Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin, known to the world as J Balvin, sat down with former Univision news correspondent Enrique Acevedo for the new 60 Minutes program, 60 Minutes+, exclusively on Paramount+.

The Colombian singer – considered to be the prince of Reggaeton – spoke with Acevedo about the dream he had for his career, anxiety, depression and the stereotypical image of Medellin Colombia, that he wants to change.

In the 80’s Medellin was considered to be the most dangerous city in the world. It was made famous by the Medellin drug cartel and their leader, the notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar. Balvin tells Acevedo that he endured profiling and assumptions when traveling abroad simply because he was from there. Not one to drink or do drugs, Balvin wants to not just dispel these assumptions of himself but also of the people.

“Im super tired of it,” he tells Acevedo, “I remember flying to different countries and I remember the way they used to treat me just because I was from Colombia. It was just uncomfortable … It’s not a joke. That is the reason why we are working so hard to change that. There’s going to be a moment when people are going to get tired of the same story.”

Emerging onto the American music scene in 2018 with the international success of his album Vibras – which earned him numerous accolades and sold-out concerts. Balvin has actually been performing for many years before then, since the age of 14, not just out of passion but as a means to help out his family.

“I always knew that I loved music but the reason that I started to do music professionally was because my dad had gone bankrupt. I wanted to help him out.” he told Acevedo.

Since 2014, when he released his first album La Familia, Balvin has seen nothing but success while remaining true to his roots.

“Back in the day Latino artists used to sing in english to crossover,” he says “My dream is I want people to crossover to our world and that is a big difference.” When Acevedo asks if he thinks he’s proven that you don’t need to sing in english to be a global superstar, Balvin says “100%.”

Mi Gente,” “Machika,” “X,” “6am,” and many other of his songs, have earned top spots on the Billboard Latin charts and his albums have received high remarks from music critics praising his style and range. His 2018 album Vibras, broke records as the most streamed Latin album in 24hrs on a streaming platform and his most recent album Colores, which was released in the summer of 2020, was called a “sophisticated show of Balvin’s sonic palate” by Rollingstone Magazine.

For all his success and praises, Balvin tells Acevedo that he doesn’t feel like a global superstar.

“First of all I don’t feel like a global superstar. My mom told me that ‘the day you think you’re a superstar you stop shining for me’ so I’d rather be her son than a superstar.”

Always humble and grateful despite his – even if he doesn’t want to admit it – global stardom. Balvin is never one to shy aways from his fans or forget his roots. Always posting on his social media the beauty of Colombia and moments of his life. His instagram followers, of 46.2 million, can always expect to hear directly from him and feel even more connected. One thing that Balvin takes time to talk about occasionally is depression.

In 2019, at a show in Los Angeles for his Arcoiris North American tour. Balvin took a moment to speak with the audience about the anxiety and depression. While not going into specifics, he told everyone that he is human and he too goes through moments just like everyone, and not not to forget that he is here and they are not alone.

He tells Acevedo, “I’m not as rich as you think, I’m not as famous as you think. I think there’s a problem with the world because they think and I think it was Jim Carrey who said, ‘I hope that everybody can be rich and famous and understand that happiness is not there.”

His views on what matters in life and what truly brings happiness are constant pillars that he not only shares with fans via social media but also in his music.

Currently he is gearing up to return to the stage in August – if it is safe to do so – and working on a new album. His recent single “Ma G” already has over 8 million views on Youtube after fans saw his stellar performance alongside pal and boxer, Canelo Alvares, at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami FL, where the Canelo/Avni Yildrim fight was taking place.

Fans can next see J Balvin on the Amazon documentary, The Boy From Medellin, which takes a closer look at the man behind the chart topping name.

For more on 60 Minutes+ with J Balvin and hear his thoughts on immigration, Covid-19 and the “Balvin brand.” Checkout 60 Minutes+ on Paramount+.

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Lidia Mosqueda

Lidia Mosqueda, a graduate from California State University Fullerton, has been a news correspondent for MUSE TV since 2017. She has covered various newsworthy events such as; press junkets, film & tv screenings, premieres, concerts, red carpets and other public events. As a bilingual journalist she has written about various musicians and artists in Latin entertainment, helping to bring attention to many Latin American talent, here in the states. As a journalist in the entertainment field. Her goal is to break down the stereotypes and assumptions that surround entertainment journalism.

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