Nicky Jam, 35, first rose to prominence in the 1990s and early 2000s as a collaborator and friend of fellow Puerto Rican reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee. While Yankee became a star, Jam struggled “with the streets, with alcohol, with drugs,” he says. In 2010, he made a fresh start in Colombia, where a new breed of reggaeton artists was rising, and has since landed four hits on Billboard‘s Latin charts — most notably “El Perdon” (Forgiveness), featuring Enrique Iglesias, which hit No. 1 on both the Hot Latin Songs and Latin Airplay tallies. A new album is due this year, and he has signed deals with Sony Music U.S. Latin and Sony/ATV (for his worldwide publishing).
In his words: “Once I fell to the floor, I had to come back up again.”
At the conference: Joins “The New Latin Urban Movement” panel on April 29.