Maluma is the pseudonym for Juan Luis Londoño Arias, a Colombian reggaeton singer known for his sweet tenor voice and streetwise yet romantic delivery. His early singles, "Obsesión" and "Miss Independent," resonated with listeners because Maluma's style celebrated the beginning of reggaeton's genre pop-ification.
Maluma gained early fame as a teenager. He originally pursued football as a vocation, and was gifted enough to attract the notice of the media in his native Medellin. He sang simply for pleasure. Given the rise of the internet, YouTube, and television singing competitions, however, he was pulled toward music. In 2011, at the age of 17, Maluma cut his first single, "Farandulera," independently. Due to its internet popularity and emergent radio airplay, the song gained the attention of Sony Music. The following year, Maluma released Magia, his debut album. Several of its singles — "Obsesión," "Loco," and "Miss Independent" — received consistent airplay and hit the charts in Colombia and Latin America. His next single, "La Temperatura," entered the North American charts and earned him a Latin Grammy nomination in 2013.
In 2014, he was the featured vocalist on Elvis Crespo's hit "Ole Brazil," recorded for the World Cup tournament. Maluma returned in early 2015. His first release was PB DB. The Mixtape, a compilation of hits with two new singles, "Me Gustas Tanto" and "Climax." These tracks charted and set the stage for a brand-new album, Pretty Boy Dirty Boy, which appeared in the fall. The recording was produced by Walter Kolm. In 2016, Maluma released a collaborative track with fellow Colombian star Shakira, "Chantage," and the video became massively popular, racking up over one billion views online within five months. The track "Cuatro Babys," which reflected him as a swaggering Lothario with a rotating cast of women in and out of his bedroom, sparked a backlash when offended listeners called out the song's objectifying message. Some circulated a petition to have it removed from digital platforms. (It wasn't, but Maluma apologized.) In 2017, Maluma was named "Artist of the Year" at the Premios Lo Nuestro, a Latin music awards show presented by Spanish-language television network Univision. That same year, he began working on his next album, writing songs in English as well as Spanish. In November 2017, he delivered an initial pre-release single "Corazon," featuring Brazilian singer Nego do Borel that peaked at number five at Hot Latin Songs. In May, he released the full-length F.A.M.E., produced mainly by the artist's Medellin camp including Édgar "Edge" Barrera and "Rude Boyz" Kevin ADG & Chan el Genio, with further duet contributions by Timbaland ("Mi Declaracion"), Prince Royce ("Hangover"), and Jason Derulo on the bilingual "La Ex." The album reached the top spot on the Latin Albums chart and number 37 on the Hot 200. Early 2019 saw Maluma release a remix of the single "Mala Mia," which featured contributions from Anitta and Becky G. ~ Thom Jurek