For millions worldwide, Arcángel requires no introduction. The iconic Latin music star, born Austin Agustín Santos to Dominican parents in New York City and later raised in Puerto Rico, has become a one-of-a-kind pioneer in the urban Latin music scene. Blending rap, trap, and reggaeton into groundbreaking new fusions, Arcángel’s artistry has taken the genres to uncharted heights. His recent collaboration on Bizarrap’s smash-hit session cemented his status as a global phenomenon, with the track rocketing to #1 on charts across Spotify and beyond.
Known for his raw, rapid-fire flow and gritty, streetwise lyrical content, Arcángel’s musical style merges reggaeton, trap, and rap into a singular hard-hitting urban sound.
He’s garnered a trove of honors, including multiple Billboard Latin Music Awards, Heat Latin Music Awards, Latin Grammy nominations, and a Latin AMA for Favorite Urban Artist.
Some of his most remarkable works include smash singles like “Por Amar a Ciegas,” “Me Prefieres a Mi” with Ozuna, and the 2x platinum “Hasta el Amanecer” featuring Nicky Jam. Arcángel has also collaborated with icons like Bad Bunny, Wisin y Yandel, and Ivy Queen while releasing chart-topping albums like 2007’s La Maravilla and 2019’s Illuminatti. After over 15 years in the game, he remains one of Latin urban’s most legendary and influential voices.
But beyond the chart-topping hits and his ubiquitous celebrity presence, there’s much more to know about the man behind the mic. Here we highlight 5 fascinating facts that illuminate the life and art of Austin Agustín Santos, known worldwide as Arcángel.
His Formative Years With De La Ghetto Forged an Unbreakable Bond
Long before his solo success, Arcángel got his start in 2005 upon returning to his Puerto Rican homeland, immersing himself in the flourishing reggaeton scene that birthed icons like Daddy Yankee, Bad Bunny, and Rauw Alejandro. It was there he joined creative forces with fellow rapper De La Ghetto to form the hitmaking duo Arcángel & De La Ghetto. Though they disbanded in 2007, the two remain bonded for life by their pivotal early years performing together. Their megahit “Más Que Ayer” stands as a timeless testament to their electrifying artistic chemistry.
His Late Brother’s Memory Lives On Through His Art
One of the most heart-wrenching chapters of Arcángel’s life arrived with the tragic 2021 traffic accident that claimed the life of his beloved brother, Justin Santos. As an ongoing tribute, Arcángel got his entire chest tattooed while undergoing 8 hours of anesthesia, immortalizing his brother’s memory in ink on his skin. He also released the album St. Santos in Justin’s honor, featuring the smash single “La Jumpa” with Bad Bunny that brought catharsis to millions.
The Origins Behind His Heavenly Stage Name
Where did the name Arcángel come from? As Austin revealed in a Rolling Stone interview, his grandmother’s tale of the archangels battling evil in the heavens captivated him as a child.
“Those angels who are fighting against the demons and the forces of evil are called archangels, a legion of angels, warriors of Papa God,” she told him.
Drawn to the concept, he merged it with his identity to derive his unforgettable stage name.
A Loving Father And Husband Away From The Spotlight
While Arcángel’s relationship with ex-wife Alejandra Pascual ended in divorce in 2020 after nearly 15 years, he found new love in 2021 marrying Janexsy Figueroa. Together they have a daughter, Angélica Lucero, and son, Austin Alejandro. Janexsy also had a son, Joe Martin, from a previous relationship with Nicki Minaj who Arcángel helped raise from age 3. Away from the headlines and red carpets, family is Arcángel’s number one priority.
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Retirement? Not Anytime Soon For This Tireless Trailblazer
While Arcángel once hinted at potentially retiring from live performing, he affirmed his music was here to stay in that same Rolling Stone interview.
“My heart beats for the rhythm of the music. I can’t imagine what my personal environment would be like without it,” he declared.
With many more milestones still left to achieve, Arcángel remains unrelenting in his fight to keep innovating urban Latin music without limits.
So those are 5 illuminating insights into reggaeton pioneer Arcángel. From his unbreakable bond with De La Ghetto to the loss of his brother, his heavenly moniker to family life, and his undying artistic passion, the man behind the legend continues to inspire the world with his boundary-breaking creativity. There are surely many more history-making chapters still to come in Arcángel’s story.