Who will win in the Latin categories at the 2023 Grammy Awards? Each year, Billboard offers its analysis of who will win, or who should win, in those categories, which include best Latin pop album, best música urbana album, best Latin rock or alternative album, best regional Mexican music album (including tejano) and best tropical Latin album.
Leading up to Sunday’s 65th annual Grammy Awards, we’ve gathered our Latin editorial team and embarked on a lively discussion, with educated guesses based on the marketplace and past voting behavior (not endorsements). Our participants are Leila Cobo, Billboard’s Chief Content Officer, Latin/Español; Jessica Roiz, Billboard‘s Latin assistant editor; Griselda Flores, Billboard‘s senior Latin writer; Ingrid Fajardo, social media manager & Latin’s staff writer; Sigal Ratner-Arias, Billboard Español’s deputy editor; and Isabela Raygoza, Billboard Español’s associate editor.
Hosted by Trevor Noah, the 2023 Grammy Awards will be held at the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday (Feb. 5) and will air live at 8p.m. ET. on CBS. Here are our predictions for the Latin music categories:
Best Latin Pop Album
AGUILERA, Christina Aguilera
Pasieros, Rubén Blades & Boca Livre
De Adentro Pa Afuera, Camilo
Dharma+, Sebastián Yatra
GRISELDA FLORES: The front-runners for me are Camilo, Christina Aguilera and Sebastián Yatra, because all three albums received both critical acclaim and had commercial success. Last year, Camilo was nominated for Mis Manos and it was a big upset that he didn’t win, so this time he might take the award. Having said that, Christina Aguilera’s AGUILERA was a big deal, as it marked her return to Spanish-language music. It’s a really solid album.
LEILA COBO: I think this is a really tough category. I agree that those are the front-runners, but out of those I’m leaning more toward Camilo and Yatra, who has gotten notoriety with Encanto and “Dos Oruguitas,” and now this song with Rita Wilson, “Til You’re Home.” Although it’s not a nominated song, it still has put him in the eye of the mainstream, which gives him a slight edge. But Camilo has been touring all over the states, he has a song with Camila Cabello, and he can be a favorite among the Latin voters of the Academy.
SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS: Christina Aguilera’s album is a beauty. But Sebastián Yatra is also deserving. He just won his first Latin Grammy and I’d love to see him win this one as well.
ISABELA RAYGOZA: I did like Christina Aguilera’s album. I thought that the way she utilized her signature vibrato with rancheras translated beautifully in this album. She’s reclaiming her Latin roots, so for her to embrace that facet of herself, I definitely appreciate it. However, I want Sebastián to win, because I think he positions himself as Latin pop’s next heartthrob, following in the steps of Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias, who he toured with. And his album is great, it has symphonic arrangements and reggaeton, it was very poppy. I would like to see him continue to rise in 2023.
INGRID FAJARDO: To be honest, I didn’t love Camilo’s album from the get-go, but I got a different perspective when I saw him perform those songs live. It’s another level! I realized how profound those songs are, something I didn’t notice when I first listened to the album.
Likely winner: Camilo or Sebastián Yatra
Best Música Urbana Album
TRAP CAKE, VOL. 2, Rauw Alejandro
Un Verano Sin Ti, Bad Bunny
LEGENDADDY, Daddy Yankee
The Loe & Sex Tape, Maluma
JESSICA ROIZ: Isabela wants Rauw Alejandro to win. She’s going to make a case right now.
I.R.: I do! I think with TRAP CAKE, we can appreciate his foundation. He’s mentioned that it has his earlier Soundcloud vibes, like when he first started making music. My favorite song on there is “Gracias Por Nada,” because it starts off as a rock song with some guitars and suddenly it expertly transitions into this Latin drill song, and it’s so hooky. The whole album is great. It’s likely not going to win, but that was one of my favorite albums of the year.
J.R.: It was a good album. And he even said he was going to stick to trap because this was for his OG fans and ended up being edgy and innovative, fusing many different styles. But Bad Bunny is going to win.
S.R.A.: Bad Bunny has to win.
G.F.: The reality is that no other album had the same impact Bad Bunny’s did. It wasn’t just the Latin album of the year, it was the album of the year in general. It’s a no-brainer for me.
L.C.: If he wins album of the year and not this category, it will seem odd and signal a big disconnect. These are all good albums, and LEGENDADDY is a significant album because it’s Daddy Yankee’s “last album,” and Farruko’s La 167 has “Pepas.” But when you have an album that has broken all records like Bad Bunny has, and he’s in the running for album of the year, it’s hard to beat.
Likely winner: Bad Bunny
Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album
El Alimento, Cimafunk
Tinta y Tiempo, Jorge Drexler
1940 Carmen, Mon Laferte
Alegoría, Gaby Moreno
Los Años Salvajes, Fito Páez
L.C.: Rosalía has already won this award with El Mal Querer, and this was such an acclaimed album and she has such international recognition among voters of the academy that I cannot imagine anyone else would win it.
S.R.A.: 100%. There’s no other way.
G.F.: A contender for me is Jorge Drexler, since he won song and record of the year at the Latin Grammys, but how can Rosalía not win? I think people were already upset she didn’t score an album of the year nod, so she has to win this one. She totally deserves to win.
I.R.: Cimafunk and Jorge Drexler did release pretty great albums, but Rosalía blew it out of the water. She continued to showcase her musicianship in so many ways with that album. For her to do some reggaeton and experiment with jazz — each song has its own world, and her winning this category would be the right choice.
Likely winner: Rosalía
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
Abeja Reina, Chiquis
Un Canto por México – El Musical, Natalia Lafourcade
La Reunión (Deluxe), Los Tigres del Norte
EP #1 Forajido, Christian Nodal
Qué Ganas de Verte (Deluxe), Marco Antonio Solis
G.F.: It’s a long shot, but Chiquis could win this category and take home her first Grammy. She’s been on a winning streak these past two years at the Latin Grammys, winning best banda album in 2020 and 2022. I think she has a shot, especially with an album like Abeja Reina with lyrics that are so raw and modern, but she sticks to traditional styles such as banda and cumbia. I think voters will really appreciate that.
S.R.A.: Natalia Lafourcade is a Grammy darling, but I’d like to see Chiquis take this one home. Although Chistian Nodal’s proposal is great and fresh. I feel like he is the future of Regional Mexican.
L.C.: Nodal is a great artist. He’s young and makes music that is exceptional. What he does and how he takes the genre but modernizes, it is so clever. The results are really interesting. I don’t see another artist like him at that age. This should be Christian Nodal’s year.
I.R.: Christian Nodal has modernized the genre, but still stayed true to his essence. We’ve seen the emergence of so much regional, but fusing it with external elements. He stays true to the essence of what the genre is, and that’s what I appreciate about him.
I.F.: Nodal is like the Vicente Fernández of our generation. The power of his voice is unmatched. He truly represents this genre, and he should win.
Likely winner: Christian Nodal
Best Tropical Latin Album
Pa’llá Voy, Marc Anthony
Quiero Verte Feliz, La Santa Cecilia
Lado A Lado B, Víctor Manuelle
Legendario, Tito Nieves
lmágenes Latinas, Spanish Harlem Orchestra
Cumbiana II, Carlos Vives
L.C.: I have a soft spot for Cumbiana, even though Carlos Vives has done it before. I liked Victor Manuelle’s album, I thought it was cool, but I’m rooting for Vives here.
G.F.: I’d like to see Victor Manuelle win, because it was an interesting to see him live in that duality of salsa and urban. It was a fun listen. I appreciate his experimental nature but what I respected most is that he didn’t lose touch with who he is and what he represents in that album.
S.R.A.: I love Carlos Vives and I love how he’s been able to spotlight Colombian music. I think it’s spectacular. If he wins, I’ll be happy. But Victor Manuelle is also deserving. He has a good album and it would be his first win.
I.R.: I think it’s Victor Manuelle’s year. He’s celebrating 30 years in music, and being honored at Premio Lo Nuestro. And his album is pretty cool! He’s always maintained his essence even while collaborating with other contemporary artists such as Miky Woodz, and he sounds great. He doesn’t sacrifice his signature style for the sake of jumping on the bandwagon.
J.R.: I feel Carlos Vives is going to win. He really did the leg work, so much research for this album, there’s a film component to this. But I agree that Victor Manuelle should win because he’s never done a concept album like this one and he sounds amazing.
Likely winner: Victor Manuelle