Residente reacts to resignation of Puerto Rico's governor

Ricardo Rossello resigned from his post after massive protests.

July 25, 2019, 6:59 PM

Singer Residente was already one of Puerto Rico’s biggest artists when he said he realized his country was in a crisis, and he went on to become one of the largest driving forces behind the mass demonstrations that took place over the last 12 days.

The protests ultimately led to the resignation of former Puerto Rican governor, Ricardo Rosselló, a first for the small Caribbean island.

"We did it without violence, without guns, even without fighting physically...we were there protesting, marching and because of that he resigned," Residente told ABC News Live’s Kimberly Brooks during his first interview since the resignation of Ricardo Rosselló. "It felt incredible. I was saying...last night it was one of the happiest days of my life."

Residente, whose music was censored in 2009 for three years in Puerto Rico after one of his song's lyrics insulted then-Governor Luis Fortuño, is relishing the moment but acknowledges that there’s still a long road ahead.

"This accomplishment of getting rid of corruption," he said. "We still have to fight it because there’s still a lot of corruption in the government still, but this is history."

Despite winning a record 25 Grammy awards, the former lead singer of the group Calle 13 said that when it comes down to it, he feels there is a duty towards civic engagement.

"I understand that it’s important as a human being to be socially active and that’s what I do," he told ABC News. "It doesn’t matter that I’m an artist, if I’m on tour, or I won Grammys, I’m still a human being."

Residente mobilized with two of his fellow artist friends, Ricky Martin and Bad Bunny, who were also upset about the leaked texts from Ricardo Rosselló,

"I don’t want to call it a revolution but it was great, " he added. "It was very organic and that’s why it was beautiful...It was pure, from their hearts, from our hearts."

Residente and Bad Bunny -- along with singer and songwriter iLe -- even created a song "Afilando los Cuchillos," which means sharpening the knives, where they called for Rosselló’s resignation and encouraged people to unite across party lines, "let our fury unite us."

The artist acknowledges there’s still work left to do. The marches need to continue and replacing the governor with someone from his administration isn’t what the people of Puerto Rico want, "From zero we have to create new political parties. The system doesn’t work, it’s not working."

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