Pitbull at the 2014 American Music Awards
Pitbull at the 2014 American Music Awards. Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Pitbull's Early Life

Pitbull was born Armando Christian Perez to Cuban immigrant parents in 1981. His mother and father separated and he was raised primarily by his mother. Pitbull began rapping while in high school and cites Nas as a key influence. The young rapper drew inspiration from both East Coast and West Coast rap as well as the Miami bass genre of hip hop.

Success With Lil Jon

A meeting with the "King Of Crunk" Lil Jon jumpstarted Pitbull's recording career.

He appeared on the multi-platinum Lil Jon album Kings of Crunk in 2002. His song "Oye" was included on the soundtrack to the film 2 Fast 2 Furious. Lil Jon oversaw Pitbull's debut album M.I.A.M.I. released in 2004. It included the song "Culo" which became his first top 40 pop hit. The album topped the rap chart and was certified gold.

Top Pitbull Songs as Lead Artist

  • 2004 - "Culo" featuring Lil Jon - #32
  • 2007 - "The Anthem" featuring Lil Jon - #36
  • 2008 - "Krazy" featuring Lil Jon - #38
  • 2009 - "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" - #2
  • 2009 - "Hotel Room Service" - #8
  • 2010 - "Hey Baby (Drop It To the Floor)" featuring T-Pain - #7
  • 2011 - "Give Me Everything" featuring Ne-Yo, AfroJack and Nayer - #8
  • 2013 - "Feel This Moment" featuring Christina Aguilera - #8
  • 2013 - "Timber" featuring Kesha - #1
  • 2014 - "Time Of Our Lives" with Ne-Yo - #9

Top Pitbull Songs as Featured Artist

Breakthrough With Rebelution

Pitbull's next two albums El Mariel in 2006 and The Boatlift in 2007 saw him facing declining commercial fortunes. The label TVT Records went out of business late in the decade which forced Pitbull to release his single "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" in early 2009 through the dance label Ultra.

The result was an international smash hit which went to #2 in the US. It was followed by another top 10 hit "Hotel Room Service" and then the album Rebelution in the fall of 2009. Pitbull remained a fixture on pop charts in 2010 with appearances on Enrique Iglesias' hit "I Like It" and "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" by Usher.

Planet Pit

Following his first Spanish language album Armando in 2010, Pitbull previewed the upcoming Planet Pit album with another top 10 pop hit "Hey Baby (Drop It To the Floor)" with T-Pain. The album's second single "Give Me Everything" soared all the way to #1 in 2011 and Planet Pit was a top 10 gold certified smash hit.

Mr. Worldwide

With the international embrace of "Give Me Everything" hitting the top 10 around the world and #1 in many different countries, Pitbull adopted the nickname "Mr. Worldwide." It has fit him well as one of the world's biggest pop stars. 

Pitbull's 2012 album Global Warming included the top 10 pop hit "Feel This Moment" with Christina Aguilera. The song is built around a sample from a-ha's beloved #1 pop hit from the 1980s "Take On Me." In 2013 Pitbull joined forces with Kesha to score another #1 pop hit single on "Timber." The song also topped the rap and dance charts as well as the pop singles chart in the UK.

The next album, 2014's Globalization, included the next top 10 Pitbull hit single "Time Of Our Lives" with R&B singer Ne-Yo. It was Ne-Yo's first trip to the top 10 in two years.