Bad Bunny first performed at Coachella in 2019, a then-emerging reggaeton and trap artist. On Friday (April 14), the Puerto Rican hitmaker returned to the desert as a global superstar to make history as the first Spanish-language artist to ever headline the festival.
“Latinos have been rompiéndola (killing it) for some time now,” he said with pride. “I just did a tour last year that I never imagined I’d be able to do. I’ve been out for some time but [I’m back] and it feels cabrón to be here tonight and that you’re all here with me.”
The past four years have been pivotal for the Grammy-winning artist, who has redefined what it means to be a Latin artist today with two No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 (including his latest Un Verano Sin Ti) and a record-breaking tour.
So, when he took the stage at exactly 11:35 p.m., he was received as the icon that he is. A roaring crowd went crazy when Bad Bunny, who wore a colorful puffer jacket and chunky diamond necklaces, appeared on top of a rectangular box. His two-hour show — one of the longer Coachella headlining sets in recent memory — included special guests such as Jhayco, Jowell & Randy and Ñengo Flow, plus Post Malone (who’s appearance was overshadowed by mic issues). The set also, most notably, featured a passionate speech by Bunny who assured his zealous fans that, “People think they know the lives of famous people — but they don’t.”
Here’s what went down during Bad Bunny’s history-making performance.
He Expressed His Gratitude
Before Bad Bunny sang literally all the hits, those in attendance heard a pre-recorded video of the Grammy-winning artist expressing the significance of this moment. “The sun and the moon have witnessed epic moments, magical nights. Artists have found their purpose, their inspiration, the answer to all their questions, that perhaps weren’t questions in the first place. Here, history has been made thousands of times. My head is spinning. It’s incredible to see the list of all the other artists that have performed on this stage. So many of them, but no one like me,” he said entirely in Spanish. “It’s the first time a Benito closes the festival. It may be the first time, but perhaps not the last time.”
He Performed All The Hits
Guessing which song Bad Bunny would start with was no easy task. Surprisingly, he kicked off with “Me Porto Bonito” — a bold move to some as the banger could just have easily closed his set .”Coachella, quieres perreo? Before I keep going with my show, what do you prefer? Me talking in English or español? You decide.” The unanimous decision was, of course, español. And once he resumed, it was almost like he didn’t want to stop. The first half of the show featured a stacked setlist including hits from albums released since he was last at Coachella: “Moscow Mule,” “Neverita,” “Si Veo A Tu Mamá,” “La Difícil,” “La Santa,” “Estamos Bien” and “Te Boté,” among other anthems.
He Set the Record Straight
Mid-set, Bad Bunny took a moment to make one thing very clear: “Humbly speaking, people think they know the lives of famous people but they don’t,” he said categorically. “They don’t know what we feel, what we live through. They will never know what a heart can feel. Don’t believe everything you hear. You won’t get to know the real me through a video on Instagram, an interview or a TikTok. If you really want to get to know me, I invite you to my home. My name is Benito Martinez Ocasio,” he stated. “I’ve met good people, I’ve met bad people. You learn from both. I know who I am, what my purpose is and I promise you I will see it through. Don’t worry about me, I’m ok.”
He also addressed a quote of his from a recent interview he gave, in which he said he didn’t feel strongly about the lyrics to one of his songs. “I don’t regret anything. I don’t even regret my errors because you learn from your mistakes. The last thing I’d regret is writing this song,” referring to “El Apagón,” which he performed right after this heartfelt speech.
He Welcomed Both Expected and Unexpected Guests
Bad Bunny would have had no problem filling 120 minutes on his own. But the more the merrier. The chart-topping artist brought out OG reggaetoneros Jowell & Randy and Ñengo Flow to perform the perreo anthem “Safaera” from Bunny’s 2020 set YHLQMDLG. It’s safe to say that his next guest was the least expected; as Bad Bunny made his way to another part of the stage out in the middle of the crowd, he was joined by Post Malone who played guitar renditions of “La Canción” and “Yonaguni.” But after a few tries, his mic never cooperated and Bad Bunny ended up singing the two songs a cappella (he even briefly tried holding a second microphone to the then unplugged guitar). “Something happened to el cabrón cable,” he said visibly upset.
But technical difficulties didn’t stop him from continuing his show. Instead, he jumped on a jet ski as frequent collaborator Jhayco rode one beside him to perform their euphoric duet “Dákiti.” And yet, there was still more. Bunny ended the set back on the main stage — and on his own, performing hits “Callaíta,” “Me Porto Bonito” and “Después de la Playa” as a final lengthy round of fireworks exploded behind him.
Get tickets to the first-ever #BBMujeresLatinas on May 6 in Miami: billboardmujeresenlamusica.com