All About Ivy Queen's Metamorphosis: New Music, New Tour & Her Now-Popular Fashion Statement

Ivy Queen
Tommy Chung

Ivy Queen

On this week’s El Factor Latino podcast, Billboard Latin editors Leila Cobo and Suzette Fernández had a deep conversation with Puerto Rican urban singer Ivy Queen about her new single “Un Baile Más,” her first-ever U.S. tour and her musical metamorphosis, which has inspired other singers like Paloma Mami to pursue a career in urban music.

Born Martha Ivelisse Pesante Rodríguez, Ivy Queen is a Puerto Rican rapper who joined DJ Negro’s The Noise by recording "Somos Raperos Pero No Delincuentes.” In 1997, Ivy Queen launched her solo career by dropping her debut studio album, En Mi Imperio (In My Empire), earning the respect of her peers and fans of the genre with lyrics that defended women during a time when female artists weren't often speaking up.

During the interview, Ivy Queen says that her strong character is born from the early days of her career. “I had to fight with the guys, because while I waited for my turn to sing, they were late and wanted to go up first,” she recalls. And that attitude developed a strong woman who, through her songs, encouraged other women to defend themselves and give themselves the position they merit.

And not everything is about music: The conversation also pointed out that Ivy feels flattered knowing that her once-criticized super-long fingernails are now a popular trend. “I'm glad to know that singers like Rosalia and Cardi B use the nails as long as I had them,” she says.

Listen to Billboard's El Factor Latino podcast and check out what Ivy Queen learned from men while recording her forthcoming album.