Celebrating Hispanic History: J Balvin Headlines 2019 Lollapalooza
John Davisson – J Balvin
Colombian reggaetón superstar J Balvin made history as the first Latinx artist to headline Lollapalooza in its then-28 years, bringing an exuberant set and friends including Wisin & Yandel to the Bud Light Stage in Chicago’s Grant Park Aug. 3, 2019.
Sporting lime-green hair, J Balvin told the audience, “It took us 28 years to be on this stage…and I’m so happy and so grateful to be headlining, for the first time a Latino act,” as he performed a 75-minute set for the ages.
He brought Wisin Y Yandel out for a three-song tribute to reggaetón, which he kicked off by thanking those who came before in the sometimes overlooked genre
“I’m so grateful to be here, gracias…but I wouldn’t be here without the reggaetón OGs…that’s why we gotta pay homage to the OGs,” Balvin said, according to Grammy.com, before performing N.O.R.E. and Daddy Yankee’s 2004 reggaeton classic hit, “Oye Mi Canto.”
J Balvin was already an influential star by the time he headlined that Lolla stage on a Chicago evening two and a half years ago, of course. But it did underscore just how influential he’d become.
Just a few years earlier, J Balvin was opening for a lengthy Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull co-bill before headlining his first arena shows in Latin America in 2015.
But in the last three years, Balvin, one of several Latin music stars to make a crossover impact in the live market with both English- and Spanish-speaking audiences, has averaged 6,692 tickets sold for a gross of $456,874 per show as reported to Pollstar.
However, this last tour in 2019 saw sold ticket counts reach 12,571 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, 10,963 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.; and 12,264 at Madison Square Garden in NYC — all indicative of his rising star as a headliner just before the COVID pandemic put a stop to 2020 touring.
Balvin recently announced plans to visit 25 cities across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico on his “Jose Tour 2022” that launches April 19 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, and runs through June 4 at Coliseo de Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico.