Don Omar (born William Omar Landrón Rivera; February 10, 1978) is a Puerto Rican reggaeton singer, songwriter, recording artist and actor. He is sometimes referred to by his nickname El Rey (Spanish: "The King").
Omar was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the oldest son of William Landrón and Luz Antonia Rivera. From an early age, he showed interest in the music of Vico C and Brewley MC. During his youth, he became an active member of a Protestant church, Iglesia Evangélica Restauración en Cristo in Bayamón where he occasionally offered sermons. However, after four years, he left the church to dedicate himself to singing.
His first public performance in a night club was accompanied by disc jockey Eliel Lind Osorio. Afterwards he appeared regularly on compilation albums from popular DJs and producers including Luny Tunes, Noriega, and DJ Eric. He also worked as a backup singer for the duo Héctor & Tito. One of the members, Héctor Delgado, helped him produce his first solo album.
Omar's career rose to stardom with the release of his first studio album, The Last Don. Both the studio version and its live edition have been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. Worldwide, The Last Don: Live CD & DVD has sold over one million copies, according to his official website. He earned awards for Latin Pop Album of the Year and New Artist & Latin Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year by the Billboard Latin Music Awards in 2003. The Last Don: Live CD & DVD was also nominated for Urban Music Album at the 2005 Latin Grammy Awards.
Omar's May 2006 album King of Kings, became history's highest ranking reggaeton LP in the top 10 US charts, with its debut at #1 on the Latin sales charts and the #1 spot on the Billboard Latin Rhythm Radio Chart with his single "Angelito". Omar was also able to beat the in-store appearance sales record at Disney World's Virgin music store previously set by pop star Britney Spears.
With the highest charting debut by a reggaeton artist, Omar's King of Kings entered at No. 7 with 74,000, beating Daddy Yankee's No. 24 entry with 2005's "Barrio Fino En Directo". In April 2007, Don Omar received the Latin Billboard award for Reggaeton Album Of The Year for King of Kings.Billboard recognized that King of Kings was the most successful album of the decade in Latin America, besides being the most successful in the history of the genre of reggaeton. Billboard estimated that the album sold over 4.1 million copies by the end of 2009.
The album's track "Salió El Sol" is featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, and the track "Virtual Diva" was featured in the expansion pack Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony. The songs "Los Bandoleros" and "Conteo" were featured in the movie The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift in the ending credits. His song "Danza Kuduro" was featured in the movie the Fast Five.
Omar participated in Gilberto Santa Rosa's presentation in an event titled "Concierto del Amor", presented in the Madison Square Garden on February 9, 2008. He closed the event and performed reggaeton themes.
Omar's third studio album, iDon, was released on April 28, 2009. This album was dedicated to his cousin Cordell Brown. "Virtual Diva" became the most requested song on Latin radio stations. The second official single, titled "Sexy Robotica", was released on July 6, 2009.
The album Don Omar Presents: Meet The Orphans was released on November 16, 2010. The album features the artists under Don Omar's Orfanato Music Group label and other reggaeton artists. The album includes the promotional single Hasta Abajo and the album's lead single Danza Kuduro featuring Portuguese-French singer Lucenzo, as well as collaborations from Orfanato Music Group artists including Kendo Kaponi, Syko, Plan B, Zion & Lennox, Yaga & Mackie and Danny Fornaris. Danza Kuduro appears on the Fast Five soundtrack and is the song played at the conclusion of the movie. He is signed to VI Music and Machete Music through Universal Music Latino.
The album Don Omar Presents MTO2: The New Generation was released on May 1, 2012. The album features newly signed to Orfanato Music Group Natti Natasha as well as many other signed artists and other reggaeton artists like Zion Y Lennox. The album includes the singles Hasta Que Salga El Sol, which won the award for Best Urban Song at the 2012 Latin Grammy Awards, and Dutty Love featuring Natti Natasha, which was also nominated. The album also features collaborations with Juan Magan, Mims, Syko, Vinny el Vendito, and Yunel Cruz. The album has been well received as it won the award for Best Urban Music Album at the 2012 Latin Grammy Awards and is a top seller on iTunes.
Omar married forecaster/journalist Jackie Guerrido on April 18, 2008. Divorce rumors surrounded the couple two years into the marriage and were compounded by comments Omar made via Twitter. In March 2011, it was revealed they had divorced.
Controversies and legal issues:
On September 18, 2007, Omar was briefly detained in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia due to a legal dispute. A Bolivian concert promotor sued him and some of his management after he canceled a concert scheduled for earlier that year in La Paz as part of the international tour Up Close. The organization claimed that he had defrauded US$70,000 due to the cancellation. Omar responded that he canceled the concert because the company did not provide air tickets in time. After the case was presented before a local judge, both parties reached an agreement. Omar was allowed to leave the country in order to comply with a previously scheduled appearance in Buenos Aires on Argentine television and returned the next day to hold his concert in Santa Cruz's Tahuichi Aguilera soccer stadium.
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