Pitbull attends STX Films World Premiere of "UglyDolls" at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live in Los Angeles.
An animated film about misfit toys seems an unlikely fit for a smooth reggaeton rapper, but Pitbull is front and center in "UglyDolls" and he loves the message it sends.
The film, which opens Friday in North America, tells the story of toys who have been discarded for not being "perfect" -- and the resolve of one doll, Moxy (singer Kelly Clarkson), to be loved by a child someday.
"Perfection doesn't exist and what I want for young people, for kids, is for them to appreciate what it is to be different, that it's something good.
Pitbull -- real name, Armando Christian Perez -- is joined in the cast by a host of other musicians, including country star Blake Shelton, pop futurist Janelle Monae and singers Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX.
It's not his first foray on the big screen. The Cuban-American also did voice work for the 2013 animated film "Epic," and his music has been featured on soundtracks of major films such as "Aquaman."
But "UglyDolls," the first animated feature from STX Entertainment, dovetails nicely with Pitbull's work to fight bullying and support educational initiatives in Miami's Little Havana, where he grew up.
"If what people are saying about you (online) is affecting you, put down the phone. Why even read it?" says the 38-year-old Grammy-winning singer and producer.
The singer, who has 7.5 million Instagram followers, says he's against what he sees as an obsession with social media, especially among young people.
This image released by STXfilms shows the characters Moxie and Mandy in the animated film, "UglyDolls."
'I keep it light'
Pitbull -- known for his fitted suits, smooth bald pate and showy sunglasses -- has put out 12 albums, done several collaborations with the likes of Jennifer Lopez, won a Grammy and a Latin Grammy, and performed the official song of the 2014 World Cup.
But his younger years were not always easy -- he doesn't go far into specifics, but he has talked in the past about tough times, and by age 17, he was selling drugs in Miami.
"music, thank God (and thanks to the audience), has been an escape for me. Without it, I'd be involved in something else entirely," he said in the interview, liberally mixing English and Spanish.
Now, the rapper known as Mr Worldwide wants people "to dance, be joyful, escape."
"I keep it light," he says, referring to hits like "El Taxi," "Bon Bon," "Fireball" and "Don't Stop The Party."
Mom knows best
Those involved with "UglyDolls" hope its message of acceptance will spread far and wide.
Pitbull says he remembers advice from his mother, whom he also credits with setting him on a new path after his rough past, about dealing with kids who were making fun of his "clown nose" when he was six years old.
"You're going to go to school, you're going to grab your nose and go 'honk, honk' and you're going to tell them that you're a clown -- and they won't tease you anymore," he recalled her saying.
"And I've applied that advice throughout my whole life: as soon as somebody says something about me, I say 'That's true,' and that's the end of it."
Beyonce was named entertainer of the year at the 50th annual NAACP Image Awards that highlighted works by entertainers and writers of color.
Pop icon Janet Jackson and rapper 50 Cent are among musicians set to perform in Saudi Arabia, organisers said Wednesday, after rapper Nicki Minaj pulled out.
A limited edition David Bowie Barbie was unveiled Thursday by toymaker Mattel to honor the 50th anniversary of the release of the iconic singer's hit single "Space Oddity."
Indian rap star Badshah has admitted that a Google tool helped him break a world record with his new number, "Paagal", dethroning the popular South Korean band BTS' "Boy With Luv" and Taylor Swifts "Me!", by crossing 75 million-plus views in 24 hours.
The exhibition presents more than 60 works spanning sculpture, prints, video, virtual reality, robotics and algorithmic programmes developed by more than 30 international artists.
The beautiful and talented actress Sonam Kapoor took to social media to share her unhappiness on not being informed about the "Mr. India" remake.
A Lebanese hospital brought music and medicine together on Friday in a concert for cancer patients.