Armando Christian Perez was born on January 15, 1981 to Cuban expatriates in Miami, Florida. When he was 3, he could recite the works of Cuba's national hero and poet, José Martí, in Spanish. Growing up, he was influenced by the Miami bass genre of pop music and has cited Celia Cruz and Willy Chirino as sources of inspiration for his music. Pérez's parents separated when he was young, and he was raised by his mother; he later spent time with a foster family in Roswell, Georgia. He attended South Miami Senior High School before graduating from Miami Coral Park High School, where he focused his career on rapping.
He said he chose his stage name of Pitbull because the dogs "bite to lock. The dog is too stupid to lose. And they're outlawed in Dade County. They're basically everything that I am. It's been a constant fight". After meeting Lil Jon in Miami, Pitbull was featured on Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz' album Kings of Crunk in 2002. Pitbull's song "Oye" was featured on the soundtrack to the film 2 Fast 2 Furious the following year. In addition, Pitbull released several mixtapes, composed of freestyles and remixes of popular rap music. Campbell featured Pitbull in his single, "Lollipop".
In 2001, Pitbull was signed to Luther Campbell's Luke Records by Jullian Boothe, then the label's vice-president of A&R. In 2001, Pitbull was introduced to Robert Fernandez of Famous Artist Music & Management, an independent label and management company specializing in developing artists, by the Diaz Brothers, a producer duo signed to the company. Fernandez "saw the eagerness and hunger he had" and, with the Luke Records deal ending, began working to develop Pitbull. Together they focused on creating a more radio-friendly sound. Fernandez later told HitQuarters: "At that time his music had a lot of verses and took a long time to get into the hook, and so we took time in getting the songs catchier and less on the rap side."
Fernandez introduced Pitbull to Lil Jon, hoping to secure the rapper a small guest intro spot on Lil Jon's upcoming album Kings of Crunk. According to Fernandez, Jon took a liking to Pérez and offered him a track k on the album; it is called "Pitbull's Cuban Ride Out." This track helped raise the young rapper's profile.
In 2004, Pitbull released his debut album M.I.A.M.I., with the lead single being "Culo" produced by Lil Jon and the Diaz Brothers. It peaked at No. 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 11 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. Other singles included "Dammit Man", "Back Up", "Toma", and "That's Nasty" (both featuring Lil Jon). He joined the Anger Management Tour, the 2000 hip-hop concert tour headlined by Eminem and 50 Cent. Pitbull also appeared on the Ying Yang Twins' single "Shake", which peaked at No.41 on the Hot 100 and No.12 on the rap chart, Adassa's chart topping single "Kamasutra" & Twista's "Hit the Floor" (#94 Hot 100, No. 20 Rap). Remix album Money Is Still a Major Issue was released in November 2005; it included new track "Everybody Get Up", a duet with hip-hop/R&B group Pretty Ricky.
TVT Records, Pitbull's label at the time, and Slip-n-Slide Records disputed over the release of Welcome to the 305, an unreleased album by Slip-n-Slide that Pitbull had recorded in 2001. A Miami judge ruled that Slip-n-Slide had a legal right to release the album as it was recorded when Pitbull was a Slip-N-Slide artist, and prior to him signing with TVT Records. A U.S. District Court judge affirmed the decision further. TVT was then ordered in March 2007 to pay Slip-n-Slide $9.1 million for attempting to block the album's release to record stores and digital download entities.
In 2005 Pitbull and rapper Sean 'Diddy' Combs co-founded Bad Boy Latino, a subsidiary of Combs' Bad Boy Records label. It primarily focuses on Latin hip hop, Latin soul, Latin pop and other Tropical music, and has offices in New York and Miami, Florida. Along with co-founding it, Pérez currently heads the A&R division of the label.
In January 2006, Pitbull guest-starred in UPN's South Beach. Pitbull recorded "Nuestro Himno" in collaboration with Wyclef Jean, Carlos Ponce, and Olga Tañón. On Listennn... the Album, the debut album by Terror Squad member and Miami radio personality DJ Khaled, Pitbull performed on three singles: "Holla at Me" and "Born-N-Raised" alongside other Southern-based rappers.
He dedicated the album to his father, who died in May of that year. Along with the usual party-oriented tracks, Pitbull also included politically themed tracks in El Mariel. The album was released on October 31, 2006, and included singles "Bojangles", "Ay Chico (Lengua Afuera)", "Fuego", and duet with Puerto Rican singer Ken-Y, "Dime (Remix)". El Mariel topped the Billboard independent albums chart and peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 and No. 2 on the rap chart.
Pitbull's third album, titled The Boatlift, was released in November 2007, spawned by the single "Secret Admirer" featuring Lloyd on the chorus. Earlier, Pitbull announced that this album would have a more gangsta rap edge than his earlier albums. Subsequent singles included "Go Girl" featuring Trina, and "The Anthem" featuring and produced Lil Jon, that song sampling the hook from the song "El Africano" by Wilfrido Vargas and the beat from the song "Calabria" by Rune RK. "Go Girl" peaked at No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 36 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart; "The Anthem" No. 36 on the Hot 100 and No.11 on the Hot Rap Tracks.
His variety show, Pitbull's La Esquina, debuted May 2007 and ran through 2009 on the mun2 cable network.
Pitbull also appeared on DJ Laz' "Move Shake Drop" and DJ Felli Fel's "Feel It".
For his fourth studio album Rebelution, Pitbull released "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" through Ultra Records after his former label TVT Records went out of business. "Krazy" peaked at No. 30 on the Hot 100 and No. 11 on the Hot Rap Tracks charts. "I Know You Want Me" peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 and peaked within the top ten spots of charts in the UK, Canada, Italy, and the Netherlands. The song reached No. 1 in France and the European Hot 100 in the week ending August 29, 2009 according to Billboard magazine. "I Know You Want Me" ended at position 17 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2009. He later signed with Polo Grounds Music through Sony Music and created his own label Mr. 305 Inc. The single "Hotel Room Service", which samples "Push the Feeling On" and which peaked at No. 9 on the Hot 100. The album went on to sell over 7.5 million worldwide digital singles and albums combined.
On their second collaboration since "Go Girl", Pitbull appeared on the debut single of rapper David Rush (formerly Young Bo$$), "Shooting Star", also with Kevin Rudolf and LMFAO. An amateur video of Pitbull punching a disruptive audience member at a Colorado concert leaked onto the Internet in late May 2009. Pitbull explained to MTV News that it was because the fan kept throwing cash around the stage, and after Pitbull pulled him up to the stage, he threw a stash of money right in Pitbull's face. He has been tapped by the Miami Dolphins to work alongside T-Pain and Jimmy Buffett to release a new fight song for the Dolphins. The city of Miami granted Pitbull a "Key to the City" honor on August 19, 2009. Another popular single from 2009 was "Blanco", featuring Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes from the soundtrack to the movie Fast & Furious. Pitbull recorded a remix with Mexican pop diva Paulina Rubio for her single Ni Rosas Ni Juguetes in November 2009.
In 2010, Pitbull performed the rap section in the Haiti benefit song "Somos El Mundo", a Spanish version of "We Are the World", that included a huge group of Latin artists led by Emilio and Gloria Estefan. He was also a featured guest on Janet Jackson's "Heart, Beat, Love" in addition to "Armada Latina", the fourth single off the album Rise Up by Latin rap legends, Cypress Hill. The song was produced by Jim Jonsin and also features Marc Anthony. Pitbull then collaborated with Alexandra Burke on the single "All Night Long". He was also featured on "DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" by Usher.
Pitbull released his full-length debut Spanish-language album titled Armando on November 2, 2010. He was also one of the most nominated artists of the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards. He garnered 7 nominations for “Latin Rhythm Airplay, Song of the Year” for “Bon, Bon”; “Latin Rhythm Airplay, Artist of the Year, Solo Artist”; “Latin Rhythm Albums, Album of the Year” for Armando; “Latin Rhythm Albums, Artist of the Year, Solo Artist”; “Social 50, Latin Artist of the Year”; “Latin Digital Download of the Year” for “Bon, Bon” and “Hot Latin Song of the Year, Vocal Event” for the song “I Like It” alongside Enrique Iglesias. He also won Telehit’s award for “Most Popular Artist”.
In April 2011 Jennifer Lopez released Love?, which featured Pitbull on two singles. "Fresh Out the Oven" did not meet with critical or popular success but the second cut, "On the Floor" was a certified hit. The single went on to make its Billboard Hot 100 debut at number nine, becoming the highest debuting Hot 100 single of Lopez's career.
Pitbull released Planet Pit, on June 21, 2011. Pitbull collaborated with T-Pain on its first single, which became a moderate hit; "Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)", which peaked at #7 on the Hot 100.
On March 22, 2011, Pitbull released his second single, "Give Me Everything"; three months later, the song became Pitbull's first single to top the Billboard Hot 100. It was ranked no. 5 on the 2011 Billboard Year-End Chart. The song features American R&B singer Ne-Yo, American singer Nayer and Dutch DJ Afrojack, who also produced the song and co-wrote it with Matt Howard, Pitbull and Ne-Yo.
In August 2011, Lindsay Lohan sued Pitbull, Ne-Yo and Afrojack in response to the song's lyrics referencing her name, "I've got it locked up like Lindsay Lohan." Lohan objected to the negative connotation of the line and claimed that she should have been compensated for the use of her name in the song. The case was dismissed by a federal judge, who ruled the tune's lyrics are protected by the First Amendment, which covers freedom of speech and creative expression.
On October 7, 2011, RCA Music Group announced it was disbanding J Records along with Arista Records and Jive Records. With the shutdown, Pitbull (and all other artists previously signed to these three labels) would release future material on the RCA Records brand.
Pitbull's seventh studio album was titled "Global Warming" and released on November 19, 2012. Pitbull explained that the title reflected the fact that, much like the phenomenon of global warming, he's been around for a while but all of a sudden, people are paying attention. The lead single from the album was "Get It Started" featuring singer Shakira. The third single was "Feel This Moment" featuring Christina Aguilera.
The second single was for movie Men in Black 3. "Back in Time" was the first lead single for the Men in Black franchise not performed by Will Smith. The song, which plays during the end credits but is not featured on the soundtrack album, samples "Love Is Strange" by Mickey & Sylvia.
Pitbull supported the album with a world tour in the summer on 2013.
In 2013, Pitbull released a diss track towards Lil Wayne called "Welcome 2 Dade County" shortly after Lil Wayne's rant on the Miami Heat. Pitbull made his film debut Epic with a voice role of the character "Bufo". He embarked on the North American / Australian Summer Tour with Kesha to promote both their albums, which extends from May to November. He released his song "Feel This Moment" featuring Christina Aguilera in January 18, 2013 and they performed it live at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, as well as on the fourth season of America's The Voice. The song was a commercial success, peaking at 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Later he released final single from his Global Warming album, Outta Nowhere featuring Danny Mercer in late May. At the Latin Grammy Awards of 2013, Pitbull won the award for Best Urban Performance for his song "Echa Pa'lla (Manos Pa'rriba)".
Pitbull announced via Twitter that he would release the extended play to his studio album Global Warming, named Global Warming: Meltdown on November 25, featuring guest appearances from Kesha, Kelly Rowland, Inna, Mohombi and Mayer Hawthorne. The lead single, "Timber", featuring recording artist and tourmate Kesha, was released on October 7. The song peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 18 different countries.
Pitbull was featured on the early summer single "Live It Up", marking his third collaboration with Jennifer Lopez and Redone. The duo performed the song at the Billboard Music Awards, American Idol and Premios Juventud. He also made album appearances for Priyanka Chopra, Flo Rida, Jessica Mauboy, Belinda, Jason Derulo and other artists. Pitbull provided the post-race concert at the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas on November 17, 2013. Pitbull hosted the American Music Awards of 2013 on November 24, 2013.
Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte performed the song "We Are One" at the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup.
On February 25, 2014, Pitbull released a new single titled "Wild Wild Love" featuring American recording artist group G.R.L.. It has peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.
On April 15, 2014, Pitbull released a single featuring Jennifer Lopez and Claudia Leitte called "We Are One (Ole Ola) from the compilation album for the FIFA 2014 World Cup One Love, One Rhythm.
In May 2014, it was announced that Pitbull would host and co-produce a live New Year's Eve concert special from Miami for Fox, Pitbull's New Year's Revolution, on December 31, 2014.
In June 2014, it was announced that Pitbull would be receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
On July 8, 2014, Pitbull released a Spanish-language single titled "Como Yo Le Doy" featuring Don Miguelo. On July 23, 2014, Pitbull released another single titled "Fireball", which features singer John Ryan Produced by Honua Music. Around the same time, he announced his eighth studio album Globalization, which was released on November 24, 2014.
On October 18, 2014, Pitbull released another single titled "Celebrate" which was included on the Penguins of Madagascar soundtrack and later included on the album Globalization. Globalization was released alongside single "Time of Our Lives", which was Pitbull's first top ten hit since "Timber", peaking at #9 on the Hot 100. It also topped the Hot Dance Club Songs, Hot Rap Songs, and Rhythmic charts. On November 20, 2014, Pitbull released another Spanish-language single titled "Piensas (Dile la Verdad)" featuring Gente de Zona.
On April 21, 2015, Pitbull released his sixth single on the Globalization album titled "Fun" featuring Chris Brown and peaked at number 40 on the Hot 100. On May 8, 2015, Pitbull released a teaser video on Twitter of his upcoming second Spanish studio album and ninth studio album overall titled Dale. The album was officially released on July 17, 2015 and included the singles "Como Yo Le Doy", "Piensas (Dile la Verdad)", and "Baddest Girl in Town". The album led to Pitbull winning his Grammy Award in the category of Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album.
On October 26, 2015, Pitbull released a new single titled "FREE.K", which samples Adina Howard's "Freak like Me" in the chorus. The song is set to be the first single off his tenth studio album titled Climate Change, scheduled to be released in early 2016. On January 7, 2016, Pitbull premiered the second single from his new album titled "Freedom", which also samples The Rolling Stones song "I'm Free" in the chorus. To coincide with the release of the single, the artist also teased a 2017 Norwegian party cruise. There is a campaign that launched in January 2016 in support of the cruise that is expected to last until later in the year. On February 14, 2017, Pitbull announced that Climate Change will be released on March 17, with pre-orders starting on February 17.
In 2010, Pitbull took part in the “So Kodak” campaign for the Kodak brand with Drake, Rihanna, and Trey Songz. He also launched a partnership with the soft drink giant Dr Pepper as part of the campaign “Vida 23” for which he recorded the song specifically featured on his album Armando. Pitbull also announced he has become the spokesperson for Voli Vodka, in which he holds a majority equity stake, and Budweiser has chosen Pitbull to promote its Bud Light line of beer. The commercials currently highlight Pitbull dancing and gyrating on stage holding up a bottle of Bud Light. Pitbull has also purchased an equity stake in Miami Subs Pizza and Grill.
In 2012, Pitbull was involved in an advertising campaign with Walmart, in which the Walmart store that received the most Facebook "likes" from June 18 to July 15, 2012, would have Pitbull visit and put on a show there. An orchestrated campaign entitled "#exilepitbull" started by The Boston Phoenix reporter David Thorpe and SomethingAwful.com writer Jon Hendren urged people to vote for a remote location, namely Kodiak, Alaska. In an email to the Associated Press, Walmart confirmed that Kodiak was the winning location. Pitbull visited Kodiak on July 30 where he received a key to the city from Mayor Patricia Branson and then made an appearance before a crowd of hundreds at the Coast Guard base. The original orchestrator of the campaign to whom Pitbull had extended a public invitation, was present for the event.
In November 2013 he started a fragrance with Jacavi Worldwide and Parlux Ltd.
On May 19, 2015, Pitbull launched a new radio channel on Sirius XM Radio, called Pitbull's Globalization Radio, which is centered around Rhythmic, Dance/EDM, and R&B/Hip-Hop product from artists from around the world. The artist celebrated the channel's debut with a private concert at New York City's Apollo Theater. In addition to launching his customized radio station, Pitbull also plans to launch a pair of projects with Endemol for digital television.
Pitbull was the featured speaker at the official opening of the new charter middle and high school Sports Leadership and Management (SLAM), which he helped build on August 19, 2013 in Miami's Little Havana, the neighborhood where he grew up. The school will be run by the non-profit Mater Academy.2004: M.I.A.M.I.
2006: El Mariel
2007: The Boatlift
2011: Planet Pit
2012: Global Warming
2017: Climate Change
2009–2011: Rebelution Tour
2012: Planet Pit World Tour
2013: 2013 North American Tour (with Kesha)
2014: Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias Tour (North America)
2015: Pitbull Live in Hong Kong
2015-2016: Pitbull: Time of Our Lives
2016: Bad Men Tour (with Robin Thicke)
2017: Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull Live! (with CNCO)