J Alvarez at La Covacha December 8

If there's one thing we learned from Cheers, it's that "sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name." And nowhere in Miami is that sense of belonging stronger — especially for J Alvarez — than at La Covacha, New Times' two-time winner of Best Latin Club. Alvarez, the Latin Grammy-nominated reggaetonero behind jams such as "Te Deseo" and "Ponte Pa Mi," has become a regular at the Doral fiesta spot over the past few years and made each show more energetic than the last. But why wouldn't he make the most of every gig? Music saved Alvarez's life, after all. "Thanks to music, I'm away from the streets," Alvarez told Fox News Latino while discussing Puerto Rico's unfortunate spike in street violence, which claimed the life of his cousin Kasinski earlier this year. "I've been through some various situations that have allowed me to grow as a person. I spent almost four years in jail. There are opportunities to get out of there, and you can progress. The doors aren't shut on you." And Alvarez admits, "It was a wake-up call, and I came out of it with dreams that I have been able to realize."

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