Ivy Queen [Pesante, Martha Ivelisse]
- Wayne Marshall
(b Añasco, PR, March 4, 1972). Puerto Rican singer. Ivy Queen has reigned as reggaeton’s practically sole female voice for well over a decade, remaining a central and respected figure while transforming herself from fierce battle rapper to sentimental sophisticate. She started singing to her father’s guitar accompaniment and identifies Celia Cruz and Selena as role models. She lived in New York City from childhood into her teenage years, moving to San Juan after high school. While writing for other acts and performing in talent shows, she grabbed the attention of DJ Negro, who added her to the roster of The Noise, an influential crew of DJs and performers. After making a splash on several mixtapes by The Noise, she embarked on a solo career, in part to distance herself from sexually-explicit and violent lyrics, addressing a range of topics from domestic violence to single mothers, fidelity to feminism. Her first album, ...