Latin sensation J Balvin to headline Lollapalooza festival


Chicago (AFP)

Colombian reggaeton superstar J Balvin will headline this year's edition of Lollapalooza, organizers of the festival announced Wednesday, a landmark moment for Latin music in the US mainstream.

Balvin will play alongside the other seven headliners including Ariana Grande and Childish Gambino at the top music festival in Chicago, set for August 1-4.

The 33-year-old superstar achieved mass appeal in 2017 thanks to the smash success of "Mi Gente," a hit rooted in the African dance beats of French DJ Willy William's "Voodoo Song."

After recording the initial version Balvin worked on a remix with pop royalty Beyonce to produce a charity version for hurricane relief later that year.

Lollapalooza -- a festival conceived in the 1990s as a celebration of alternative culture -- has never featured a Latin act that performs in Spanish so prominently on its billing.

Medellin-born Balvin did perform twice at last year's Coachella festival -- but only as a guest alongside Cardi B and Beyonce, with whom he had collaborated.

This year both Balvin and Bad Bunny, the Puerto Rican Latin trap sensation, will do solo sets at Coachella, set for April 12-14 and April 19-21 in Indio, California.

And Spanish innovator Rosalia -- who debuted in 2017 with a revisionist version of traditional flamenco infused with pop, R&B and electronic sounds -- will play both Lollapalooza and Coachella.

The decidedly Latin flair at major US festivals signals the circuit's effort to embrace the 41 million people living in US who claim Spanish as their mother tongue.

"Chicago, we're coming to see you this summer," tweeted Balvin as the announcement dropped. "Get ready to party."