Who will win the Latin categories at the 2022 Grammys? Below, Billboard‘s Latin editors offer an analysis of the main categories. These are educated guesses based on the marketplace and past voting behavior; they are not endorsements of one artist over another.
This year, leading up to Sunday’s 64th annual Grammy Awards, we’ve gathered our Latin editorial team and embarked on a discussion about predictions. Our participants are Leila Cobo, Billboard’s VP/Latin industry lead; Jessica Roiz, Billboard‘s Latin assistant editor; Ingrid Fajardo, Billboard‘s Latin social media manager; and Griselda Flores, Billboard‘s senior Latin writer.
Hosted by Trevor Noah, the 2022 Grammy Awards will be held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday (April 3) and will air live at 8p.m. ET. on CBS. Here are our predictions:
Best Latin Pop Album
Vértigo, Pablo Alborán
Mis Amores, Paula Arenas
Hecho A la Antigua, Ricardo Arjona
Mis Manos, Camilo
Mendó, Alex Cuba
Revelación, Selena Gomez
Leila Cobo: Despite the undeniable clout of Selena Gomez in this category, I would be disappointed if she took this award. It should go to Camilo for Mis Manos, an album that underscores what a new generation of Latin artists can do with pop music in a fresh, innovative, high-quality and also commercial manner.
Jessica Roiz: Pablo Alborán’s first album in three years did not disappoint and that’s why I feel that he should take the title this year. The album is home to 17 tracks, including his flamenco-influenced pop ballads and a couple of innovative fusions. But what’s more compelling is the album’s concept, born during the quarantine. According to Alborán, it’s called Vertigo because “we have to learn from everything that happens to us,” he told Billboard. However, I think Camilo will nab best Latin pop album with Mis Manos. His sophomore set, which was his most experimental project yet, incorporating bachata, música Mexicana, cumbia, and more, already won contemporary pop vocal album at the 2021 Latin Grammy, which makes me believe chances for him are high in this category.
Griselda Flores: Of all the Latin categories, I think this one is the only one with a clear winner. Camilo’s Mis Manos is truly a masterclass on songwriting that is relatable, nuanced and sincere. A big winner at last year’s Latin Grammys, where Mis Manos won best pop vocal album, Camilo has had a massive year with this album and his first-ever U.S. tour. He didn’t win last year with Por Primera Vez because he was up against Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG when pop and urban were lumped together in one category. I think, this time around, he has a really great chance at taking home his first Grammy.
Ingrid Fajardo: Although I think all these albums are fantastic, I think Ricardo Arjona’s Hecho a La Antigua was a different album. This one takes us between melodies, beautiful chords, acoustic sounds, and his most remarkable hits in the intimate atmosphere of a concert accompanied only by candles and the nature of La Antigua Guatemala. He tells the story of every song, and the time he lived with each song.
Best Música Urbana Album
Afrodisiaco, Rauw Alejandro
El Último Tour del Mundo, Bad Bunny
Jose, J Balvin
KG0516, Karol G
Sin Miedo (Del Amor Y Otros Demonios), Kali Uchis
LC: This is the most competitive category for Latin music, and one where Kali Uchis’ Sin Miedo, Rauw Alejandro’s Afrodisíaco and of course, Bad Bunny’s El Último Tour del Mundo, would be worthy winners. But my vote would be for Karol G’s KG0516, an album that has completely redefined the scope of female artists in Latin music and which has, no exaggeration, spawned a fan movement unlike anything else achieved by a female Latin act in years. Not to mention that at least half of the tracks are en route to become timeless Latin hits.
JR: All are great albums worthy of the win, but I feel that either one of the girls should take the title. Karol’s KG0516 was an open diary of her personal life, especially with songs such as “El Barco” and “DVD” narrating the ups and downs of her relationship with ex-boyfriend Anuel AA. It’s not only a relatable gem but an empowering one, with anthems like “Bichota,” “Tusa,” and “200 Copas.” Kali’s Sin Miedo is also a full-length bop, home to sultry R&B-pop fusions, including her viral “Telepatía,” which made Billboard history in 2021 as the first song by a female solo artist without an accompanied act to reach No. 1 on Hot Latin Songs since 2012. Though I would love to see one of these Colombiana wins, I highly believe Bad Bunny will win the title. Personally, EUTDM is my favorite Bad album to date, because of its hard-hitting, alternative reggaetón songs.
GF: Finally, urban gets its own category at the Grammys! This may be one of the hardest categories because all of these albums are really good sets in their own way. Bu the two that stand out to me are Bunny’s El Último Tour del Mundo and Karol’s KG0516. My gut feeling is that Bad Bunny will take this one but, I would be pleasantly surprised if Karol G wins. Her album is strong, packed with back-to-back anthems that really cemented her as leading woman in the genre. I think this could swing in either direction.
IF: I think this is Karol G’s year, she continues to rise at every step of her career, and by giving us this album KG0516, she gave herself her first Grammy. It has not only been an album of successful charts but also one that takes us through the world of everything she can give as an artist. This is probably just the beginning of a new era, solidifying her career as a singer and icon of this generation.
Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album
Deja, Bomba Estéreo
Mira Lo Que Me Hiciste Hacer (Deluxe Edition), Diamante Eléctrico
Calambre, Nathy Peluso
El Madrileño, C. Tangana
Sonidos De Karmática, Resonancia, Zoé
LC: Another field of worthy contenders, including Juanes for his nostalgic but contemporary Origen and Nathy Peluso’s groundbreaking (and genre-defying) Calambre. But my vote goes to C. Tangana’s surprising, impeccable El Madrileño, one of those rare albums that combines depth with huge commercial appeal. We hope voters in the U.S. recognize its import.
JR: Again, all amazing albums but I would love to see Nathy Peluso walk away with a Grammy win for best Latin rock or alternative album. A new recording academy sweetheart, Peluso really impressed me with her artistry in Calambre, an album that pulled in so many musical directions with her raw, powerful vocals always at the root. C.Tangana’s El Madrileño is also another set I think should (and most probably will) win. This album is beautiful in its entirety and each track transports me to a different emotion and different location. Honestly, I’d be happy if either Peluso or Tangana take the trophy.
GF: I’m a big fan of all the artists nominated in this category, but the album that really turned heads and begged to be listened to over and over again was C. Tangana’s genre-agnostic album El Madrileño. It very much sounds like a Spanish album powered by essential Spain sounds, but with a twist. From trap to rap and corridos, El Madrileño puts Tangana’s versatility at the forefront while also showcasing his writing chops that capture Tangana’s broodiness.
IF: Tangana’s album El Madrileño is a unique piece. It is composed of exquisite sounds and this album is impeccable and innovative and should be the night’s winner. I believe Grammy voters will have appreciated this masterpiece. It represents art in all its splendor with flamenco, Spanish folk, bolero, and the beautiful fusions he created by mixing the sounds.
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
Antología de la Música Ranchera, Vol. 2, Aida Cuevas
A Mis 80s, Vicente Fernández
Seis, Mon Laferte
Un Canto Por México, Vol. II, Natalia Lafourcade
AYAYAY! (Super Deluxe), Christian Nodal
LC: As tempting as it may be to give the award to Vicente Fernández post mortem, or to Natalia Lafourcade because she’s a Grammy darling, I move for Christian Nodal’s AyAyAy!, which manages to combine tradition with adventure in addition to featuring all new material. This is the brave new face and voice of regional Mexican music and it deserves and should be recognized.
JR: I’m not going to lie, it will fill my heart with joy to see Chente win this award posthumously in honor of his legacy and for blessing fans with this wonderful album before his passing. Though Lafourcade’s Un Canto Por Mexico, Vol. II, which won the 2021 Latin Grammy, will most probably win another golden gramophone, I think Laferte should take it home. Seis not only represents all the emotions Laferte was feeling during the pandemic lockdown, but also marks her first time experimenting with traditional Mexican music. It’s a wonderful album as a whole.
GF: I think either Mon Laferte or Christian Nodal could’ve easily won this category if it wasn’t for Vicente Fernandez’s nomination for his last studio album, A Mis 80s. I can’t imagine the Academy giving this award to anyone else except Fernández, who passed away in December.
IF: I believe this win will be between Natalia Lafourcade and Christian Nodal. Un Canto Por México, Vol. I won last year so the sequel is an obvious contender. Although both albums are just as amazing, I could say Un Canto Por México, Vol. II is one of Natalia’s best albums. This tribute to Latin American folklore invites us to enjoy her incredible talent, possibly earning her another Grammy.
Best Tropical Latin Album
Salswing!, Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta
En Cuarentena, El Gran Combo De Puerto Rico
Sin Salsa No Hay Paraiso, Aymée Nuviola
Colegas, Gilberto Santa Rosa
Live In Peru, Tony Succar
LC: Hard to imagine this will not go to Latin Grammy Person of the Year recipient Ruben Blades, who also won Album of the year at the Latin Grammy with Salswing! While not an album that has had broad commercial repercussion, the musicianship is, as ever, impeccable and we do like the bilingual take on salsa.
JR: This is also another tough category, because each artist has their own version of tropical music, incorporating rhythms from their native country — Cuba, Puerto Rico, Peru, or Panama. Though I think Nuviola should win with her wonderful salsa covers album tributing Colombian classics, I don’t doubt for a bit that Salswing!, the 2021 Latin Grammy album of the year, will win the Grammy for best tropical Latin album. The set is both exquisite and danceable, where the Panamanian star is joined by Panama’s Roberto Delgado & Orchestra and alternates from salsa to swing.
GF: Ruben Blades’ Salswing! won album of the year at the 2021 Latin Grammys so I think there’s a good chance the Grammys will award Blades — who was also the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year honoree — with best tropical Latin album.
IF: Definitely Salswing! should win this category, as it celebrates Afro-Cuban music and jazz.