This Sunday, the Council of Medellin approved the proposal from council member Robert Bohorquez to grant the “Don Juan del Corral” Order of Merit the Colombian reggaeton singer J Balvin, according to varies local sources.
According to the law, the Order of Merit “Don Juan del Corral” level “silver” is granted only to “those people or institutions and public or private companies that have worked 25 or more years, have earned a five digit amount and that had accomplished an important action that improves the development and progress of the city, department and nation”.
José Alvaro Osorio Balvin, who was born in Medellin in 1985, doesn’t have 25 years of working experience, nor does he comply with all of the requirements to receive this honor. However the law is not always followed to the letter.
The Council of Medellin will make an exception and award the Order of Merit to J Balvin for his contributions to music and to the city of Medellin. The Order of Merit is the highest level of recognition that a corporation can receive.
The president of the Council, Jesus Anibal Echeverri, explained that J Balvin has 10 years in the music business, “generating an important image for the people of Medellin, Antioquia and Colombia in general, on and international level”.
The councilor also affirmed that his daughter and wife are Balvin´s fans.
“The young people appreciate him and love him so much, all of Colombia does. He is a man that has gifted with an incredible voice. You can see that he´s noble, a good man” said Echeverri. He later added, “If we have granted a distinction to Maluma, why wouldn’t we give it to J Balvin?”
In April of this year, the Colombian singer Juan Luis Lodoño Arias aka Maluma, was decorated with the highest distinction that the Antioquia government can award, the so-called Golden Shield.
The decision, however, is not without its critics.
Maluma has been recently criticized for the content of his new hit single “Cuatro Babies” (Four Babies), a song that is overtly misogynist. In fact, Antioquia governor Luis Perez clarified that the council was going to decorate the “Safari” singer as well, but that they have not yet come to an agreement.
Who is J Balvin?
J Balvin has been an innovator in reggaeton, an urban genre of music born in Puerto Rico that has quickly become one of the most popular forms of Latin music. Balvin has made changes to the music to soften its tone and add a romantic element.
These changes come as no surprise to those familiar with J Balvin’s career before reggaeton. In his youth, the singer was part of several rock bands, and in 2004 he formed a rap group. That is the same year that he emerged as a solo artist.
Success for J. Balvin did not come as fast as it did for Maluma. It was not until 2010 that he was recognized as the best new artist on local radio in Colombia, signing a contract with EMI music that brought him to the international stage.
Balvin’s first album, “Real” received numerous awards and his second, “El Negocio”, was number one in the country. His third album, “La Familia”, received international recognition and awards, and consummated his rise to fame.
Balvin’s singles “6AM”, “Ay Vamos” and “Gynza” were critically acclaimed and each reached the number one spot in Colombia, Mexico, Spain and the United States. He has been nominated several times to for a Latin Grammy an award that he finally won in 2015 with “Gynza” as the Best Urban Song and in 2016 with “Energía” as the Best Urban Music Album.
The hit single “Gynza” holds the Guinness World Record as the song with the longest stay at number one on the Hot Latin Songs Ranking in the United States.