Maluma raised eyebrows when he shared a photo of himself kissing his mom, Marlli Arias, on the lips while celebrating Mother’s Day.
Fans issued several reactions including one writing, “Idk about that kiss w/ Maluma & his mom s— was way too passionate.” “WTF?! Is [she] your mother or your girlfriend?!” wrote another skeptic. Another Instagram user commented, “Dude, that’s sick.”
Maluma’s rep was quick to come to his defense, stating that the kiss is a “cultural thing.”
“The photo was truly a [sign] of genuine affection,” the rep said. “In the Latin culture, as in many other cultures, kissing your parent on the lips is normal.”
The rep added, “The beautiful thing is that he has been accepted in the American music market with open arms, and I think, now, where we are in this world with music, it’s really global. Now people are going to be able to see different sides of our culture in different ways.”
Maluma has not further addressed the incident, but is instead promoting his upcoming album 11:11. He has shared a promotional trailer for the project, which shows himself walking around what appears to be a pink planet, as his music plays in the background.
11:11 includes 16 new songs, featuring nine collaborations with artists such as Ricky Martin, Ozuna, Nicky Jam, Zion & Lennox, Sech, Ty Dolla Sign, Chencho, and Farina. Plus, Maluma and Madonna have teamed up for another track called “Soltera.”
Maluma, who is from Colombia, recently teamed up with Madonna on her new single, “Medellín,” which they performed at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards earlier this month.