The testimony of the prominent reggaeton singer and the conversion of other celebrity musicians shows the importance of having Christian family and friends.
Reggaeton as a pop music style was born in Puerto Rico during the 1990s and reached its peak in 2000, when artists like Daddy Yankee popularised it worldwide, which is why his statements on faith have resonated so much in Christian and non-Christian media.
This music is famous for its mix of rhythms linked to dembow, reggae and hip hop, but also for its lyrics, which in several cases have been labelled as auditory pornography and an apology for the mistreatment of women.
Reggaeton is one of the five most listened to music genres in the world, and Yankee deserves part of the credit.
For years, Christian artists struggled to get into the media, always differentiating themselves from the rest by upholding biblical truths. From this group stands out Willy González, better known as Redimi2, who became known more than 20 years ago and popularised several songs, including “Declaro” (I Declare, 2006), a musical piece that he performed with rapper Manny Montes on Don Omar’s album.
“I declare, that in every place, every corner, that Daddy Yankee and Don Omar take reggaeteon, there they will be together on a mission, proclaiming a message of salvation”, said a line of the song where Raymond Ayala (Daddy Yankee) and many other artists are mentioned, visualising them in a future evangelistic role.
[photo_footer] A screenshot of the videoclip by Redimi2 about the hope to see famous artists convert to Christ.
In 2019, Redimi2 released another song (Filipenses 1:6 ft Almighty) in which he once again asked God that urban singers would transform their hearts and recognise Christ as their Lord and Saviour. Daddy Yankee was once again mentioned.
The movement of Christian artists became increasingly strong and popular to the point that they are now influencing non-Christian singers by their testimony both on and off the stage.
In addition to the positive influences on the genre, it is important to mention family. Raymond’s brother, Nomar Ayala Rodríguez, is an evangelical minister. He recently posted on his social media profiles a video from more than 10 years ago where Pastor Awilda Garcia spoke a prophecy about his involvement in Daddy’s conversion.
“Something too powerful is coming for that man who is there and no one is going to win over (Daddy) Yankee other than you”, the pastor then said in a worship service of her Pentecostal church. “You are going to pray with him, you are going to prophesy with him, get ready because (…) someone has to save the victory of this man...”
Raymond's brother wrote in the post: “God doesn't lie and he only has one mouth. To his name glory!”
The reaction in the specialised media and social media to the public testimony of conversion of the author of hits like Gasolina and Despacito leads to understand the importance of the “Yankee phenomenon”.
Héctor Delgado, one of the pioneers of reggaeton and now a committed Christian wrote on Daddy Yankee’s Instagram: “While watching the video where you bravely shouted to the world that the only one who can fill the void that exists in man is called Jesus, it filled me with many emotions and brought tears of joy to my eyes”.
Delgado went on to say that in Daddy there was a seed of the gospel planted in him when he was a young man.
Raymond Ayala (Daddy Yankee’s real name) responded to by thanking Héctor for his Christian testimony during all these years and the role he played in his conversion. He did the same with Redimi2, one of the most well-known Chrisitan rappers in Latin America, by writing to him saying he hopes to learn how to translate biblical truths into music.
Carlos Reyes (better known as Farruko) also congratulated Yankee and asked for respect in his new stage of life as a newborn Christian. “Please do not come to put your foot in his mouth like they did to me, both Christians and non-Christians”, he asked Daddy Yankee’s fans. And encouraged the artist to “enjoy the process in order and at your own pace”.
The reaction of artists and comments from so-called influencers have kept Daddy Yankee's announcement “viral” online for days.
Of the many who have analysed the situation, Keropi Sanchez, a Christian content creator, said: “People were screaming and many are happy because he took that big step... I thought, that doesn't’ happen when someone who is not a celebrity [takes the decision to follow Jesus], I mean, you convert tomorrow and no one knows about it”.
But “Yankee is just like all of us before God and as I listened to that audience [the fans at Daddy Yankee’s farewell concert], I remembered that even though you don’t have that audience, there is a much better choir of angels in heaven, shouting and rejoicing because you came to the feet of Christ”.
“Much bigger is the party in heaven for Yankee and for all the people who are coming to the feet of Christ, including you”, the influencer concluded, referring to the Gospel of Luke 15:7,10: “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine righteous who did not go astray... So I say to you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents!"
It should be remembered that Raymond Ayala closed his speech by asking his audience to set their sights on God. “Don’t follow any man, I am a human being. To all the people who followed me, follow Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth, and the life. Christ loves us and Christ is coming”, the artist concluded.