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Reggaeton Redemption: Balvin, Bunny top Latin Grammy nods

ByReiss Bowler

Sep 29, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) – At last year’s Latin Grammy Awards, popular reggaeton and Latin trap musicians such as J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Ozuna were fired from the show’s top categories. This year they dominate.

Balvin scored 13 nominations for the 2020 Latin Grammys, including two nominations for album of the year and two for record of the year. The Latin Academy announced on Tuesday that Bad Bunny and Ozuna are behind Balvin with nine and eight nominations respectively.

Balvin has a chance to win his first album of the year award – a 10 contender category – thanks to his fifth solo album “Colores” and “Oasis”, his collaborative project with Bad Bunny. Other nominees include Bad Bunny’s second release “YHLQMDLG” and albums by Ricky Martin, Carlos Vives, Jesse & Joy, Kany García, Natalia Lafourcade, Camilo and Fito Paez.

For the record of the year, which also has 10 nominees, the contenders include popular hip-hop-flavored Latin American songs that have dominated the Latin charts and played hundreds of millions of times on streaming services, some of which have even hit the billion on YouTube, including Karol G and Nicki Minaj’s world hit “Tusa” and “China” by Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna, Balvin and Marco Masis. Other nominees include Balvin’s “Rojo” and Bad Bunny’s “Feud”.

“Tusa” is the only Latin trap nominee in the ‘Number of the year’ category, where 11 songs are on the agenda. It’s a departure for Karol G, who didn’t receive a single nomination last year and was part of the group of highly successful Latin Trap and Reggaeton artists discussed in top categories like Album, Song and Record of the Year.

This year, the Colombian artist who was named Best New Artist in 2018 has four nominations, two of which are shared with Minaj. Karol G’s fiancé, Puerto Rican rapper-singer Anuel AA, made a big breakthrough this year as the first nominee. He scored seven nominations, including a bid for the best new artist.

“Over the past year, we have continued to engage in discussions with our members to improve the reward process and actively encourage various Latin music creators to get involved and participate,” said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., president and CEO of Latin Academy in a statement, calling this year’s nominees “A group that reflects the constant evolution of Latin music.”

As a result of last year’s debacle, social media exploded when Latin artists posted images of the Grammy logo with a big red “X” over it, with words on the image saying in Spanish, “Without reggaeton, there are no Latin Grammys. ” Balvin even skipped the live show and Bad Bunny, who won best urban music album on the air, told the audience, “With all due respect, reggaeton is part of Latin culture.”

To honor Latin rap and reggaeton artists, the Latin Grammys added new categories this year, including the best reggaeton performance and the best rap / hip hop song.

Balvin’s 13 nominations span several categories in which he will compete with himself: Beyond album and record of the year, he is a double nominee in the categories of best urban music album, best urban fusion / performance, and best reggaeton performance. Ozuna and Bad Bunny will also compete with themselves in different categories.

Others who scored multiple nominations include Juanes, Martin, Alejandro Sanz, Camilo, Carlos Vives, Kany García and Residente, the most distinguished winner in Latin Grammy’s history. Rosalía, who won album of the year last year and became the first female solo artist to win top honors since Shakira’s triumph in 2006, earned four nominations this year.

In addition to Minaj’s two nominations, other popular American artists who will compete for awards include rapper Travis Scott (best short music video for “TKN” with Rosalía); jazz master Chick Corea and his Spanish Heart Band (best Latin jazz / jazz album for ‘Antidote’); DJ producer Diplo (best urban track for ‘Rave de Favela’); and rapper Tyga (best reggaeton performance for ‘Loco Contigo’ with DJ Snake and Balvin). Justin Bieber’s right-hand songwriter, Jason Boyd aka Poo Bear, earned an album of the year nomination for his work on Jesse & Joy’s “Aire (Versión Día).”

The 21st annual Latin Grammy Awards will be broadcast live on Univision on November 19. The nominees in the 53 categories have been selected from more than 18,000 entries. Songs and albums released between June 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 were eligible for nomination.

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