Miami FL | Hip-Hop/Rap
Armando Pérez (born January 15, 1981), better known by his stage name Pitbull, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. His first recorded performance was from the Lil Jon album Kings of Crunk in 2002. In 2004, he released his debut album titled M.I.A.M.I. (short for Money Is A Major Issue) under TVT Records. Since then, he has released three other albums under the label: El Mariel in 2006, The Boatlift in 2007, and Planet Pit in 2011.
He released Rebelution in 2009, which included singles "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" and "Krazy". The latter peaked at No. 30 on the Hot 100 and No. 11 on the Hot Rap Tracks charts while "I Know You Want Me" peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 and peaked within the top ten spots of charts in the UK, Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands. The song reached No. 1 in France and the European Hot 100 on the week ending August 29, 2009 according to Billboard magazine. He later signed with Polo Grounds Music through Sony Music and created his own label Mr. 305 Inc. Another single from Rebelution was "Hotel Room Service", which peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 100. Rebelution went on to sell over 7.5 million worldwide digital singles and albums combined. Nevertheless, he dropped a smash called "Give Me Everything" which reached #1 worldwide, and featured artists Ne-yo, Nayer, and Afrojack. He has also performed as a featured artist in the remixes of many other hit songs, like Tik Tok, Scream & Shout, Lo Hecho Esta Hecho, Bad, Papi, Diamonds, How Low, Tonight (I'm Lovin' You), Video Phone , Over To You Now and Bumpy Ride. Pérez is also the host of his own Spanish-language program on the cable channel Mun2 titled La Esquina (Spanish for The Corner).
In 2005 Pérez and rapper Sean 'Diddy' Combs co-founded Bad Boy Latino, a subsidiary of Combs' Bad Boy Records label. It primarily focuses on Latin hip hop, Latin soul, Latin pop and other Tropical music, and has offices in New York and Miami, Florida. Along with co-founding it, Pérez currently heads the A&R division of the label.
Pérez has become a product endorser, representing alongside Drake, Rihanna, and Trey Songz the "So Kodak" campaign for the Kodak brand and embarking on a partnership with the soft drink giant Dr Pepper as part of the campaign "Vida 23" for which he recorded the song specifically featured on his album Armando. Pitbull also announced he has become the spokesperson for Voli Vodka, in which he holds a majority equity stake, and Budweiser has chosen Pitbull to promote its Bud Light line of beer. The commercials currently highlight Pitbull dancing and gyrating on stage holding up a bottle of Bud Light. Pitbull has also purchased an equity stake in Miami Subs Pizza and Grill.
Pérez was born to Cuban parents in Miami, Florida. When he was three, he could recite the works of Cuba's national hero and poet, José Martí. He encountered problems early in his career as a rapper because he is white with blue eyes, hails from the South, and is Cuban. He was also influenced by the Miami bass genre of pop music and has cited Celia Cruz and Willy Chirino as sources of inspiration for his music. Pérez's parents separated when he was young, and he was raised by his mother; he later spent time with a foster family in Roswell, Georgia. His mother later kicked him out of their house when he was 16 after he became a drug dealer, as had his father before him. He attended South Miami Senior High School before graduating from Miami Coral Park High School and focused his career in rapping.
Pitbull explained the reason behind choosing his stage name, saying about the dog, "they bite to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose. And they're outlawed in Dade County. They're basically everything that I am. It's been a constant fight." After meeting Lil Jon in Miami, Pitbull was featured on Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz' album Kings of Crunk in 2002. Pitbull's song "Oye" was featured on the soundtrack to the film 2 Fast 2 Furious the following year. In addition, Pitbull also released several mixtapes, composed of freestyles and remixes of popular rap music. Campbell featured Pitbull in his single, Lollipop.
2001-03: Luke Records and TVT Records:
In 2001, Pitbull was signed to Luther Campbell's Luke Records by Jullian Boothe, then the label's vice-president of A&R. In 2001, Pitbull was introduced to Robert Fernandez of Famous Artist Music & Management, an independent label and management company specializing in developing artists, by the Diaz Brothers, a producer duo signed to the company. Fernandez "saw the eagerness and hunger he had" and, with the Luke Records deal ending, began working to develop Pitbull. Together they focused on creating a more radio-friendly sound. Fernandez later told HitQuarters: "At that time his music had a lot of verses and took a long time to get into the hook, and so we took time in getting the songs catchier and less on the rap side." Pitbull recorded between 50 and 70 songs.
Fernandez introduced Pitbull to Lil Jon with a mind to trying to secure the rapper a small guest intro spot on Lil Jon's upcoming album "Kings of Crunk". According to Fernandez, Jon took a liking to Pitbull and went one better by offering him his own track on the album called "Pitbull's Cuban Ride Out", a feature that would help raise the young rapper's profile.
In 2004, Pitbull released his debut album M.I.A.M.I., with the lead single being "Culo" produced by Lil Jon and the Diaz Brothers. It peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 11 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. Other singles included "Dammit Man", "Back Up", "Toma", and "That's Nasty" (both featuring Lil Jon). He joined the Anger Management Tour, the 2000 hip-hop concert tour headlined by Eminem and 50 Cent. Pitbull also appeared on the Ying Yang Twins' single "Shake", which peaked at No.41 on the Hot 100 and No.12 on the rap chart, Adassa's chart topping single "Kamasutra" & Twista's "Hit the Floor" (#94 Hot 100, No. 20 Rap). Remix album Money Is Still a Major Issue was released in November 2005; it included new track "Everybody Get Up", a duet with hip-hop/R&B group Pretty Ricky.
TVT Records, Pitbull's label at the time, and Slip-n-Slide Records disputed over the release of Welcome to the 305, an unreleased album by Slip-n-Slide that Pitbull had recorded in 2001. A Miami judge ruled that Slip-n-Slide had a legal right to release the album as it was recorded when Pitbull was a Slip-N-Slide artist, and prior to him signing with TVT Records. A U.S. District Court judge affirmed the decision further. TVT was then ordered in March 2007 to pay Slip-n-Slide $9.1 million for attempting to block the album's release to record stores and digital download entities.
2006-08: El Mariel and The Boatlift:
In January 2006, he guest-starred in UPN's South Beach. , he recorded "Nuestro Himno" in collaboration with Wyclef Jean, Carlos Ponce, and Olga Tañón. On Listennn... the Album, the debut album by Terror Squad member and Miami radio personality DJ Khaled, Pitbull performed on three singles: "Holla at Me" and "Born-N-Raised" alongside other Southern-based rappers.
. He dedicated the album to his father, who died in May of that year. Along with the usual party-oriented tracks, Pitbull also included politically themed tracks in El Mariel. The album was released on October 31, 2006, and included singles "Bojangles", "Ay Chico (Lengua Afuera)", "Fuego", and duet with Puerto Rican singer Ken-Y, "Dime (Remix)". El Mariel topped the Billboard independent albums chart and peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the rap chart.
Pitbull's third album, titled The Boatlift, was released in November 2007, spawned by the single "Secret Admirer" featuring Lloyd on the chorus. Earlier, Pitbull announced that this album would have a more gangsta rap edge than his earlier albums. Subsequent singles included "Go Girl" featuring Trina, and "The Anthem" featuring and produced Lil Jon, that song sampling the hook from the song "El Africano" by Wilfrido Vargas and the beat from the song "Calabria" by Rune RK. "Go Girl" peaked at No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 36 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart; "The Anthem" No. 36 on the Hot 100 and No.11 on the Hot Rap Tracks.
His variety show, Pitbull's La Esquina, debuted May 2007 on the mun2 cable network. On December 21, 2007, Pitbull was arrested for drunk driving; he posted $1,000 in bail and pleaded not guilty. He was later acquitted of the charge. Pitbull also appeared on DJ Laz' "Move Shake Drop" and DJ Felli Fel's "Feel It".
2009-10: Rebelution and Armando:
For his fourth studio album Rebelution, Pitbull released "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" through Ultra Records after his former label TVT Records went out of business. "Krazy" peaked at No. 30 on the Hot 100 and No. 11 on the Hot Rap Tracks charts. "I Know You Want Me" peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 and peaked within the top ten spots of charts in the UK, Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands. The song reached No. 1 in France and the European Hot 100 in the week ending August 29, 2009 according to Billboard magazine. On Dec 11, 2009, Billboard announced their Year-End Canadian Update, placing "I Know You Want Me" at No. 7 on the Hot 100 chart and No. 2 on the CHR/Top 40 chart. He later signed with Polo Grounds Music through Sony Music and created his own label Mr. 305 Inc. Another single was "Hotel Room Service", which samples "Push the Feeling On" and which peaked at No. 9 on the Hot 100. On their second collaboration since "Go Girl", Pitbull appeared on the debut single of rapper David Rush (formerly Young Bo$$), "Shooting Star", also with Kevin Rudolf and LMFAO. An amateur video of Pitbull punching a disruptive audience member at a Colorado concert leaked onto the Internet in late May 2009. Pitbull explained to MTV News that it was because the fan kept throwing cash around the stage, and after Pitbull pulled him up to the stage, he threw a stash of money right in Pitbull's face. He has been tapped by the Miami Dolphins to work alongside T-Pain & Jimmy Buffett to release a new fight song for the Dolphins. The city of Miami granted Pitbull a "Key to the City" honor on August 19, 2009. Another popular single from 2009 was "Blanco", featuring Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes from the soundtrack to the movie Fast & Furious. Pitbull recorded a remix with Mexican pop diva Paulina Rubio for her single Ni Rosas Ni Juguetes in November, 2009.
In 2010, Pitbull performed the rap section in the Haiti benefit song "Somos El Mundo", a Spanish version of "We Are the World", that included a huge group of Latin artists led by Emilio and Gloria Estefan. He was also a featured guest on "Armada Latina", the fourth single off the album Rise Up by Latin rap legends, Cypress Hill. The song was produced by Jim Jonsin and also features Marc Anthony. Pitbull then collaborated with Alexandra Burke on the single "All Night Long". He was also featured on "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" by Usher.
Pitbull also released his full-length debut Spanish-language album titled Armando on November 2, 2010. Pitbull is also one of the most nominated artists of the upcoming Billboard Latin Music Awards. He garnered 7 nominations for "Latin Rhythm Airplay, Song of the Year" for "Bon, Bon"; "Latin Rhythm Airplay, Artist of the Year, Solo Artist"; "Latin Rhythm Albums, Album of the Year" for Armando; "Latin Rhythm Albums, Artist of the Year, Solo Artist"; "Social 50, Latin Artist of the Year"; "Latin Digital Download of the Year" for "Bon, Bon" and "Hot Latin Song of the Year, Vocal Event" for the song "I Like It" alongside Enrique Iglesias. He also won Telehit's award for "Most Popular Artist".
2011-present: Planet Pit and Global Warming:
Pitbull released his highly anticipated follow-up English album, Planet Pit, on June 21, 2011. The album sold 492,175 copies within the first 48 hours of sale. Pitbull collaborated with T-Pain on its first single, "Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)". Pitbull has also collaborated with Jennifer Lopez on her single "On the Floor". On March 22, 2011, Pitbull released his second single, "Give Me Everything" featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, and three months later, the song became Pitbull's first single to top the Billboard Hot 100. On May 2, 2011, Pitbull and Mýa appeared on WWE Raw to celebrate The Rock's birthday. Pitbull appeared as musical guest on Conan on August 1, 2011. On August 22, 2011, Lindsay Lohan sued Pitbull, Ne-Yo and Afrojack in response to "Give Me Everything"'s lyrics referencing her name.
On October 7, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding J Records along with Arista Records and Jive Records. With the shutdown, Pitbull (and all other artists previously signed to these three labels) will release his future material on the RCA Records brand. It was announced that Pitbull's seventh studio album would be titled "Global Warming" and released on November 19, 2012. It was also announced that the lead single from the album will be titled "Get It Started" featuring singer Shakira.
Regarding the title of the album, Pitbull explained that it reflects the fact that, much like the phenomenon of global warming, he's been around for a while but all of a sudden, people are paying attention.
Pitbull was attached to the Men in Black 3 soundtrack, releasing the song "Back in Time", which samples "Love Is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia. The third single was Feel This Moment featuring American singer-songwriter Christina María Aguillera.
Pitbull started his new world tour in June 2012. The tour included the concert in Ulan Bator, Mongolia on September 8 but the concert was cancelled after being postponed several times.
In 2012, Pitbull was involved in an advertising campaign with Walmart, in which the Walmart store that received the most Facebook "likes" from June 18 to July 15, 2012, would have Pitbull visit and put on a show there. An orchestrated campaign entitled "#exilepitbull" started by The Boston Phoenix reporter David Thorpe and SomethingAwful.com writer Jon Hendren urged people to vote for a remote location, namely Kodiak, Alaska. In an email to the Associated Press, Walmart confirmed that Kodiak was the winning location. Pitbull visited Kodiak on July 30 where he received a key to the city from Mayor Patricia Branson and then made an appearance before a crowd of hundreds at the Coast Guard base. The original orchestrator of the campaign to whom Pitbull had extended a public invitation, was present for the event.
In 2013, Pitbull released a diss track towards Lil' Wayne called "Welcome 2 Dade County" shortly after Lil' Wayne's rant on the Miami Heat.