Romeo Santos will enter the Yankee Stadium history books this weekend, ahomegrown hero reaching the crowning achievement of his storied career up to this point.
While some will rack their brains to figure out where Santos hits in the Yankees lineup, fans of Latin music, especially the Dominican Republic genre of bachata, will be hailing their king.
Santos, the 32-year-old Bronx-born singer who became an international star as the leader of Aventura, will become the first Latin artist to sell out the new Yankee Stadium, with concerts on Friday and Saturday, as well as the first Latin artist to play at the Yankees' home since the Fania All-Stars in 1973.
"I'm honored," Santos said at a news conference announcing the shows. "I grew up in this neighborhood, near Yankee Stadium, and I would walk around with my cousin, and we were just trying to buy tickets to see a baseball game. I never even imagined that I would be performing, and to just make it to this point in my career as a solo artist is extremely wonderful."
Currently on tour to support his second solo album "Formula, Vol. 2" (Sony Music Latin), Santos has been taking the stage in a royal cape and carrying a scepter, a not-so-subtle nod to his title "King of Bachata."
Bachata is a very specific style, love songs built around a sweet voice like Santos' with spare accompaniment from acoustic guitars and percussion -- worlds away from the thudding bass of most of today's popular music.
Of course, Santos is looking to expand his kingdom. His new album features collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Drake, Carlos Santana and Brookville's Marc Anthony. (Santos is also looking beyond music. He is set to be in "Fast & Furious 7," out next year.)
"Growing up here, you would go down the block, and on one corner you would hear bachata, on another corner some salsa, and, of course, there was hip-hop and R&B all over the place," Santos said at the news conference. "For me, it is very organic to have these combinations."