Reggaetón Gets Latin Grammys Respect With Balvin, Bad Bunny and Ozuna Leading Nominations

Alexandra Gavillet

J Balvin photographed on Feb. 6, 2020 at MAPS Studio in Miami.

Reggaetón, long under-represented or downright ignored in the main categories of the Latin Grammys, seems to finally be seeing its day of reckoning, with three reggaetón stars – J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Ozuna — leading the list of nominations.

Balvin’s 13 nods for the 21st annual Latin Grammys, which make him the lead nominee, reflect a genre where collaborations flourish. He is nominated twice in record of the year (for his solo track “Rojo” and as a featured artist on Anuel’s “China”); twice in album of the year and best urban album (for his own Colores and for Oasis, his joint album with Bad Bunny); and twice in best reggaetón performance (for his own “Morado” and for “Loco contigo” with DJ Snake, featuring Tyga).

Bad Bunny, who follows in number of nominations with nine, also has double nods in the album of the year and best urban album categories (for his YHLQMDLG and for Oasis with Balvin) and in best urban fusion performance (for “Cántalo” alongside Ricky Martin and Residente, and “Hablamos Mañana” with Duki and Pablo Chill-E).

And Ozuna, up for eight awards, is nominated twice in the new best reggaetón performance category (for his solo “Te soñé de nuevo” and “Si te vas” alongside Sech) and in best urban fusion/performance, for collabs with Rosalía (“Yo X Ti, Tu X Mi”) and Anuel (“China”).

As for Anuel, who last year criticized the Latin Grammys after being shut out of the nominations, this time is up for seven awards, including best urban music album for his soul-baring Emmanuel.

Reggaetón and urban music permeated the nominations overall. In addition to benefitting from two new categories (best reggaetón performance and best rap/hip-hop song) the genre even dominated in the traditionally more alt-oriented best new artist category. This year, the list of 10 acts is led by Anuel, and also includes well-known contenders like Rauw Alejandro, Mike Bahía, Nicki Nicole and Cazzu.

Aside from finally extending an olive branch of recognition to reggaetón and urban music overall, the Latin Grammys got a lot right in this batch of nominations.

Beyond the superstar reggaetón acts, influential pop voices like Kany García, and rising pop/fusion star Camilo – who seems to be perfecting the art of strategic yet musical collaboration — are prominent nominees with five and six nods, respectively.

García’s lovely duets album, Mesa Para Dos, is up for album of the year while her single “Lo que en ti veo” with Nahuel Pennisi is nominated for record and song of the year.

On his end, Camilo, who last year got overlooked in the best new artist category, is this time up for album of the year for Por Primera Vez, record of the year for “Tutu” featuring Pedro Capó; and song of the year for “Tutu” and “El mismo aire.” Also up for six awards is Carlos Vives, whose lovely Cumbiana is up for album of the year while the single “For Sale” featuring Alejandro Sanz is nominated in record of the year.

While reggaetón is not represented in the all-important producer of the year category, it’s impossible to find fault with the names there: Rafa Arcaute (Nathy Peluso, Draco Rosa); Eduardo Cabra “Visitante” (Cuarteto de Nos, Sotomayor); Pablo Díaz-Reixa “El Guincho” (Rosalía, Paloma Mami); George Noriega (Ednita Nazario, Yuridia); and the production duo of Andrés Torres and Mauricio Rengifo (Luis Fonsi, Andrés Cepeda, Sebastián Yatra).

They represent not only different nationalities, but the eclectic and truly exciting mix of music coming from all corners of Latin America and Spain, in every genre imaginable.

The Latin Grammys will air Nov. 19 on the Univision network.

See below for a partial list of nominees.

Record Of The Year

"China" — Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G Featuring Ozuna & J Balvin
"Cuando Estés Aquí" — Pablo Alborán
"Vete" — Bad Bunny
"Solari Yacumenza" — Bajofondo Featuring Cuareim 1080
"Rojo" — J Balvin
"Tutu" — Camilo Featuring Pedro Capó
"Lo Que En Ti Veo" — Kany García & Nahuel Pennisi
"Tusa" — Karol G & Nicki Minaj
"René" — Residente
"Contigo" — Alejandro Sanz

Album Of The Year
YHLQMDLG — Bad Bunny
Oasis — J Balvin & Bad Bunny
Colores — J Balvin
Por Primera Vez — Camilo
Mesa para Dos — Kany García
Aire (Versión Día) — Jesse & Joy
Un Canto Por México, Vol. 1 — Natalia Lafourcade
Pausa — Ricky Martin
La Conquista del Espacio — Fito Páez
Cumbiana — Carlos Vives

Song Of The Year
"ADMV" — Vicente Barco, Edgar Barrera, Maluma & Stiven Rojas, songwriters (Maluma)
"Bonita" — Juanes, Mauricio Rengifo, Andrés Torres & Sebastián Yatra, songwriters (Juanes & Sebastián Yatra)
"Codo Con Codo" — Jorge Drexler, songwriter (Jorge Drexler)
"El Mismo Aire" — Edgar Barrera, Camilo, Jon Leone, Richi López & Juan Morelli, songwriters (Camilo)
"For Sale" — Alejandro Sanz & Carlos Vives, songwriters (Alejandro Sanz & Carlos Vives)
"#ELMUNDOFUERA (Improvisación)" — Alejandro Sanz, songwriter (Alejandro Sanz)
"Lo Que En Ti Veo" — Kany García, songwriter (Kany García & Nahuel Pennisi)
"René" — Residente, songwriter (Residente)
"Tiburones" — Oscar Hernández & Pablo Preciado, songwriters (Ricky Martin)
"Tusa" — Kevyn Mauricio Cruz Moreno, Karol G, Nicki Minaj & Daniel Oviedo Echavarría, songwriters (Karol G & Nicki Minaj)
"Tutu" — Camilo, Jon Leone & Richi López, songwriters (Camilo Featuring Pedro Capó)

Best New Artist
Anuel AA
Rauw Alejandro
Mike Bahía
Conociendo Rusia
Soy Emilia
Nicki Nicole
Nathy Peluso

Best Pop Vocal Album
Spoiler — Aitana
Prisma — Beret
Por Primera Vez — Camilo
Más Futuro Que Pasado — Juanes
Pausa — Ricky Martin

Best Reggaeton Performance (New Category)
Yo Perreo Sola — Bad Bunny
Morado — J Balvin
Loco Contigo — Dj Snake & J Balvin Featuring Tyga
Porfa — Feid & Justin Quiles
Chicharrón — Guaynaa Featuring Cauty
Te Soñé de Nuevo — Ozuna
Si Te Vas — Sech & Ozuna

Best Contemporary/Tropical Fusion Album
Energía Para Regalar — El Caribefunk
Mi Derriengue — Riccie Oriach
Mariposas — Omara Portuondo
Alter Ego — Prince Royce
Cumbiana — Carlos Vives

Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album
Antología de la Música Ranchera — Aida Cuevas
Hecho en México — Alejandro Fernández
A Los 4 Vientos Vol. 1 "Ranchero" — Eugenia León
Bailando Sones y Huapangos con El Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández — Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández
AYAYAY! — Christian Nodal

Best Portuguese Language Song
"A Tal Canção Pra Lua (Microfonado)" — Vitor Kley, songwriter (Vitor Kley & Samuel Rosa)
"Abricó-De-Macaco" — Francisco Bosco & João Bosco, songwriters (João Bosco)
"Amarelo (Sample: Sujeito de Sorte - Belchior)" — Dj Duh, Emicida & Felipe Vassão, songwriters (Emicida Featuring Majur & Pabllo Vittar)
"Libertação" — Russo Passapusso, songwriter (Elza Soares & BaianaSystem Featuring Virgínia Rodrigues)
"Pardo" — Caetano Veloso, songwriter (Céu)