Maluma's rep defends his controversial Mother's Day kiss on the lips as 'a cultural thing'

Maluma’s representative defended the Colombian singer after some fans criticized an Instagram photo of him kissing his mother on the lips in honor of Mother’s Day, explaining that the gesture is “a cultural thing.”

The 25-year-old artist from Medellin can be seen grasping his mother Marlli Arias’ cheeks and smooching her on the lips in a photo captioned, “Feliz día amor de mi vida, FELIZ DÍA MADRE,” which translates into English as “Happy day love of my life, Happy Mother’s Day.”

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Some social media users called the photo inappropriate, commenting “This is weird” as another on Twitter said “Idk about that kiss w/ Maluma & his mom s— was way too passionate.”

His representative explained that “it’s normal in Latin culture especially if you’re the only son or the baby of the house,” to embrace your parents in the way shown in the picture. “It’s affection and a form of respect. He’s open about who he is and his cultural values, this is just part of it.”

“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,” his representative continued in a statement to People. “Now people are going to be able to see different sides of our culture in different ways.”

Maluma, who was born as Juan Luis Londoño Arias, did not comment publicly on the matter further. Instead, the “Mala Mia” singer posted a promotional video to Instagram on Monday. He can be seen walking through what appears to be a pink planet as his music plays. The video is captioned with his new album’s release date: “11:11 17/05/19.”

His "11:11" album will feature a song with Madonna titled "Soltera," Page Six reported. The singer and songwriter collaborated with Madonna in the past on “Medellin,” and with other icons, including Ricky Martin on “Vente Pa’ Ca” and fellow Colombian Shakira on the songs “Chantaje” and “Clandestino.”

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Youtube is set to launch a documentary on Maluma’s rise to fame titled MALUMA: Lo Que Era, Lo Que Soy, Lo Que Seré, which translates as “Maluma: who I was, who I am and who I will become.” “I sacrificed everything, my friends, my family.” Maluma said in the trailer. “[It’s] the price I had to pay to become what I am today.”

The 90-minute documentary will be released on June 5.