How the Music of Puerto Rico Made the Tiny Island a Worldwide Power


Bad Bunny credited Puerto Rico as the “cradle and the capital of reggaeton worldwide” after he won the Grammy for best urban music album in February. The famous person didn’t brag The little Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 3.2 million people live on an island that is roughly one-third the size of neighboring Haiti and one-fifth the size of the Dominican Republic, according to the most recent U.S. Census. Puerto Rico, however, is a global music powerhouse, and not just because of Bad Bunny’s three-year streak of record-breaking performances. .

Founder Paco López claims that Puerto Rico has always been one of the major music exporters.

In addition to the present surge of urban music, Puerto Rico’s enormous influence can be observed throughout Latin music history in the works of Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón, Ricky Martn, Elvis Crespo, Marc Anthony, and Jennifer López. sic. Although reggaeton was created in Panama, Puerto Rican artists like Tego Calderón, Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel, and Don Omar helped it gain international recognition. More recent artists like Bad Bunny and Rauw Alej have helped it reach new heights.

That impact on the music industry is not limited to artists. Puerto Rico is home base for a growing number of recording studios, independent labels and concert venues that are supported by the growing number of music schools, educational initiatives and government incentives that keep the industry on the island evolving.

Between November 2021 and October 2022, the Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot alone grossed more than $40 million, according to Billboard Boxscore. And according to ASM Global regional GM Jorge Pérez, who oversees the fabled venue, the island’s live-entertainment industry created 30,000 jobs and generated $2 billion annually over the past two years. In that time, Puerto Rico also began hosting major televised shows, including Premios Tu Música Urbano (Telemundo), Premios Juventud (Univision) and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, that were broadcast from the territory. (Billboard parent company Penske Media Corp. partially acquired dick clark productions in January.)

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