J. Balvin, Bad Bunny and Ozuna lead the nominations for the 21st Latin Grammy Awards, which were announced Tuesday morning by the Latin Recording Academy.
Colombian-born Balvin, with 13 nods, and Puerto Rico’s Bad Bunny, with nine, are both nominated twice in the prestigious album of the year category — each for a solo LP in addition to their collaborative “Oasis” — while Balvin will compete against himself in record of the year as well. One of Balvin's nominations in the latter category is for “China,” the all-star reggaeton jam that also features Ozuna, from Puerto Rico, who scored eight nods overall.
The strong showing for three of the most popular singers and rappers in reggaeton and Latin trap marks a clear shift from 2019, when the Latin Grammys was widely criticized for sidelining those quickly evolving styles (often referred to collectively as urbano) in favor of established acts making more traditional Spanish-language pop. Balvin skipped last year’s ceremony in protest.
In a statement, Latin Recording Academy President and CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. said, “Over the last year, we continued engaging in discussions with our members to improve the awards process and actively encouraged diverse Latin music creators to join and participate” — words that echo the Recording Academy’s proclamations about the Grammy Awards, which faced similar criticism regarding its handling of hip-hop and R&B.
Other reggaeton and Latin trap musicians with multiple Latin Grammy nominations include singer-rapper Anuel AA, the lead artist on “China,” which has been streamed on Spotify and YouTube more than 2 billion times; singer Karol G, who’s up for record of the year and song of the year with “Tusa,” her duet with Nicki Minaj; producers Sky and Tainy, who work closely in the studio with Balvin and Bad Bunny; and Daddy Yankee, the reggaeton pioneer who puts in an appearance on “China” (and helped reintroduce reggaeton to English speakers with his role in 2017’s smash “Despacito”).
Rosalía, the Spanish electro-flamenco phenom whose “El Mal Querer” was named album of the year at the 2019 Latin Grammys, has four nominations this time, including urban fusion performance and urban song for her and Ozuna’s “Yo X Ti, Tu X Mi.”
Final-round voting for the Latin Grammys is set to begin Oct. 8; the televised ceremony, which has taken place in Las Vegas in recent years, will be “anchored” in Miami on Nov. 19, according to the academy’s statement, with performances in multiple cities around the world.
Here are the nominations in the Latin Grammys’ four major categories:
Album of the year
J Balvin & Bad Bunny, “Oasis”
J Balvin, “Colores”
Camila, “Por Primera Vez”
Kany García, “Mesa Para Dos”
Jesse & Joy, “Aire (Versión Día)”
Natalia Lafourcade, “Un Canto por México, Vol. 1”
Ricky Martin, “Pausa”
Fito Paez, “La Conquista del Espacio”
Carlos Vives, “Cumbiana”
Record of the year
Pablo Alborán, “Cuando Estés Aquí”
Bad Bunny, “Vete”
Bajofondo featuring Cuareim 1080, “Solari Yacumenza”
J Balvin, “Rojo”
Camilo featuring Pedro Capó, “Tutu”
Kany García & Nahuel Pennisi, “Lo Que en Ti Veo”
Karol G y Nicki Minaj, “Tusa”
Alejandro Sanz, “Contigo”
Song of the year
“Bonita,” written by Juanes, Mauricio Rengifo, Andrés Torres and Sebastián Yatra (performed by Juanes y Sebastián Yatra)
“Codo con Codo,” written by Jorge Drexler (performed by Jorge Drexler)
“El Mismo Aire,” written by Édgar Barrera, Camilo, Jon Leone, Richi López and Juan Morelli (performed by Camilo)
“For Sale,” written by Alejandro Sanz and Carlos Vives (performed by Alejandro Sanz & Carlos Vives)
“#ElMundoFuera (Improvisacíon),” written by Alejandro Sanz (performed by Alejandro Sanz)
“Lo Que en Ti Veo,” written by Kany García (performed by Kany García & Nahuel Pennisi)
“René,” written by Residente (performed by Residente)
“Tiburones,” written by Oscar Hernández and Pablo Preciado (performed by Ricky Martin)
“Tusa,” written by Kevyn Mauricio Cruz Moreno, Karol G, Nicki Minaj and Daniel Oviedo Echavarría (performed by Karol G y Nicki Minaj)
“Tutu,” written by Camilo, Jon Leone and Richi López (performed by Camilo featuring Pedro Capó)
Best new artist