Los Angeles Times
How Pitbull Is Helping the Latinx Community in Miami and Beyond
Grammy-winning superstar Pitbull (aka Armando Pérez) is more than just an international music icon — he’s also a major advocate for Latin culture, health, fitness, and education. Ahead of his massive “I Feel Good” tour with Iggy Azalea, which kicks off Aug. 20, Pitbull talked about his advocacy work and what it means to be a Latin role model.
What does it mean to you to be a strong role model for the Latinx community?
It has been inspiring to see the Latinx community take a stand on the world stage. Being a strong role model for the community is something I think about every day. We need to continue to inspire and teach the community that it is possible to overcome obstacles and achieve success; that everything is possible.
Especially now, with Latin culture and music crossing over into the mainstream markets, we need to be proud of our heritage and use these platforms to give back to our communities. When we opened SLAM! (Sports, Leadership, Arts and Management), a public charter school in the heart of Little Havana, my goal of being the ambassador for SLAM! was not only to be a role model, but to also open the doors for opportunities that were not afforded to me as a kid. It’s a key lesson to teach students the importance of giving back to your community and roots.
Can you talk about the relationship between music and fitness? How can we use this correlation to help others live healthier lifestyles?
Music and fitness go hand in hand. They both make people feel good, and great music makes a better workout. There have been studies about how music not only elevates your mind, but it also motivates you to work out harder. Great healthcare may not always be available, so it’s important that we do what we can on our own to motivate ourselves to stay healthy both physically and mentally.
Our new song “I Feel Good” is about energy motivation and how music is the universal language. The last year and a half has been hard, and I hope we can continue to uplift communities through the message of music.
You are more than an international star; you are an advocate for many charities and initiatives surrounding access to health and education. Can you tell us a bit more about your work and what inspired you to become an advocate for others?
Education is my legacy. In addition to SLAM! in Miami, we have opened 11 SLAM! schools across the nation. Health has also become an important initiative to me, as everyone should have access to the best health and education. From my firsthand experience, I felt it was fundamental that I find a way to help kids who were in my position. Growing up in Miami was a struggle, and I hope I can continue to use my platform to assist those in need. We are one race, the human race, and it’s important that we always do what we can to help others.
In January, you became the co-owner of NASCAR’s Trackhouse Racing Team, and served as the Grand Marshal of this year’s Daytona 500. Can you tell us a little bit more about this?
It’s been a true honor to become a NASCAR team owner with team Trackhouse. It’s history in the making — in such a short period of time we’ve been able to make a difference in the NASCAR culture and community. It was a proud moment to serve as the Grand Marshal of one the most popular races in our country. It made me feel proud I can represent my roots in such a way, and as one of the fırst alongside Trackhouse racer Daniel Suárez.