Daddy Yankee gave a powerful speech about the political crisis in Puerto Rico at Premios Juventud. Other urban artists like Rauw Alejandro also demanded a change for the island.

By Lena Hansen
July 19, 2019 02:21 PM

When Daddy Yankee went on stage at Premios Juventud to receive an award on Thursday, the reggaeton star addressed the political crisis in his native Puerto Rico. Before a cheering crowd, he admitted that his mind and heart were somewhere else. "My heart is in my homeland, Puerto Rico," he said, recalling when he asked President Trump for help for his people during the devastation brought by Hurricane Maria. Now he spoke directly to Governor Ricardo Rosselló, who has been the target of protests following the leak of messages between Rosselló and other members of his administration that show sexist and homophobic comments as well as profanity. "Resign your position, turn in your power peacefully, reasonably and with diplomacy. Make way for new leaders to govern our nation the right way," Yankee told Rosselló. "Puerto Rico is tired of corruption, of the decades-long abuse…Our education system is broken, we need to fix our education system. Let's keep manifesting ourselves with courage and wisdom. Demand your rights with intelligence, without fear."

(Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

The speech had a visible effect on Eva Longoria, Eugenio Derbez and Isabela Moner - from the movie Dora and the Lost City of Gold - who were on stage when the singer received his award. "We are hurt but have courage. Let's move forward, Puerto Rico," he emphasized. "And just like we worked hard during Hurricane Maria, I return to my land for whatever they need from me because my final destiny - even though I travel the world - is my home, where I live, Puerto Rico."

Other urban music artists like Rauw Alejandro and Lyanno - nominated for New Urban Generation - spoke to People CHICA about the crisis in Puerto Rico, demanding a change. "It's a delicate situation. I'm with the people. Ricky resign, feel the pressure," Alejandro said.

Lyanno - who wore a black-and-white Puerto Rican flag on his t-shirt when he performed as a political statement, showing the country's mourning - added, "We are saddened that the person who calls himself our leader mocked and failed us. He mocked the LGBT community, he mocked the people who died after Hurricane Maria, he disrespected women. We shouldn't have someone like that as a leader."