Ramón Luis Ayala Rodríguez (born February 3, 1977), known by his stage name Daddy Yankee, is a Puerto Rican singer, rapper, songwriter, actor and record producer. Ayala was born in Río Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and was raised in the neighborhood of Villa Kennedy Housing Projects. He is known as the “King of Reggeatón“.
Ayala aspired to be a professional baseball player, and tried out for the Seattle Mariners of the Major League Baseball. Before he could be officially signed, he was hit by a stray round from an AK-47 rifle while taking a break from a studio recording session with reggaeton mix tape icon DJ Playero. Ayala spent roughly one and a half years recovering from the wound; the bullet was never removed from his hip, and he credits the shooting incident with allowing him to focus entirely on a music career. Since then, he has sold over 18 million albums.
Daddy Yankee first appeared on the 1992 DJ Playero‘s Mixtape, Playero 34, with the song “So’ Persigueme, No Te Detengas”. Ayala was originally going to become a professional baseball player but he was shot in his leg while taking a break from a studio recording session.