35-year-old Colombian reggaetonero, J Balvin, one of the world’s most-streamed pop stars, revealed on Thursday night that he is recovering from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19.)
While accepting the Video With A Purpose award for his music video “Rojo” at Premios Juventud 2020, J Balvin revealed he had tested positive for the virus and is still on the road to recovery.
“These have been very difficult days, very complicated”
In a pre-recorded video, Balvin, who spoke from his native, Medellín, Colombia, said, “At this moment, I’m just getting better from COVID-19. These have been very difficult days, very complicated,” he shared in Spanish. “Sometimes we won’t think that we’ll get it but I got it and I got it bad,” Balvin said.
The “Mi Gente” singer urged his fans to take the virus seriously. “My message to those that follow me, young fans and people in general is to take care. This isn’t a joke. The virus is real and it’s dangerous,” he said.
The most-streamed global artist on Spotify
Balvin is one of the most high-profile music stars to have contracted the virus. In June 2018, Balvin was the most-streamed artist globally on Spotify. His track Mi Gente, which Beyoncé later remixed, has been streamed 2.7 billion times on YouTube alone. He also guested on I Like It by Cardi B, which topped the US charts in 2018 and was a worldwide hit.
Balvin is also the latest high-profile Colombian star to have contracted the virus, following Karol G’s coronavirus battle last month. Karol G, who performed at Premios Juventud 2020, also revealed that she tested positive for the coronavirus. She detailed her symptoms and struggles for her fans, whom she thanked for their constant love and support.
“Thank you to everyone who has reached out,” she said. “I did have COVID-19 and it was very difficult, [and] painful, but I’m recuperating. Thank you for the sweet messages and for everyone that has worried about me,” she continued. “All I can [say] is, please take care of yourself. COVID-19 is real. I didn’t want to make this news public, but I’m doing well.”
“Mental health doesn’t care about your age, your race, your background”
Colombia, where Balvin is from, has had 422,519 cases of COVID-19, with 76,805 of those in last week, according to data from the New York Times.
Balvin, who survived a 2016 plane crash, has been candid about his mental health in the past and has opened up about suffering from anxiety, depression, and panic attacks. In the essay, the singer credited meditation with helping him overcome those struggles. In fact, Balvin said that the practice “saved my life.”
“Mental health doesn’t care about your age, your race, your background; none of those things. It doesn’t care what you look like, or who you’re dating, or how much money you have in the bank. Of course, it’s different for each of us. But it affects all of us,” he wrote. “The truth is, anyone in the world can struggle with their mental health. And yet not everyone is ready to accept this.”
“When our world is in flux, our mental well-being is often one of the first things we neglect. But this should not be the case,” he said. “In fact, it’s in times like these that mindfulness can help us most.”
J Balvin set to perform at the 2020 MTV VMAS
It’s unclear if Balvin’s illness will prevent him from traveling to New York. Where he’s scheduled to perform his hit, “Amarillo” live on August 30 for the 37th Annual MTV Video Music Awards.
The Un Dia hitmaker will be returning to the VMA stage for the second year in a row. Balvin previously performed alongside Bad Bunny for their “Qué Pretendes” collaboration in 2019.
This year, Balvin has four nominations in total. The talented artist is nominated three times in the Best Latin category for his work on songs “China” and “Amarillo” as well as “Qué Pena.” He’s also up for Best Collaboration for his song with the Black Eyed Peas, “RITMO (Bad Boys For Life).”
Celebrities who have tested positive for the virus
Balvin joins a long list of celebrities who have tested positive for the flu-like virus and recovered. Including, Kanye West, Doja Cat, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Prince Royce, Anna Camp among many more.
Broadway actor, Nick Cordero died at the age of 41 due to severe COVID-19 complications. Americana singer, John Prine died from the illness, as did Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger. Earlier this week, Mexican-American singer, Trini Lopez died following complications due to coronavirus.