Throughout the years, a wave of Latin music artists have embraced their religious beliefs and stamped them on their music — such as Juan Luis Guerra, Yuri, and Ricardo Montaner. Artists in the reggaetón and Latin hip-hop worlds have recently been following suit.
Whether they have opted to retire from the industry to follow their religious path, or have released music detailing their spiritual connections, here are some of the artists who have embraced their faith.
The Cuban-born, Puerto Rican-raised rapper kicked off the year with Genelipsis, his first full-fledged Christian album (the title blends the words Genesis and Apocalypse) with 32 tracks that have a hard-hitting messaging devoted to God. In 2019, he announced that he would stop making “the devil’s music” and devote himself to God.
Don Omar is behind several big Billboard Latin Songs hits, including the chart-topping bangers “Dutty Love,” “Taboo,” and “Danza Kuduro.” In 2021, Don (real name: William Omar Landrón Rivera) released “Agradecido” (Grateful), a down-tempo hip-hop track where he counts his blessings and elaborates on his connection with God. Over the groove, he pens an ultra-personal and sincere track about being grateful for being alive, his family, his fans, and even being at peace with colleagues who were once his competition.
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The former Panamanian artist, known for the jams “Muevelo, Muevelo” and “Rica y Apretadita,” is one of the pioneers of reggae plena, and often credited as one of the inspirations behind the reggaetón genre. After a nearly 20-year trajectory, El General announced his retirement from the music industry and became a Jehova’s Witness in 2004.
During a concert in Miami last month, the artist born Carlos Efrén Reyes Rosado preached the word of God to the audience multiple times. “God loves you just the way you are,” he told the packed venue. “We’re all sinners, none of us are perfect.” Farruko expressed that even though he had all the money and success in the world, he would feel empty and cry at night. At the 2022 Premio Lo Nuestro, where he received the Urban Excellence special award, the artist assured audiences that he’s not retiring: “I’m not saying goodbye, I’m just making a transition in my life — and you’re going to meet the best Farruko.”
HECTOR “EL FATHER” DELGADO
After a 16-year trajectory, Hector “El Father” Delgado — of famed reggaetón duo Hector y Tito — left the act and joined the Missionary Pentecostal Christian Church in Puerto Rico in 2008. With the duo, he scored various Billboard hits including the 2003 set La Historia Live, which peaked at No. 4 on Top Latin Albums. As a solo act, he has released two studio albums. He currently preaches in his homeland and continues to release Christian music, as heard in his 2021 LP La Hora Cero.
Lary Over, who signed a record deal with Carbon Fiber Music (helmed by chart-topping artist Farruko and industry leader Franklin Martinez), is another artist who has been recently missing in action. Known for the hard-hitting singles “Solo” and “Subete,” the Salvadorian artist last released music (“Bella Bella” with Akim and Milly) or posted on his Instagram in 2021. In an interview, Farruko explained that Lary has found his religious path.
TITO EL BAMBINO
During the heart of the Coronavirus outbreak in 2020, Tito El Bambino — who stamps his songs with “Dios Los Bendiga” — connected on Instagram Live with motivational speakers and pastors, such as Marcos Yaroide and Christian music singer Marcos Witt, to keep his followers’ faith alive during the challenging times. “Everything might be closed, but heaven is still open, and that is the most important thing,” Tito tells Billboard.
Reggaetón pioneer Vico C (real name: Luis Armando Lozada) released a 10-track album Christian rap album called Aquel Que Habia Muerto in 1998, after struggling with alcohol and drug abuse. Though the Puerto Rican star, behind hits like “Me Acuerdo,” “5 de Septiembre,” and “Desahogo,” has not entirely retired from the urban genre, he has been vocal about his beliefs in his music.
Best known for the reggaetón classic “Chulin, Chulin, Chunfly,” and for landing collabs with Beyoncé, Jerry Rivera, and Tego Calderon, to name a few, genre pioneer Voltio converted to Christianity in 2014. Defined as a “born-again” Christian, the Puerto Rican artist even co-hosted a Christian radio show with Hector “El Father” Delgado.