But before the Puerto Rican star joined forces with Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee had built an impressive 25-year career that earned him the title of the “big boss.”
The Boricua is one of the pioneers of reggaeton, which hit the global stage after he released the Latin Grammy-winning album “Barrio Fino” in 2004. Billboard declared the album one of the 50 best Latin albums in the last 50 years in 2015.
The album’s lead single is one for the history books, a song so catchy even English speakers can’t help but sing it when they hear the name Daddy Yankee: “Gasolina.”
“The verse was so simple and easy to remember,” Yankee told Billboard in 2014. “The word gasolina ― everyone in the world knew what it meant. And I think part of the success of the track was people looking for some hidden meaning: Was I talking about alcohol, about drugs?”
In the interview, the star revealed the hit’s chorus (“A ella le gusta la gasolina!” or “She likes gasoline!”) was born after overhearing people talk about women who accepted rides from men with flashy cars. “That track is completely literal,” he added. “It’s one of the most innocent songs I’ve ever written.”
It’s been over a decade since “Gasolina” opened the floodgates for reggaeton’s commercial success, but Daddy Yankee hasn’t stopped fueling the flames of his success.
Here are 11 hits by the reggaeton powerhouse you should know:
“Lo Que Pasó, Pasó”
This song is all about leaving behind someone who is no good for you and telling them “what happened, happened.” It was the second single off of 2004′s “Barrio Fino.” Daddy Yankee told Billboard the anthem was a “fusion of merengue and reggaeton.”
This Spanglish single has a beat that’s catchier than its lyrics. The 2005 song is all about breaking it down on the dance floor.
“Ella Me Levantó”
This salsa-infused 2007 track sends a message to a past lover. In the lyrics, Daddy Yankee tells his ex that she might’ve dropped him but a new woman picked him up.
This is no fashion show anthem, but the 2008 track does want you to strike your most sensual pose on the dance floor.
“Llamada de Emergencia”
In 2008, Daddy Yankee placed an emergency call to his lover hoping that she would mend his wounds.
"¿Qué Tengo Que Hacer?”
Daddy Yankee can’t stop pining for his girl in this 2009 hit. In the song, he asks her to tell him what he has to do to get her back.
If you’re dying to burn up the dance floor with someone special, this 2012 track will have you saying, “It’s just you and me, asking for more and more heat ... hold me close, go ahead, don’t let go.”
If you’re a Zumba fan, you’ll recognize this 2012 song, which was written specifically for the dance fitness program. More recent Zumba-friendly hits by DY include “Shaky Shaky” and “Hula Hoop.”
Don’t read too much into this 2015 dance hit. Just dance.
“La Rompe Corazones”
Daddy Yankee most recently released this 2017 single, featuring Ozuna. The song one went out to all the heartbreaking women who love to dupe men.