The epic journey of Nicky Jam, who killed his career with drugs, exiled himself to Colombia and re-emerged with one of the year's hottest singles.

One of the biggest comebacks in Puerto Rico's rich musical history began in an unlikely place: more than 1,000 miles away, in Colombia. That's where rapper-singer Nicky Jam, a star in ­reggaeton's explosion in the 1990s and early 2000s, exiled himself after ­torpedoing his career through drugs, alcohol and an ill-advised beef with his own mentor, Daddy Yankee. He was depressed, overweight, struggling with addiction and, most of all, broke; the only job he could find in Puerto Rico was ­singing cheesy pop covers in a hotel lobby.

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