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Daddy Yankee humbly accepted the Billboard Hall of Fame Award at the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards on Thursday night. The 45-year-old king of reggaeton, who was honored for his musical career as well as his global influence as an artist, gave a touching speech.
"This is incredible. Thank you family for this moment," he said as he took the stage to a standing ovation. "Like you all know, I was 15 years old with big dreams when I started just like some of you maybe be right now. And, it took me three decades to understand that with discipline, wisdom and determination you can arrive to this moment. It's about talent and hard work."
"I never thought I would be the first urban artist to receive this award and be inducted into the Billboard Latin Hall of Fame," he continued to the applause of the audience. "One of my biggest goals as an artist is to unify nations, generations, languages and different nationalities. And I did in my native language, Spanish. I always had this vision. I never wavered, I never lost focus. I have no words, thank you. Puerto Rico, vamos arriba."
On top of accepting the award, Daddy Yankee also gave a highly anticipated performance of his latest hit, "Metele al Perreo."
It was announced on Sept. 13 that the Puerto Rican singer was set to receive the coveted award.
"Recognized as one of the most influential Hispanics in the world by CNN and Time magazine, and as the Top Latin Artist of 2017 by Billboard Magazine, Daddy Yankee continues to dominate global music," Billboard said in a press release with the news. "On the social front, his philanthropic work through "Daddy's House" has been recognized by Billboard with the Spirit of Hope Award."
Earlier this year, Daddy Yankee received the Agent of Change Award at the 2021 Premios Juventud awards and delivered a moving speech where he spoke about his non-profit organization, Daddy's House.
"Being an artist has allowed me to travel the world. And while traveling the world, you see there's a common denominator -- people in need," he explained. "I can tell you what it's like to have nothing. I said to myself when I have money, I will pay it forward. And, that's how Daddy's House came to be. We make sure children are fed every day. The important thing is to help others."