"The virus is real and it's dangerous," the Colombian singer said in his acceptance speech during the Premios Juventud

By Ashley Boucher
August 14, 2020 12:24 AM
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J Balvin
Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

J Balvin revealed Thursday night that he is recovering from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Accepting an award for his "Rojo" music video during the Premios Juventud 2020, Balvin said that he had a "bad" bout of the virus.

"At this moment, I'm just getting better from COVID-19. These have been very difficult days, very complicated. Sometimes we won't think that we'll get it, but I got it and I got it bad," said Balvin in Spanish, speaking in a recorded message from Colombia, Billboard reported.

The "Mi Gente" singer urged his fans to take the virus seriously.

"My message to those that follow me, young fans and people in general is to take care. This isn't a joke. The virus is real and it's dangerous," he said.

Colombia, where Balvin is from, has had 422,519 cases of COVID-19, with 76,805 of those in last week, according to data from the New York Times.

Balvin has previously been candid about his health — and in June penned a personal essay for PEOPLE, in which he opened up about his struggles with anxiety and depression.

In the essay, the singer credited meditation with helping him overcome those struggles. In fact, Balvin said that the practice "saved my life."

"Mental health doesn’t care about your age, your race, your background; none of those things. It doesn’t care what you look like, or who you’re dating, or how much money you have in the bank. Of course, it’s different for each of us. But it affects all of us," he wrote. "The truth is, anyone in the world can struggle with their mental health. And yet not everyone is ready to accept this."

"When our world is in flux, our mental wellbeing is often one of the first things we neglect. But this should not be the case," he said. "In fact, it’s in times like these that mindfulness can help us most."

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