Meet Romeo Santos: The King of Bachata Who Dethroned ‘Despacito’ on the Music Charts
King of Bachata
The New York native channels his Dominican roots singing bachata, a romantic style of music he's revitalized across generations.
Staying true to his origins by singing Spanish, the music mogul also serves as the CEO of Roc Nation Latin while he continues to garner mass appeal in a career that has spanned two decades. The 36-year-old heartthrob, unseated the hit single “Despacito" from the the top spot on the Latin Airplay Chart two weeks in a row with his sultry track “Imitadora.” Not that he was looking to dethrone "Despacito." On July 25, he thrilled at the song's success in an interview with Rolling Stone: "There's a misconception in my opinion...and it's that we Latinos have to go do an n American album, an English album, an Anglo production to cross over... The Number One song in the world is a reggaetón called "Despacito"— and that's beautiful.”
Before being crowned the King of Bachata, Santos formed part of a bachata band in 1997 called Aventura with his cousin Henry and two friends. Their 2002 hit single "Obsesión" topped charts around the world, including France, Germany and Italy. The band released five studio albums in ten years, eventually separating in 2011.
CEO of Roc Nation Latin
In June 2016, Roc Nation—founded by Jay-Z— launched Roc Nation Latin and named Santos CEO. To date, he's signed several Latin artists including Mozart la Para, Victoria “La Mala,” and Karen Rodriguez, among others.
The bachata superstar has taken great pride in bringing English-language artists into the Latin market. He has featured numerous A-list celebs on his albums including Usher, Drake, Nicki Minaj and Kevin Hart.
"For me, it's always an organic process. I don't personally reach out to artists without the music being created first," he tells Chica "It was about the music. I create the music, and if this artist could complement this record, I reach out."
Santos, who’s long demonstrated his acting chops in music videos, brought his talents to the silver screen for Furious 7 in a brief cameo as Armando (or Mando for short), friend of Dom (played by Vin Diesel).
Yankee Stadium Takeover
Santos became the first Latin artist to headline at New York's historic Yankee Stadium, where he sold out two shows
Sold Out at Madison Square Garden
In 2012, the singer sold out Madison Square Garden over three consecutive nights, culminating in a CD and DVD compilation entitled "The King Stays King."
Singing at the White House
Santos performed at the White House in 2009 as a part of Aventura, then again, as a solo artist in 2014 for a “Salute to the Troops” special.
The 36-year-old has a teenage son Alex Santos with his ex-girlfriend, but shields them from the glare of the spotlight. But the world got a glimpse of his son for the first time in the July 2011 issue of People en Español.
Santos Finds His Twin
After a fan-initiated petition begun in 2015, New York's Madame Tussauds wax museum unveiled the "Imitadora” singer's lifelike figure this month.