In a rare (and happy) confluence of commercial success and critical praise, Colombian singer/songwriter Camilo leads the list of nominees for the 2021 Latin Grammys with 10 nods, including nominations in the all-important album, record and song of the year categories. Camilo is followed in nods by tropical music icon Juan Luis Guerra with six, Spanish rapper C. Tangana with five nominations, and multiple artists, including Bad Bunny, with four.
Overwhelmingly, this year’s nominations lean more toward fusions, reflecting tradition, but also a new Latin pop movement that easily coexists with urban innovators. In sharp contrast to 2020’s reggaetón-heavy slate of nominations, this year, save for Bad Bunny’s El Ultimo Tour del Mundo’s nomination for album of the year, reggaetón was mostly eschewed in the main categories. The only “urban” nominations in record or song of the year, for example, went to tracks that cross genres, like Rauw Alejandro’s “Todo de Ti,” Maluma’s “Hawai” and Tainy and J Balvin’s “Agua.”
Camilo, known as much for his trademark Dali-esque mustache as for his trademark high tenor and sweetly romantic lyrics that mesh equally well pop, tropical and urban beats, garnered his second album of the year nomination for his sophomore set, Mis Manos (Sony Music U.S. Latin/Hecho a Mano). Last year, he was nominated for his debut album, Por Primera Vez.
This time around, he also competes against himself in record of the year for his saucy pop/cumbia “Vida de Rico” and for “Amén,” his collaboration with the Montaner family. “Vida de Rico,” co-written with Edgar Barrera, is also up for best pop song and for song of the year, where it competes against “Dios Así lo Quiso,” a co-write performed by Ricardo Montaner with Juan Luis Guerra. And in a nod to his versatility, Camilo is also up for best regional song for “Tuyo y Mío,” performed with Los Dos Carnales; best tropical song for “Dios Así lo Quiso”; and best urban fusion/performance for “Tattoo (Remix).”
Following Camilo in number of nods is icon and Latin Grammy stalwart Juan Luis Guerra, who is nominated in six categories, including the aforementioned record of the year for “Dios Así lo Quiso”; album of the year for Privé; and best arrangement for his new version of the classic “Ojalá Que Llueva Café.” Guerra is also up for best long form music video for his Loud and Live-produced special “Entre Mar Y Palmeras,” which is streaming on HBO Max.
Guerra is followed in nods by Spanish rapper C. Tangana, whose genre-busting El Madrileño is up for album of the year. The album’s track list of unlikely collaborations netted Tangana nominations for record of the year and best alternative song (for “Te Olvidaste” with Omar Apollo and “Nominao” with Jorge Drexler) and best pop/rock song (for “Hong Kong”). In turn, Tangana’s producer, Alizzz, is up for producer of the year.
And of course, there’s Bad Bunny. While Latin music’s biggest star today didn’t lead in nominations, his landmark El Ultimo Tour del Mundo — the only Spanish-language album to ever top the Billboard 200 — is up for album of the year and best urban music album. Bad Bunny’s smash “Dákiti,” alongside Jhay Cortez, is up for best urban song, and the unexpected “Booker T” is up for best rap/hip hop song.
Other artists with four nods each include trendy alt/urban chanteuse Nathy Peluso, whose “Sana Sana” is nominated for best rap/hip hop song, while her Calambre is up for best alternative music album. Another four-time nominee is Colombian pop singer/songwriter Paula Arenas, whose “A Tu Lado,” nominated for song and record of the year, was co-written and produced by another Colombian woman, María Elisa Ayerbe. Arenas’ indie album Mis Amores is also up for album of the year.
Beyond the artists, songwriters and producers, Edgar Barrera, Rafa Arcaute and Alizzz had eight, seven and six nominations, respectively. Arcaute, who is also Sony Music Latin’s global head of A&R, has songwriting and production credits with multiple artists, including C. Tangana and Peluso.
Barrera, a prolific musician who has credits across genres, is also nominated for producer of the year, where he competes against Alizzz, who is up for the honor solely on the basis of his work on C. Tangana’s El Madrileño. Also nominated for producer of the year (and for best new artist) is Argentina’s Bizarrap, who has crafted a series of streaming hits via his “Bizarrap Sessions” with multiple artists. The category also includes the late Dan Warner for his work with Ricardo Arjona and Marcos Sánchez for the Manolo Ramos album Amor y Punto.
Noticeably absent from the producer of the year category is Tainy, although several of his tracks have nominations.
Also noticeably absent from the main categories is regional Mexican music. The void is particularly felt in the best new artist category, where chart-topping newcomers like Los Dos Carnales and Eslabón Armado would have been worthy competitors, particularly in a year where regional Mexican music has gained global traction like never before.
Nominees for the Latin Grammys are selected by nominating committees who chose from more than 20,000 entries across 53 categories during the eligibility period (June 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021). To be considered for a Latin Grammy, songs and albums must be at least 51% in Spanish or Portuguese (unless they’re instrumental).
The Latin Grammys will air live on the Univision network on Nov. 18 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Following is the list of nominees for some of the General Fields. For a full list, visit LatinGrammy.com
Album of the Year
Vértigo — Pablo Alborán
Mis Amores — Paula Arenas
El Último Tour Del Mundo — Bad Bunny
Salswing! — Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta
Mis Manos — Camilo
Nana, Tom, Vinícius — Nana Caymmi
Privé — Juan Luis Guerra
Origen — Juanes
Un Canto Por México, Vol. II — Natalia Lafourcade
El Madrileño — C. Tangana
Song of the Year
“A Tu Lado” — Paula Arenas & María Elisa Ayerbe, songwriters (Paula Arenas)
“A Veces” — Diamante Eléctrico, songwriters (Diamante Eléctrico)
“Agua” — J Balvin, Alejandro Borrero, Kevyn Mauricio Cruz Moreno, Derek Drymon, Mark Harrison, Stephen Hillenburg, Jhay Cortez, Alejandro Ramirez, Ivanni Rodríguez, Blaise Smith, Tainy & Juan Camilo Vargas, songwriters (Tainy & J Balvin)
“Canción Bonita” — Rafa Arcaute, Ricky Martin, Mauricio Rengifo, Andrés Torres & Carlos Vives, songwriters (Carlos Vives & Ricky Martin)
“Dios Así Lo Quiso” — Camilo, David Julca, Jonathan Julca, Yasmil Jesús Marrufo & Ricardo Montaner, songwriters (Ricardo Montaner & Juan Luis Guerra)
“Hawái” — Édgar Barrera, René Cano, Kevyn Cruz, Johan Espinosa, Kevin Jiménez, Miky La Sensa, Bryan Lezcano, Maluma, Andrés Uribe & Juan Camilo Vargas, songwriters (Maluma)
“Mi Guitarra” — Javier Limón, songwriter (Javier Limón, Juan Luis Guerra & Nella)
“Patria y Vida” — Descemer Bueno, El Funky, Gente De Zona, Yadam González, Beatriz Luengo, Maykel Osorbo & Yotuel, songwriters (Yotuel, Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo, El Funky)
“Que Se Sepa Nuestro Amor” — El David Aguilar & Mon Laferte, songwriters (Mon Laferte & Alejandro Fernández)
“Si Hubieras Querido” — Pablo Alborán, Nicolás “Na’vi” De La Espriella, Diana Fuentes & Julio Reyes, songwriters (Pablo Alborán)
“Todo De Ti” — Rauw Alejandro, José M. Collazo, Luis J. González, Rafael E. Pabón Navedo & Eric Pérez Rovira, songwriters (Rauw Alejandro)
“Vida De Rico” — Édgar Barrera & Camilo, songwriters (Camilo)
Best New Artist
Record of the Year
“Si Hubieras Querido” – Pablo Alboran
“Todo de Ti” – Rauw Alejandro
“Un amor eterno (version balada)” – Marc Anthony
“A tu lado” (Paula Arenas)
“Bohemio” (Andres Calamaro & Julio Iglesias)
“Vida de rico” – Camilo
“Suletame, Bogota” – Diamante Electrico
“Amen” – Ricardo Montaner, Mau & Ricky, Evaluna Montaner, Camilo
“Dios Asi Lo Quiso” – Ricardo Montaner & Juan Luis Guerra
“Te Olvidaste” – C. Tangana & Omar Apollo
“Talvez” – Caetano Veloso & Tom Veloso