Daddy Yankee gets the world dancing again with viral song


MIAMI - It's another viral dancing sensation. And once again, it's from Daddy Yankee.

The Puerto Rican king of reggaeton who co-wrote "Despacito" has people around the world moving their hips with his latest song, "Dura."

Millions of people have clicked on online videos inspired by "Dura" as aspiring dancers around the world - from fresh-faced children to top models to endearing elderly people - find their groove, with varying degrees of skill or stiffness.

"I'm beyond honored and feel very blessed. You make music for an audience," said Daddy Yankee. "And the audience has made this song in their own organic, spontaneous way."

Daddy Yankee helped bring reggaeton - a Latin dance music, with roots in Jamaican dancehall and the style of hip-hop, that was historically associated with the marginalized Afro-Puerto Rican community - to a global audience starting with his 2004 hit "Gasolina."

But "Dura" marks a fresh turn in the 41-year-old singer and rapper's career as the song has taken off based largely on how fans appropriate it.

"Why have so many people - even babies - liked it?" he asked rhetorically. "Well, some things you can't explain. It's the magic of music, a magic that just happens and that you can't understand."

He has one theory. "Dura," he said, harks back to "the rhythm and nostalgia for music of the late 1980s and early 1990s, that essence of reggae that inspired reggaeton."

Daddy Yankee, whose real name is Ramon Luis Ayala, released "Dura" on January 18. The next day, Colombian model Andrea Valdiri posted a video on Instagram, barefoot in sweatpants and a loose white top, as she danced to "Dura".

The video has been viewed nearly nine million times on her Instagram account and in Daddy Yankee's repost. It also set off a rush of new homemade interpretations of the song - posted under hashtag #DuraChallenge.

Daddy Yankee's original video has been seen nearly 200 million times on YouTube.

More recently, the 25-year-old Valdiri has been eclipsed as the #DuraChallenge star by a nonagenarian.

Rachel Phillipsen, a 90-year-old New Yorker of Puerto Rican origin, follows a zumba instructor with impressive rhythm and coordination as Daddy Yankee sings in Spanish, "I like how you move that ram-pam-pam." The video has generated 5.5 million clicks.

"There are no excuses not to dance. The excuse is all in your mind," said the zumba instructor, Rina Elena Martinez (@rina_25). The Venezuelan appears in the video shot in a gym in Miami.

Daddy Yankee agreed. "The 90-year-old grandmother was phenomenal," he said, adding: "No doubt that video gives encouragement to the whole world." - AFP