Don Omar

Don Omar

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About Don Omar

Endowed with a powerful bark that cuts cleanly through synth-heavy riddims, Don Omar emerged as one of the key figures in reggaetón’s international explosion of the early 2000s. Born William Omar Landrón Rivera in 1978, in the Santurce barrio of San Juan, Puerto Rico, he was a teenager when the genre took shape in the ‘90s, and he came up under pioneering artists like Luny Tunes and Noriega, cutting his teeth on raw mixtape cuts. By his breakout hit, 2003’s “Dale Don Dale,” Don Omar had perfected his style, switching between monotone, dancehall-inspired sing-rapping and melodic hooks delivered with a flamenco-like trill. The same year’s “Dile” paired reggaetón’s signature drums with another island export, bachata, confirming Omar’s role as a standard-bearer for Puerto Rican sounds. That the working-class sound of reggaetón still struggled against government criticism only made Don Omar’s success all the sweeter. Following his 2003 debut, The Last Don, 2006’s King of Kings smashed glass ceilings to become reggaetón’s highest-charting album yet, debuting atop Billboard’s Top Latin Albums Chart and reaching No. 7 on the Billboard 200 Chart. But Don Omar was uninterested in remaining in his stylistic comfort zone. For 2010’s “Danza Kuduro,” Omar teamed up with the Portuguese-French musician Lucenzo, fusing reggaetón with Angolan sounds. And though Omar announced his retirement in 2017, he bounced back in 2019 with The Last Album; the following year, Bad Bunny tapped him for “PA’ ROMPERLA”—a passing of the torch confirming Omar’s status in the annals of música urbana.

Trappes, France
February 10, 1978
Urbano latino
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