When we look at Bad Bunny’s stellar career, we can’t help but be amazed at how far he took the Spanish urban genre. The Puerto Rican singer now paid tribute on March 2 to one of the most influential women in the genre: Ivy Queen.

Benito appeared at the Billboard Women in Music Awards to present the Icon Award to the reggaeton pioneer.

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“I don’t have to say much because Ivy’s career and legacy speak for itself,” said Bad Bunny. “When I’m asked which artists have inspired me, I never know what to say. Truth be told, I’ve been a fan of reggaeton since I was a kid, and many artists have inspired me. I’ve always said that my musical DNA has a bit of all artists. Without a doubt, the strength I’ve had to be myself and be successful [comes from Ivy]. I have a part of Ivy in my musical DNA.”

Honor to whom honor is due

In his speech, Bad Bunny spoke of how Ivy Queen, known as “La Reina del Reggaeton,” has inspired him. But also how she inspired an entire generation of Puerto Rican women in the industry.

“I will never know what it feels to be a woman in the industry or in general because I’m a man,” he said. “But I know what it’s like to have prejudices against someone and go against the current. That’s why I say that because of Ivy, I’ve worked double to shut people’s mouths, fight, and feel proud of who I am the way Ivy has always shined. […] As a fan of reggaetón, I’ve waited a long time for this moment.”

“I think that 2023 is the time when more female reggaeton exponents exist, and I don’t want to speak for her, but I’m sure it’s because of the root that Ivy planted a long time ago,” he continued. “And today, we’re seeing it in the new generation of Puerto Rico that’s dominated by women.” 

Ivy Queen, the legend

Having started her career as a member of the male collective The Noise in San Juan, Ivy Queen launched her solo career in 1996.

Her hit single, “In The Zone,” positioned her as one of the emerging artists of the time. Subsequently, her albums “Diva,” “Flashback,” and “Sentimiento” have been awarded gold and platinum records by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Today, Ivy Queen is one of the most successful urban music artists, with a net worth of $10 million.

In this way, Ivy Queen has not only transformed herself into an icon but has also been a pioneer in transforming reggaeton into a genre of female empowerment.

“When I fell in love with music, I found myself constantly to earn my own stop, to earn my own lane, and to find my own identity among the guys,” she explains.

“The movement was underground, then it became [reggaeton],” she continued. “I traveled all over the island of Puerto Rico, measuring my skills with the male MCs. The beats became my self-defense mechanism. Through the lyrics, I encouraged other Latinas around me to stand up for themselves and not stay silent when something hurts them.”

Finally, Ivy Queen called on all Latinas in the industry “to not allow others to divide us and to not divide us anymore.”

“Let’s stay authentic, healthy, walk with grace, and laugh more but remember that beauty is a mindset, and with that said, please, ladies, don’t go to bed with makeup on tonight, OK?”