Hugely successful reggaeton singer Daddy Yankee quits career to ‘live for Christ’

Daddy Yankee Daddy Yankee performs during his concert “La Meta” at Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot on Nove.30, 2023, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. | Credit: Gladys Vega/Getty Images

Pedro Quiles, former member of the Latin music group Son By Four, commented that the recent declaration by the famous reggaeton singer Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez, “Daddy Yankee,” that he is leaving everything to live for Jesus shows that the call of the Lord is more powerful than that of the world.

Son by Four is best known for their top Latin hit “A Puro Dolor” (Purest of Pain) in 2000. The group eventually moved from secular pop to Catholic contemporary music.

According to, in 2006 Time Magazine ranked Daddy Yankee as one of the top 100 influencers in the world and in 2016 his hit single “Despacito” topped the charts in close to 50 countries and became one of the most-watched YouTube music videos at the time. His financial worth is estimated by to be $50 million. Other sites claim $40 million.

Quiles, who now works for the Spanish edition of EWTN Global Catholic Radio, noted that the recent announcement that Ayala, 46, made at a concert that from now on he will “live for Christ” demonstrates that “Jesus Christ calls on all levels, in all environments, and the call of Jesus Christ, when it reaches the heart of man, is more powerful than any grip that the world may have. There is no other explanation for leaving everything.”

“I understand that this is the call of God working in the heart of this guy,” he added.

Daddy Yankee — performer of not exactly edifying songs such as “Gasolina,” “Lo que pasó, pasó,” “Rompe,” and “Con Calma,” a remake of the song “Informer” by Canadian Snow — announced Dec. 4 on Instagram that he was ending his 30-year career because he had found a deeper purpose in life. “I realized something that the Bible says, what’s it worth to a man to gain the whole world if he loses his soul,” he explained that day.

“I recognize and am not ashamed to tell the whole world: Jesus lives in me and I will live for him. … A new story is going to begin, a new beginning, all the tools that I have in my possession, such as music, social media, platforms, a microphone, everything that Jesus gave me is now for the kingdom,” he said.

Don Omar ends rivalry with Daddy Yankee

Daddy Yankee’s announcement was hailed by various artists such as Yandel and Baby Rasta. It was Don Omar’s turn on Dec. 12. Don Omar is another reggaeton singer and a big rival of Ayala.

“Today we close the book that held the best chapters of our controversial rivalry. Thank you for your words and for listening to mine that came from the heart too. I wish you the best for you and your family. Thank you for your competitive spirit and admirable discipline, but even more so, thank you for what you did for our music,” Omar wrote on Instagram.

“Thank you for collaborating and for competing because I did it with a titan. I am left with the good memories, the laughter, the dreams together and with the desire for one last round with such a great opponent. We will see each other again soon because I owe you a hug and thank you in person. Meanwhile, long live King Daddy,” he added.

Responding to Omar, Daddy Yankee wrote on his Instagram: “We are an example that we may have differences but there will always be room for forgiveness. You have also been a great adversary and I will never stop recognizing everything you have also done for our movement.”

“In this new stage of my life it’s important for me to share my testimony with you and for my message to not remain only in words but in actions, which are the greatest example of what Jesus does with our lives,” he added.

Daddy Yankee ‘begins a new life’

In an interview with EWTN News, Quiles noted that Alaya’s last tour would have earned him about “$120 million,” so turning his back on something like that now would show that “the conversion is real, at least this step” that he has taken.”

“He took a step and begins a new life. The most difficult thing about this is taking up the cross and following Jesus Christ. This is not continuing with the same notoriety, this is dying, this is decreasing as that great figure of Advent, St. John the Baptist, says,” Quiles continued.

“That hurts; we have to see to what extent. And we have to pray for him so that the Lord shows him the way, the whole truth,” he continued. “May the Lord care for him in this journey that begins now,” Quiles remarked.

More in Americas

‘Priests who sing’ and advice for young Catholics

Quiles also warned of a certain current tendency among the faithful to follow “a Catholic showbiz with so many TikTokers, influencers, priests who sing, nuns who cook, that one’s head wants to burst.”

“I believe that in difficult times, like these, we have to return to the people who gave their lives and blood for the Gospel. We don’t need anything else; it’s my humble opinion,” he added

When asked about advice for young Catholics who see art as a way to evangelize, Quiles is clear: “Prepare yourselves for Calvary” because it is not an easy path and “financially it’s very hard.”

“It’s true that you can achieve fame,” he continued, but for that you must work hard and along the way “it’s easy to forget Christ for things of the world.”

EWTN Noticias journalist Nathalí Paredes also contributed to this article.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

(Story continues below)

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.