Happy Birthday, Pitbull! Mr. Worldwide's Words of Wisdom
Mr. 30' — turned Mr. Worldwide — celebrated his 39th birthday on Wednesday. We salute the Cuban rapper and wish him feliz cumpleaños by sharing some of our favorite Pitbull quotes.
"I am the best example that the American Dream is not a lie," the rapper told People en Español. "If you want it, go and fight for it."
“It’s important to motivate youth,” he told People CHICA. “A small tweak in someone’s life can change them from getting into trouble to getting accepted into college. Kids and teens are like sponges. We can help to mold them positively, to help them understand that there’s only winning, no losing. Life isn’t easy, but if they fall down they’ll be stronger when they get back up.”
FINDING THE LIGHT
Growing up in drug-ravaged neighborhoods in the Sunshine State and struggling with poverty in a single-parent household run by his mom made role models especially important to the singer. “My teacher Hope Martinez saw talent in me when everyone else didn’t,” he says of his former high school drama teacher. “Hope helped me find my own talent, which was music.”
GOING FULL CIRCLE
Little Havana — one of the Miami neighborhoods where Mr. 305 grew up — is now home to SLAM (Sports Leadership and Management), a public charter school dedicated to creating college-bound students interested in pursuing careers in sports industries. Pitbull opened the school in 2013 to help youth succeed. “I️ lived there, I understand their struggles as teens, but I just shoot it to them real,” he told People CHICA. According to the singer, SLAM provides “opportunities so that they’ll be able to overcome troubles, but more so, show students the positive things in life.”
THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
“It's not about making it, it's about maintaining it. Once you maintain it, it's about being happy," he told People en Español about success. He added about his role as a motivational speaker: "I couldn't be happier to elevate and motivate people with my story around the world.”
Pitbull credits the women in his family, who immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba, with teaching him to reach for the stars despite socioeconomic hardships. “Those are the women that built me — my grandmother, my aunt and my mother,” he told Tony Robbins on his podcast. These women pushed him to achieve the American Dream. "They would ask: ‘Do you see where you’re going to be? Do you see the opportunity you have in this country?'" the singer recalled. "'Do you see how you can take advantage of this freedom that you have?'”
“That woman made me a man,” he told PEOPLE about his mother, Alysha Acosta. “She taught me how to survive, and I want to teach my kids that," adds the father of six. "Why? Because I don’t want them to feel like they’ve got to live in my shadow.”
DEVOTED TO HIS CHILDREN
"Being a dad is the only true love I have," he told People en Español. "For me the most important thing is teaching them with my example."
LIVING HIS BEST LIFE
“I am most grateful for life itself. Live life, don't let life live you. I'm so grateful for my fans around the world who allow me to do what we do," the birthday boy told People CHICA. "I get to do what I love, and that is the biggest blessing.”