Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio (born March 10, 1994), known by his stage name Bad Bunny, is a Puerto Rican singer and rapper. His music is often defined as Latin trap and reggaeton, but he has incorporated various other genres into his music, including rock, bachata, and soul. He is also known for his deep, slurred vocal style and his eclectic fashion sense. Throughout his career, Bad Bunny has frequently collaborated with artists such as J Balvin, Ozuna, Farruko, Residente, Arcángel, and Daddy Yankee. Born and raised in the municipality of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Bad Bunny gained popularity on SoundCloud and was eventually signed to a record label while working in a supermarket as a bagger and studying at the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.
Following the release of his breakthrough single "Soy Peor" in late 2016, he collaborated with Cardi B and J Balvin on the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single "I Like It" as well as with Drake on "Mia". His debut album X 100pre was released in December 2018 and was awarded a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Music Album. On June 28, 2019, Bad Bunny released Oasis, a collaborative album with J Balvin. The record contains the singles "Qué Pretendes" and "La Canción". He performed at the Super Bowl LIV halftime show as a guest-performer, alongside Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. On February 29, 2020, he released the album YHLQMDLG — Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana.
Benito Antonio Martínez was born on March 10, 1994, in Almirante Sur barrio in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. His father was a truck driver and his mother is a retired schoolteacher, who would listen to Salsa, Merengue, and ballads, such as Juan Gabriel's "Abrazame muy fuerte" while Bad Bunny helped her with house-chores. He has two younger brothers, Bernie and Bysael, and considers his close friends to be part of his family. He said he was raised in a happy home.
Martínez says he has wanted to be a singer since he was young. As a child, he attended church weekly with his devoutly Catholic mother and sang in the church choir until age 13. After leaving the choir, he developed an interest in the artists he heard on the radio, particularly Daddy Yankee and Héctor Lavoe. His stage name came from a time in which the rapper was forced to wear a bunny costume to school and was photographed with an angry expression. Despite being shy in high school, he often created freestyle raps to entertain his classmates, developing a reputation at his school for his creativity and humor. His teenage interests also included skateboarding and professional wrestling, both of which influenced his fashion sense.
Speaking about his distance from the Puerto Rican music industry, Bad Bunny stated, "I’m from Vega Baja, a small area that’s not a metropolis like San Juan where the majority of the genre’s artists have come from. That’s what’s most surprising and incredible about this – I simply came from nothing, and that’s that. When I was at school, I used to stay on a balcony singing and people would stand around listening." He has stated that, when he was young, his mother wanted him to grow up to be an engineer, his father preferred that he be a baseball player, while a teacher told him that he would become a firefighter. Instead, he took courses in audiovisual communication at University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo.
2016–2017: Career beginnings
While working as a bagger at Supermercados Econo in Vega Baja in 2016, Bad Bunny released music as an independent artist on SoundCloud, where his song "Diles" caught the attention of DJ Luian who signed him to his record label, Hear this Music. Since then, he has earned multiple top-ten entries on the US Hot Latin Songs chart. His breakthrough single, "Soy Peor", established him as a forerunner in the Latin American trap scene and reached number 22 on the Hot Latin Songs chart.
In the summer of 2017, Bad Bunny signed a booking deal with Cardenas Marketing Network (CMN) for several Latin American countries. He was featured in Becky G's single "Mayores", released in July 2017. Starting in November 2017, Bad Bunny hosted Beats 1's first Spanish-language show, Trap Kingz. Also in November 2017, Bad Bunny's track, "Tu No Metes Cabra" peaked at number 38 on the Hot Latin Songs chart. The re-mix demanded the release from prison of Anuel AA. At around the same time, the song "Sensualidad," released as a collaboration between Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Prince Royce, peaked at number 8 on the Hot Latin Songs chart, while the remix of "Te Boté" with Ozuna and Nicky Jam reached number one on that chart. In 2018, Cardi B collaborated with Bad Bunny and J Balvin on the Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, "I Like It". In Cardi B's single, Bad Bunny raps in Spanish, Spanglish, and English. It became Bad Bunny's first number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100. Then Bad Bunny became "El Conejo Malo".