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La Sista

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Being hailed as the Mama Inés of reggaeton, La Sista has made waves and turned heads since her arrival on the scene. Much like Mama Inés, a strong female character from Afro-Caribbean folklore, Maidel Amador Canales (La Sista) is breaking up stereotypes and making a name for herself in a male-dominated world. She hails from Loiza, a town in the north of Puerto Rico that is famous for its Afrocentric traditions and the largest black population on the island. Canales grew up in a musical family, with several of her male relatives making their livings as musicians. Not fitting stereotypes caused marginalization early on, as Canales is not only one of very few women, but also one of few blacks, to grace the scene. Adversity inspired hard work, which eventually gave way to opportunity. Getting her break on the reality TV show La Casa Under at the age of 19 afforded Canales chances early on in her career to collaborate with some of the industry's hottest names, including Domingo Quinoñes, Jerry Rivera, Andy Montañez, and Anais. Signing with Machete Music, La Sista released her first solo project in 2006, Majestad Negroide, which featured the smash hit single "Anacoana," originally performed by Cheo Feliciano. Canales' focus on African heritage and her staunch individuality have garnered her a reputation as one of reggaeton's artists to watch. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez

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