Maelo Ruiz was born in New York City but at the age of 4 moved with his family to Puerto Rico where his parents were originally from. He started in music at the very young age of 16 when he began to sing in the "Escuela Libre de Música de Caguas". But it wasn't until the age of 19 when Maelo Ruiz really started his professional career in music when he became the first voice of Pedro Conga and his International Orchestra. He remained with Pedro Conga for 7 years, recording 4 albums with the band. His biggest hit with Pedro Conga[was "No Te Quites La Ropa", which sold over 50,000 units earning the band their first gold record in Puerto Rico. Follow-up hits included "Atrévete", "Vicio" (gold record in Colombia), "Quiero Volver", "Si Supieras", "Te Quiero Amor" and "Me Niegas Tanto Amor". These were hits that made Maelo Ruiz a household name in Latin America. He also performed as a background singer for prominent salsero Willie González. His album Puro Corazón was nominated for the Latin Grammy Award for Best Salsa Album, but lost to El Cantante (soundtrack) by Marc Anthony.