Entertainer Pitbull has done it and so has reggaeton singer Don Omar. Now DJ and rapper Lil Jon is joining Zumba Fitness with an upcoming new single and a nightclub series launching in April for the exercise brand which has inspired millions globally to move and sweat while music executives take note.
The new single "Work," which will be sold on iTunes next month, was recently performed at the Zumba instructor conference in Los Angeles during a fitness concert featuring Pitbull, Lil Jon and the brand's most familiar face: Beto Perez, co-founder of Zumba.
"Major names in music recognize that it's good business to be with Zumba," said Perez, moments before leading the instructor class. "These artists are talented, write catchy music and they get people hooked."
The winning combination has proven to be lucrative for the brand and as a result the music is something that Perez and his team do not take lightly. They work with major music producers and now more mainstream artists are getting involved with Zumba which reaches 14 million people in 152 countries, according to Perez.
"Zumba is world-wide, respected and it's about health," said Lil Jon. "It's something that you really didn't expect from me. People have been blown away to find out that Zumba and I have partnered up."
At 41, Lil Jon says he takes his health more seriously than ever. Zumba was a way to continue on a healthy path while having the ability to create music that motivates people. The new song "Work" literally tells people what to do. The musical influences of "Work" go from African to Brazilian and Latin and based on crowd reaction recently, it's a hit.
Zumba music overwhelmingly makes the classes successful, Perez said. Add major star power behind the music and it has strong appeal. Omar's "Zumba" reaches No. 1 on Latin Airplay this week and Pitbull's "Pause" (Zumba Mix) has sold more than 70,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The nightclub series, which goes on sale Feb. 22, features Lil Jon and celebrity fitness instructor Gina Grant. It is an experiment, Perez said, that will test the waters by featuring a big name artist. The series will take place at four nightclubs april 9, 10, 11 and 13 in Boston, Pittsburgh, Queens, and Cincinnati.
At the recent fitness conference in Los Angeles Sony US Latin President Ruben Leyva was seen checking out the concert with Lil Jon and Sony artist Pitbull.
"It's amazing the impact that Zumba is having on a global level," Leyva said. "And it's keeps spreading internationally. I'm going to have to try it soon."