They fought. They made up. They announced a mega-tour. Then they fought again.
Iffy no more, says promoter Felix Cabrera and manager/producer Raphy Piña. Following a sold-out show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 6, the dueling titans have finally confirmed they will play more U.S. dates.
The Kingdom is slated to play July 30 at Madison Square Garden in New York, August 6 at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, August 7 at Amway Center in Orlando and August 27 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Tickets for the first two shows go on sale Thursday, and tickets for Orlando and L.A. go on sale June 23.
It hasn’t been easy to get this far.
When it was first announced last August by Billboard, The Kingdom Tour promised to be the biggest Latin urban pairing in history, and certainly, the most momentous tour in the genre.
Yankee and Don Omar, longtime colleagues who’d had spats in the past, were joining for an ambitious 60-date trek that would also include a joint album and a TV show for the two artists, who between them have 11 No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Latin Albums chart and 28 top 10 hits on Hot Latin Songs.
“I was motivated by doing something completely different — and by the size of the offer,” Yankee, 38, told Billboard at the time. “This is a sport, and I like to be the best athlete.”
Don Omar was equally pragmatic. “Let me clarify: I am not his best friend, and he is not my best friend,” said the 37-year-old. “But we respect each other. That desire to be the best is what has pushed us to be better.”
Things were slated to kick off with a Dec. 5, one-off date in Puerto Rico that sold out in minutes and became four sell-out shows, Dec. 3-6.
That much went off without a hitch. Yankee and Don Omar traded off individual sets and then performed together in what had been billed as an epic face-off. It was a resounding success.
But come 2016 — and for reasons that remain a mystery, at least to outsiders — things between Yankee and Don Omar began to cool off, and the tour kick-off was pushed back.
In April, the pair met for a panel and performance at the Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards but barely looked at each other. Rumors swirled about a possible tour cancellation.
On May 6, however, Yankee and Don Omar both made it to Las Vegas, and although their much-anticipated onstage musical “face-off” never happened, each performed individually as planned in an extremely polite atmosphere.
“Thank you for coming, family!” Yankee shoted at the close of his one-hour-plus set, which opened the evening. “This is Daddy Yankee, here with my colleague Don Omar, to give you a show of the highest level.”
Later, Don Omar made an effort to be equally congenial. “Are we having fun? That’s the most important,” he said. “Thanks for helping us tonight.”
At this time, it’s impossible to say what exactly could happen at MSG and beyond, but dates are at least locked in.
Neither Yankee nor Don Omar is saying anything, but what Don Omar told Billboard last year still holds: “There’s a professional rivalry, and we’re both going to show our best. It’s stressful, and I love it.”