Live: Romeo Santos Makes History at Yankee Stadium

Right before getting onstage for his headlining show at Yankee Stadium on July 11, Romeo Santos prayed. "I thanked God for giving me the opportunity to witness something that not too many artists get to witness in their lives," he tells Billboard. But plenty of fans were there to see the historic concert: 50,000 packed the stadium. The next night, too.

"I felt like a Latin superhero - like I was in a movie," says the bachata singer, who grew up in a Dominican-Puerto Rican household in the Bronx, just a couple miles away from Yankee Stadium. "All these people are there to see you, and they know every song word for word. They've been waiting for this moment more impatiently than I have."

Santos' two sold-out shows marked the first time a Latin act has headlined Yankee Stadium since the Fania All-Stars performed at the iconic venue 40 years ago. It also makes him one of a very small group of acts - of any language - that can sell out the stadium.

Since 2011, Santos, 32, has been moving the needle big-time. That's when he took what he calls a "pause" from bachata supergroup Aventura. He recorded with a slew of superstars - including Usher and Lil Wayne - and his 2012 solo debut, "Formula, Vol.1" (Sony), became the top-selling Latin album of the year. The streak continues in 2014: "Formula, Vol. 2" (Sony), released in February and featuring Drake and Nicki Minaj, is the biggest-selling Latin album of 2014 to date, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

It was no surprise then that the Yankee Stadium shows weren't just a performance - they were a celebration. The second night saw Santos share the stage with salsa/pop superstar Anthony, a friend with whom he has collaborated multiple times, and younger bachata star Prince Royce, who was invited to sing just hours before. "He was coming to the show simply to wish me good luck," says Santos of Royce. "And I said, 'You know what? Prince Royce is in the house and he should be onstage, because both of us are representing the same thing: We're Latin and we're bachateros."

The highlight in a night of highlights, however, was Santos' reunion with the three other members of Aventura. "They're my companeros, my brothers," he says. "There's been so much controversy [after the group's separation], good and bad, and it's been more than four years. I didn't know it would be so emotional. I had to calm my nerves down; it was really special that I was able to continue to perform at that point."

His career is at a peak, but even Santos knows his nights at Yankee Stadium - which also had one very lucky fan sharing a bed with him onstage for his closing song, "Propuesta Indecente" - will be difficult to replicate. Santos puts it this way: "It's a moment you wish you could capture for the rest of your life. I feel like I did something historic."

 

Additional reporting by Amaya Mendizabal.


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