Bad Bunny's had one hell of a year.
While 2020 has been a rather uniformly dismal 12 months, the Puerto Rican superstar born Benito Martínez Ocasio has seen his career take off to stratospheric new heights. And we're not just talking about when he joined Jennifer Lopez and Shakira on stage during the Super Bowl LIV Halftime Show back in January.
In short order, he's released a staggering three albums, watched as the second (YHLQMDLG) debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard 200 as the highest-charting all-Spanish album ever, graced the cover of Playboy's July issue as the first man other than founder Hugh Hefner to do so, landed nine Latin Grammy nominations (winning one) and two at next year's Grammys, and was named Spotify's most-streamed artist of the year across the globe.
And the accolades are likely to just keep pouring in now that his third album, El Último Tour del Mundo, is out in the world. Dropped unannounced on Nov. 27, the LP marks a departure for the singer. "It's my new baby," he told E! News. "I worked on it during the quarantine. It's a different album than my other ones. This new album has more feelings and, sometimes, sadness, but it has a lot of me."
So much so that the usually collab-happy artist limited himself to working with just three guests—Rosalía, Abra and Jhay Cortez—this time around. "The other ones are just me," he explained. "It's really Benito's album. It's a personal album."
In celebration of the new album, E! News asked Bad Bunny to pull back the curtain on the albums and artists that have influenced him throughout his life and career. From the singer whose music reminds him of childhood to the LP that he turns to when he's feeling down, this is the soundtrack to his life.
The song/album that reminds me of childhood: Juan Gabriel, his albums. Because my mom always put his music on to clean the house—always. I hear Juan Gabriel, I remember my childhood, my mom, and I love it.
The first album I remember buying: I remember my first was Vico C. He's a Puerto Rican rapper, legend. And then I got Marc Anthony, Tego Calderón. I remember Vico C and Tego because, I don't know, I love the style, the lyrics, rap. I think my love for urban music starts with them: Tego and Vico C.
The song/album people might not expect me to love: For example, I told you about Juan Gabriel. I love, so much, his song called "El Noa Noa" and "Hasta que te Conoci." I love those songs. I like the romantics.
The song/album that makes me think of falling in love: Whatever song [by] Camila. Their songs make me feel like I'm in love my entire life and that I have a broken heart.
The song/album I turn to when I'm at my lowest: In that moment where I feel sad, it's Chromatica [by] Lady Gaga. That album makes me feel more happy. When she dropped that album, I was in a really good moment, enjoying my life. I love that album.
The song/album I hope I never hear again: I can't tell you. It can give me problems. But I have some tracks and albums that I don't want to hear anymore. I never hear my own music. I hate hearing my own music. I like to hear it before it drops. After I drop a song, I don't want to hear it anymore.
If I could only hear one song for the rest of my life, it would be: "Que Vas Hacer" by Zion & Lennox. I love that song. It makes me feel like my childhood and my best moments in my life. Even the Zion & Lennox album Motivano a la Yal. That album makes me feel great.
My own song that I'll never get tired of performing: I really like to perform "La Cancion" with J Balvin. I love that song and I love to perform. That song is special, it's so powerful. I love to perform with the people.
My own song that I'll be happy to retire: I don't know. I love all my songs.
The song on my new project that I can't wait for fans to sing along with me on tour: "Te Deseo Lo Mejor." It's a powerful song. I imagine the people singing with me. The whole album is fire.
To hear more from Bad Bunny, including his own interpretations of many of the songs he mentioned, be sure to check out the video above!
El Último Tour del Mundo is available now.