The 2022 Latin Grammy nominations were announced on Tuesday (Sept. 20), with Bad Bunny as the top nominee, leading the pack with 10 nods. No surprise there, given the enormous year the Puerto Rican superstar has enjoyed so far — thanks to his record-breaking album, Un Verano Sin Ti, which is up for album of the year. But there are a few surprises and snubs that stand out:
Snub: Regional Mexican trio Eslabon Armado is nowhere to be found on the list, despite having a history-making album this year. Nostalgia became the first top 10-charting regional Mexican album ever on the Billboard 200 upon its release via DEL Records in May. The 14-track set is a continuation of the teenage Mexican-American group’s winning streak: Over the past two years, Eslabon have released four albums, all of which hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Albums chart. Leaving Eslabon out of the Big Four categories, and even passing them over in the regional Mexican categories, is a big miss. And it goes hand-in-hand with regional Mexican music being largely left out once again in general, with the genre receiving no scant representation in the top categories.
Surprise: 95 years old and rising. Best new artist nominee Angela Álvarez pleasantly surprised the industry by scoring a nom in this category, which she shares with fellow emerging acts such as Silvana Estrada and Yahritza Y Su Esencia. A feel-good moment, as the Cuban-born singer-songwriter — who had a cameo in the film Father of the Bride (2022) — proves that it’s never too late to follow your dreams, and even to get recognized by the Latin Recording Academy in the process.
Snub: Perhaps one of the most obvious snubs was leaving out one of the biggest songs of the year in the song of the year category. Becky G and Karol G‘s anthem “MAMIII,” while nominated for best urban song, didn’t score a higher-up nomination. Given its commercial success and global popularity, with the song reaching No. 4 on Billboard‘s Global 200 chart and even No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, it would have been nice to recognize the Ovy on the Drums-produced song by two female powerhouses that became a smash hit. The track also scored Becky G her first No. 1 on Billboard‘s Hot Latin Songs, while earning Karol G her fourth.
Snub: Speaking of Ovy on the Drums — he and fellow chart-topping producer MAG were both snubbed from the producer of the year category. MAG has been spent 20 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Producers chart mainly for his work on Un Verano Sin ti, which is up for album of the year. Ovy, who is currently No. 3 on the tally, also should have received a nod for “Provenza,” up for song and record of the year and of course “MAMIII.”
Surprise: Yahritza y Su Esencia becomes the only regional Mexican act to score a nomination in the top four categories. The sibling trio, led by 15-year-old Yahritza, rightfully earned a nod in the best new artist category after taking the world by storm over the past few months. Their “Soy El Único” sierreño anthem debuted at No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs (chart dated April 9) and earned its first Hot 100 entry at No. 20 — making her the youngest Latin performer to enter the all-genre tally.
Snub: In total, Becky G scored four nominations (mostly for her collaboration with Christina Aguilera in “Pa’ Mis Muchachas) but none for her Latin Pop Albums chart-topping set, Esquemas. This well-rounded and versatile set, Becky G’s best album to date, ranges from merengue in “Fulanito” with El Alfa, to the introspective “Dolores,” where she tackles mental health. It would have been great to give Becky G the recognition she deserved for this wonderful album.
Surprise: Both The Weeknd & Pharrell Williams scored nominations this year. With his featured appearance on Rosalía‘s “La Fama,” the Canadian artist scores his second Latin Grammy nomination (his first nom was thanks to Maluma‘s “Hawái” remix). Meanwhile, Pharrell scores his first nods here thanks to his work as a producer and songwriter on Rosalía’s album of the year-nominated set, Motomami. He’s nominated in three categories: album of the year, song of the year (“Hentai”) and best alternative song (“Hentai”).
Snub: Carla Morrison‘s soul-searching El Renacimiento was worthy of a nomination in the album of the year category. Not only is the set one of the most beautiful albums this year, packed with so much emotion and intentionality, El Renacimiento also marks Morrison’s return to music after taking a break to address her depression and anxiety. The set did score a nomination for best pop vocal album.