’s trumpet player, Pedro Knight, in 1962.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

At this point, the Cuban exile community in the U.S. was idolizing this marriage, but they hadn’t reached mainstream American music ears just yet.

They stayed together for 40 years, until they died.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Knight’s sideburns lived on until his death in 2007, when he was buried with Celia Cruz in the Bronx. But before all this morbid end to their lives, Celia conquered the world.

In 1994, President Clinton awarded Cruz the National Medal of Arts.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Was someone looking for proof that #ImmigrantLivesMatter? Well, you don’t need it, it’s just true. But here’s proof that immigrants enrich the United States in every single respect.

The Queen of Salsa was known for her statement wigs.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

In a completely male-dominated industry, Celia took ownership to the very top of salsa music with her own flourish. Her unconfined joy and creative expression was the icing on top of that deep, other-worldly voice of hers. We’re all sold.

Here’s the story behind “Azucar!”

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

In a 2000 Billboard interview, she explains how she came up with her famous catchphrase:

“I was having dinner at a restaurant in Miami, and when the waiter offered me coffee, he asked me if I took it with or without sugar. I said, ‘Chico, you’re Cuban. How can you even ask that? With sugar!’ And that evening during my show … I told the audience the story and they laughed. And one day, instead of telling the story, I simply walked down the stairs and shouted Azúcar!”

A few years after marrying Knight, she dropped out of Sonora and joined Tito Puente to record eight albums.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

The albums didn’t go anywhere but the pair eventually started headlining concerts at Carnegie Hall. Her voice never aged and many claim that while she is the Queen of Salsa, her voice was truly operatic.

There isn’t a Grammy Award that she was nominated for that she didn’t win.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

Truly. She generated over fifty albums in her lifetime and four won Best Salsa/Merengue Albums.

Two years ago, she was awarded post-mortem the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

In her last years of life, she was awarded three Grammy’s. Never give up, kids. Give it your all till the end.

On July 16, 2003, Cruz died from brain cancer at the age of 77.

CREDIT: @celiacruzonline / Instagram

While Cruz never had children, she inspired a whole generation of artists who attribute her music, her grace and her strength in Afro-Latinx representation as their inspiration.

Apparently, Cruz’ dedication and inspiration is infectious, because she hugged Amara La Negra and now we’re stanning.

CREDIT: @AmaraLaNegraALN / Instagram

We’re hard pressed to find any quotes from Celia about what it was like embracing her Latinx blackness, but contemporary artists like Amara La Negra cite Celia Cruz as their ultimate validation and inspiration. The spirit of Cruz lives on in us all, but we like to think that she’d be saying a lot of the things Amara has been saying for years.


READ: Let’s Revisit Celia Cruz And Patti LaBelle Rocking The 1998 ALMA Awards

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