J Balvin is one of the best-selling Latin music artists with sales of more than 35 million records (albums and singles) worldwide and became the first artist to receive a diamond certification in the Latin field from the Recording Industry Association of America. Throughout his career, Balvin has won five Billboard Latin Music Awards, four Latin Grammy Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards and four Latin American Music Awards and received two Grammy Award nominations. In 2017, the BMI Latin Awards named him the Contemporary Latin Songwriter of the Year for his contribution in the Latin music industry,and has won the first Global Icon Award given by Lo Nuestro Awards.
Born in Medellín, Colombia, José Álvaro Osorio Balvín known professionally as J Balvin, is a Colombian singer and rapper. Though his music is primarily reggaeton, J Balvin has experimented with a variety of musical genres in his work, including electronica, house music, trap, and R&B. His original musical inspirations included rock groups such as Metallica and Nirvana, and reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee. When J Balvin was 16, he participated in an English-exchange program in Oklahoma, but was disappointed by the experience, saying, "I was expecting the U.S. that everyone knows from Hollywood."Soon after the program, he moved to New York City to further study English and music, living with an aunt on Staten Island and working as a dog walker.During his time in New York, he became fascinated by the business savvy of New York rappers 50 Cent and P. Diddy. J Balvin worked various jobs in New York, Miami, and Medellín, including working illegally in the United States as a roofer and house painter. He ultimately decided to return to Colombia and began performing at various urban clubs in Medellín and increasing his social media following. He enrolled at the prestigious EAFIT University in Medellín for seven semesters, studying international business. At age 19, he began to seriously pursue a career in music and adopted the stage name J Balvin "El Negocio", meaning "The Business" in English. He met his DJ and business partner David Rivera Mazo in a freestyle battle on the street in Medellín. The two became fast friends and started producing and promoting their own music without a record label. J Balvin's early songs were described as"basically poor imitations of commercial reggaeton from Puerto Rico," but he soon adopted a more relaxed, minimalist style in his music. In 2004, he released his first song titled "Panas". He signed to EMI Colombia in 2009 and soon after released the single "Ella Me Cautivó," which charted at number 35 on the Billboard Tropical Songs chart.He released his reissue of his mixtape, Real, in 2009. In 2012, J Balvin released a mixtape featuring many of his early hits in Colombia, including "En Lo Oscuro" and "Como un Animal". His first international hit was the one-night-stand-themed "Yo Te Lo Dije", and signed with Universal subsidiary Capitol Latin a year later. His single “Ginza” set a new Guinness World Record for the longest stay at number one on the chart, and the music video broke the record for the most views for a Latin music video in the first 24 hours, at over two million views.
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