Pitbull gave himself his stage name, which comes from the dog variety of the same name. The rapper said pitbulls are "basically everything I am. [My life] has been a constant fight." Rapper and Bad Boy Latino co-founder Pitbull kicked off his career in 2002 with the help of Lil' Jon. While the Miami rapper garnered a following along the way, releasing megahit "Culo" from his first album M.I.A.M.I. in 2004, he shot to stardom with his infectious hits, "I Know You Want Me" and "Krazy" from his 2009 album Rebelution.
Take a look at five things to know about Pitbull, who will be performing at the Billboard Music Awards next Sunday, May 19 in Las Vegas!
5) His real name is Armando Christian Perez. So, where did the Cuban-American rapper get the nickname Pitbull? He told the Washington Post he dubbed himself with the moniker because pit bulls "bite to lock," adding, "the dog is too stupid to lose. And they're outlawed in Dade County. They're basically everything that I am. It's been a constant fight."
4) Lil Jon' is his mentor and producer. The duo met during one of Lil Jon's trips to Miami, and after the "Get Low" rapper heard Pitbull's song "Oye," he invited him to rap on his album Kings of Crunk. The pair has been collaborating ever since.
3) After disappointing sales on his third studio album, The Boatlift, in 2007, he returned with Rebelution in 2009 with huge success. Two of its singles, "I Know You Want Me" and "Hotel Room Service" reached the top 10 on Billboard's Hot 100.
2) He speaks English and Spanish fluently. Pitbull released his first Spanish language album Armando in 2010. He also hosts his own Spanish-language program on Mun2 called La Esquina.
1) He dedicated his 2006 sophomore album, El Mariel, to his father, Armando Sr., who died that year in May of liver failure, the rapper revealed on his VH1 Behind the Music special. "From him I learned, it's not what you have, or what you obtain," he said during the program. It's what you leave behind."