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Who is José?
by Julieta Miquelarena

J. Balvin: Authenticity and Influence


Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin, hailing from Medellín, Colombia, more commonly known as J. Balvin, is not just a global music icon but a cultural phenomenon. Since his debut, Balvin has revolutionised Latin music, selling over three million singles and four million albums worldwide as of 2019 — numbers that have undoubtedly climbed even higher today. His impact extends beyond commercial success; he is consistently listed among the 100 most influential people globally by Time magazine and hailed as one of the Greatest Latin Artists of all time by Billboard.


With 108 prestigious awards under his belt, including accolades from the American Music Awards, MTV Europe, MTV VMA, Latin Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and more, Balvin's trophy shelf is as expansive as his influence. Beyond his accolades, Balvin attracts over 54.874 million monthly listeners on Spotify, with millions more across various platforms, drawn to his unmistakable charm and the "coolest guy in school" vibe that he exudes.


In September, Balvin released his sixth studio album, a vibrant mix of 24 tracks that oscillate between energetic dance numbers and emotive melodies, offering a deeper, more introspective look into the artist's soul. This album not only cements his place in the music industry but also showcases his evolution as an artist willing to explore and express the full spectrum of his emotions. Collaborating with stars like Bad Bunny, Dua Lipa, Khalid, and others, Balvin continues to bridge cultures and genres, creating a unique sound that resonates globally.


His documentary, “The Boy from Medellin,” streaming on Amazon Prime Video, offers an unprecedented look at the man behind the music. Here, Jose opens up about personal battles with depression and anxiety, presenting a raw and unfiltered view of his struggles and triumphs. This film reveals complexities previously unseen by the public, highlighting his journey towards a healthier and more balanced life.


2022 marked a significant year for Balvin as he welcomed his first child, Río, with his partner, Argentine model and entrepreneur Valentina Ferrer. The joy of fatherhood is palpable in his latest works, especially in ‘Querido Rio,’ a track that tenderly features Rio’s heartbeats, symbolizing Balvin’s deep connection and hopes for his son. When speaking of fatherhood, Balvin’s aspirations are clear: he wants his son to be “the happiest kid alive” and dreams of being his “best friend.”


Through his music, public persona, and personal revelations, J. Balvin transcends the typical stereotypes associated with Latino artists in the music industry, continually setting new standards and exceeding expectations. As he shares his life’s highs and lows, Balvin inspires not just through his beats but through his dedication to authenticity and the transformative power of embracing one’s true self.

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