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Romeo Santos Sings Backstreet Boys, Opens Up About Parenting at Billboard Latin Music Week

Billboard 9/28/2022 Clayton Gutzmore
© Gus Caballero for Billboard

Conference attendees got on their feet with excitement as Romeo Santos came on the main stage at the Faena Forum in Miami Beach. The bachata superstar had a live Q&A session Tuesday (Sept. 27) with Billboard’s Latin Industry Lead Vice President Leila Cobo as part of Billboard Latin Music Week. In a lively conversation that included many audience questions, Santos discussed his upcoming album, fatherhood, and helping Puerto Rico.

Here are five standout moments:

Donation to Puerto Rico: At the beginning of his Q&A, Santos pledged $100,000 for relief to those affected by Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. The donation will be part of Billboard’s efforts to gather donations for the Red Cross for hurricane relief on the island.

New Music: Santos recently released Formula Vol 3, the third entry into his Formula album series. Santos spent three years working on the project, endlessly tweaking the production. Case in point is “Perro,” the track that took longest to produce. Santos got writer’s block and stepped away from that song for two months until It wasn’t until he got help from producer Mate Traxx.

“I don’t criticize how other people do their stuff. I took my time with this album, and I can say I am proud of this moment,” said Santos.

Fatherhood: Santos now has a 17-month-old son named Solano. The music superstar explained how fatherhood has changed him and his priorities.

“The kids always come first. I now bring food home every time I’m out, and I’m obsessed with my children,” said Santos.

Santos has two other kids, sons Alex and Valentino.  All three are on the intro for Formula Vol 3, and all are the inspiration for the tracks on the album. During the panel, Santos shared how he comedically handles parenting. For example, when his kids are fussing, he picks them up and holds them while he squats up and down, a no-fail calming method. On the other hand, he has a fear of diapers. “I’m 41 years old, and I barely know how to wipe my own butt,” he joked.

Patience and Persistence: Both are the key to success, said Santos when asked about breaking into the industry. Also key is sharing music in all platforms, even when only a few people are listening.  “It only takes one person to listen to your music to make a difference,” said Santos, who shared how he and the members of Aventura were on the grind for five years before they became a success.

Musical Inspirations: Santos spoke candidly about his musical inspirations, including Julio Iglesias, whose music his mother would play at home when he was a boy. While his first exposure to R&B was when he heard “If I Ever Fall In Love” by Shai, the most emotional moment of the chat was when he spontaneously got to his feet to sing Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” in a call and response session with the audience.  

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