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GRAMMYS SHOW LATIN LOVE—JUST NOT ENOUGH

The Grammys broke new ground in the Album of the Year contest by electing the first Spanish-language nominee in the category's history: Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti (Rimas). While the Recording Academy deserves a golf clap for getting this right, it was also a slam dunk.

There are no Latin members in either the upper ranks of the Grammy establishment or the Secret Chamber—is anyone at the Academy advocating for the Latin genre's most important acts?

The biggest story in the biz this year is the growth of the Latin genre, domestically and internationally. So when the noms revealed that Bad Bunny—a superstar with the biggest U.S. album and tour of 2022—was acknowledged in only one general-field category, many were left scratching their heads, though not entirely surprised. 

Bad Bunny will not be attending the Latin Grammys this week (as he's on a global stadium tour), though he leads the field with nine nominations. There’s a possibility the hottest act on the planet won’t grace either Grammy stage. That’s a shame.

What was surprising was the omission of Latin talent and projects in various categories. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Disney’s Encanto soundtrack—which dominated the charts in the first half of 2022—didn’t receive a single nomination outside the Visual Media field. The Encanto soundtrack scored a lone nod, as did the score. The cultural significance of the film, which used Colombian music forms and bilingual anthems to illuminate a family story, stretched well beyond genre and Spanish-speaking viewers. 

ROSALĺA was held to two noms for MOTOMAMI, which many considered a possibility to crack Album of the Year. Anitta was acknowledged solely in Best New Artist, where she stands out as a frontrunner alongside Omar Apollo.

Perhaps in an attempt by the Academy to evenly distribute recognition, no artist earned multiple nominations in the Latin field; headliners Sebastían Yatra, Christina Aguilera, Daddy Yankee and Maluma received one each. And as of now, there are no Latin song categories, which explains why Becky G. and Karol G, who scored bona fide hits in the U.S. this year, were not acknowledged.

For what it’s worth, K-pop was also mostly shut out of the nominations, establishing language as another barrier for Grammy to hide behind.

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