Birth and Early Latin Musical Performances:
Kat DeLuna was born Kat Emperatriz de Luna in 1988. Her family relocated from the Bronx, New York to the Dominican Republic, and she was raised in poverty. Despite the impoverished background she grew up listening to Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday records. When Kat was 12, Milly Quezada, the "Queen of Merengue," invited her to perform onstage in front of over 1,000 people.
Arts High School:
Kat DeLuna's family eventually moved back to the US, and, at the age of 14 DeLuna auditioned to attend the New Jersey School of the Performing Arts. As a teenager she helped for the Latina, hip-hop, r&b group Coquette. While a member of Coquette, Kat DeLuna also began pursuing opportunities for a solo career.
Signed to Epic Records:
At age 15 Kat DeLuna entered a Coca-Cola sponsored karaoke competition and came out victorious. Through the competition she met the Cuban salsa singer Rey Ruiz. He encouraged the young DeLuna in her career and encouraged her to begin writing her own music. Before long, the teenage Kat DeLuna was signed to Epic Records as a solo recording artist.
Kat DeLuna's first single, "Whine Up," features dancehall king Elephant Man and female reggaeton pioneer Ivy Queen. The song was officially released in May, 2007, and it began climbing national charts with particularly strong support from the New York area.