Bad Bunny kicked off the 65th annual Grammy Awards with a bang. The Puerto Rican star, who is up for album of the year for Un Verano Sin Ti, was the first to take the stage on Sunday (Feb. 5), and his performance ran the gamut of Puerto Rican and Caribbean music.
Looking like the literal boy next door — as opposed to the global star he is — in light denim jeans, white sneakers, a white T-shirt and a baseball cap, Bunny started his high-energy performance with “El Apagón.”
He wasn’t alone. He was accompanied by a total of eight plena (a genre from Puerto Rico) dancers, seven pleneros and eight cabezudos — giant characters — in tow. The cabezudos — all manufactured and handled by people from Puerto Rico — were an homage to Puerto Rican legends Tego Calderón, Roberto Clemente, Julia de Burgos, among others. “With a lot of love to all of you,” Bunny said at the beginning.
He then went on to perform his hit song “Después de la Playa” with live music powered by the band of Damian “El Apechao,” with 10 musicians all from the Dominican Republic. On stage, there were around 40 merengue dancers. Off the stage, stars such as Jack Harlow and Taylor Swift got up and danced along to merengue.
Bad Bunny’s Billboard 200-topping album Un Verano Sin Ti is up for album of the year. It made history as the first-ever Spanish-language album to score a nod in that category. Un Verano Sin Ti debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 dated May 21 and spent 13 nonconsecutive weeks atop the chart – the most weeks at No. 1 since 2016.