Armando Christian Pérez (born January 15, 1981), better known by his stage name Pitbull or Mr. Worldwide, is an American rapper, songwriter, and record producer. His first recorded performance was from the Lil Jon album Kings of Crunk in 2002. In 2004, he released his debut album titled M.I.A.M.I. (short for Money Is A Major Issue) under TVT Records. He released El Mariel in 2006 and The Boatlift in 2007. In 2009, the album Rebelution spawned the hit single “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”. Pitbull’s 2011 album, Planet Pit, featured the single “Give Me Everything” which was his first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. The song reached # 1 worldwide and featured artists Ne-yo, Nayer, and Afrojack. Pitbull has performed as a featured artist in the remixes of many other hit songs, like “Tik Tok”, “Scream & Shout”, “Lo Hecho Esta Hecho”, “Bad”, “Papi”, “Diamonds”, “How Low”, “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)”, “Video Phone”, “Over To You Now” and “Bumpy Ride”.
Pitbull was born to Cuban parents in Miami, Florida. When he was three, he could recite the works of Cuba’s national hero and poet, José Martí. He encountered problems early in his career as a rapper because he is white with blue eyes, hails from the South, and is Cuban. He was also 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. His mother later kicked him out of their house when he was 16 after he became a drug dealer, as had his father before him. He attended South Miami Senior High School before graduating from Miami Coral Park High School and focused his career in rapping.
He said he chose his stage name because pitbulls “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 also released several mixtapes, composed of freestyles and remixes of popular rap music. Campbell featured Pitbull in his single, Lollipop.