Don Omar "King Of Kings"
With a single studio album to his name -- 2003's "The Last Don" -- Omar has managed to place a staggering 10 titles on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart since the album's release.
Although some of these are new tracks from compilation albums, they are all written or co-written by Omar and all but two are from his own albums, released within months of each other.
Now, as Omar is releasing his second studio album, "King of Kings" (VI/Machete), all eyes are on him. Expectations are high for the performer (whose real name is William Landron), as much for his radio appeal as for his sales record.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, "The Last Don" has sold 330,000 copies, while "The Last Don Live" and last year's remix compilation "Da Hitman ..." each have sold more than 200,000 copies. Last month, Omar received Recording Industry Association of America certifications for shipments of more than 2 million copies of his three albums, making him the biggest-selling reggaeton artist.
The first single from "King of Kings," for example, is "Angelito," the tale of a girl who gets infected with HIV after casual sex. The track is No. 4 on Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart.
It is the top-requested track on rhythmic top 40 KXOL Los Angeles, according to Spanish Broadcast System programing VP Pio Ferro, who was taken by surprise by the popularity of such a tough-themed song. But, he says, "Don shares the spotlight as one of reggaeton's truly big dogs. He's at the top of the hill with a few select others."
On "King of Kings," he aggressively fuses styles, going from straight-ahead reggaeton dance tracks to rap and dancehall -- a style of reggae that incorporates hip-hop and R&B -- to a surprising ballad accompanied by solo piano. The opening track, "Predica," is full of Middle Eastern influences and features violinist Miri Ben Ari. Other album guests include Mackie Ranks and Beenie Man.
"I'm an urban artist who loves reggaeton and who is a face of reggaeton," Omar says, explaining the eclecticism. "Reggaeton is a genre that can (fuse with) dancehall. It's part of our movement and our urban culture, as is hip-hop."
As open as he is to other sounds, Omar is not obsessed with going after a mainstream audience.
"My audience is Latin," he says. "All, all, all that I have, I have from Latins. The fact that my music is heard worldwide, I don't see it as a way to gain a mainstream American audience, but to gain those (second- and third-generation) Latins.
1. Intro: Predica - (featuring Miri Ben-Ari)
3. Ojitos Chiquitos
4. Conteo - (with Juelz Santana)
6. Tu No Sabes
8. Salio El Sol
9. En Su Nota - (with Mackie Jones)
14. Belly Danza - (with Beenie Man)
15. Munecas De Porcelana
16. Not Too Much - (with Zion)
17. Bailando Sola - (featuring Yandel)
18. Armarga Vida
Reggaeton Most Viewed
Baby Rasta y Gringo
Wisin y Yandel
Hector "El Bambino"
Magnate y Valentino
Yaga y Mackie Ranks
Zion y Lennox