Appalled by his drug-dealing ways, the future hitmaker and businessman's mum, Alysha Acosta, kicked him out of the family's home, and told him he was lost to her until he mended his ways.

That moment prompted Pitbull, real name Armando Christian Perez, to sort his life out and make a career plan that would make him an international superstar.

"My mom goes to me, 'I don't want to see you until you figure out what you're going to do'," the 34 year old tells People en Espanol magazine. "It wasn't that she scolded me and was punishing me, it was more like giving me freedom to make that choice, and it woke me up."

Looking back, Pitbull has his mum to thank for all his personal and professional success: "That woman made me a man. She taught me how to survive, and I want to teach my kids that. Why? Because I don't want them to feel like they've got to live in my shadow."