Rene Perez has been awarded a Nobel Peace Summit Award for his song lyrics and his support for social causes.
The rapper and songwriter, best known as Calle 13 frontman Residente, received the award at the 15th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, held in Barcelona Sunday (Nov. 15).
He is the first Latin American recipient of the honor. Bono, Sharon Stone, Cat Stevens, Bob Geldof, Sean Penn and Peter Gabriel are among the previous recipients of the award, given during the yearly Nobel Laureate meeting.
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Perez’s lyrics have dealt with Latin American identity, racism, immigration and rebellion. For Calle 13’s last album, Multi Viral, he collaborated with Julian Assange on the title track, which incited demonstrations with an anti-corporate call to action.
The Puerto Rican artist has lent his voice and image to Amnesty International, UNICEF and other organizations and has frequently spoken out for Puerto Rican independence and for the freeing of Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez Rivera from federal prison.
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In recent years, Perez met personally with Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Uruguay’s Jose Mujica, among other politicians. After a Calle 13 concert earlier this year, he had a tete a tete in his dressing room with Barcelona mayor and social activist Ada Colau
Perez is currently recording his first solo album. He and Eduardo Cabra, his half-brother and co-founder of Calle 13, announced they would begin working on separate projects after playing their “last concert” as Calle 13 this past July.