Billboard officially announced the 2018 Billboard Latin Music Awards finalists earlier this month (Feb. 7), and this year may just be the most star-studded roster of nominees yet. But while there's plenty of huge names on the list such as Shakira, J Balvin and Maluma, there's also a handful of Latin newcomers receiving recognition thanks to the new artist of the year award.
The category is a total big-up to Mexico this year, save for Puerto Rican trap sensation Bad Bunny. Now signed to Sony through Rancho Humilde Records, Tijuana quintet Alta Consigna finished 2017 with a No. 1 debut album on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Albums chart. El Fantasma (the Ghost) emerged "king of the underground" for regional Mexican, while a young Christian Nodal delivered vintage románticas in a passionate debut album with Me Dejé Llevar. Then there's El Conejo Malo, who became the poster child for Latin trap in 2017, all without a proper debut album.