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GRAMMY CHEW: LATIN


It’s been another historic year for Latin music and Spanish-language artists. Will Grammy reward the Latin genre’s biggest artists and releases with general-field love as it did Bad Bunny last year?

If any Latin act scores 2023 nominations in the Big Four, expect it to be KAROL G, Peso Pluma or Eslabon Armado. This year established Bichota/Interscope's KAROL G as among the most decorated female Latin artists ever—with a groundbreaking #1 album, a U.S. stadium tour and a global #1 song. “TQG” f/Shakira could earn multiple nods outside the Latin categories, and MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO heads into the season as 2023’s biggest Latin album.

Pluma, whose rise has been even faster than that of Bad Bunny, has arguably the strongest case for a Best New Artist nomination. The música Mexicana sensation has proven a general-market phenomenon, moving hundreds of thousands of tickets in his first year of prominence while rising to the top of virtually every DSP chart. Along with a handful of high-profile song collaborations, Pluma’s GÉNESIS (Double P/Prajin Parlay) hasn’t left the Top 10 since it arrived early this summer.

Del/Ingrooves' Eslabon Armado also has a great shot at general-field recognition, including in Best New Artist and the song categories. The Mexican American group is armed with Latin music’s biggest song of 2023, “Ella Baila Sola” f/Peso Pluma. In a year where música Mexicana broke new ground, this song serves as the anthem for a new generation of creators and listeners.

As for the genre categories, no song categories exist in the Latin field—only albums. That makes the urbana album and música Mexicana album categories highly competitive. Will the Academy round out the category with the new crop of música Mexicana acts represented by Pluma, Eslabon Armado, Grupo Frontera, Fuerza Regida, Ivan Cornejo and Natanael Cano? Likely not all of them as the genre has historically favored veteran artists.

This will be the first time since the category's inception in 2022 that Best Música Urbana album won’t go to Bad Bunny. Rimas-repped KAROL G should be the favorite in this category—the Colombian superstar previously earned a nod for KG0516. NEON16’s Tainy could benefit most from Benito’s absence as his star-studded DATA is most representative of what the genre is capable of and where the sound is headed. Standout track “Mojabi Ghost” f/Bad Bunny could earn additional accolades outside the Latin categories.

Others in the mix for Música Urbana Album include Universal Music Latino’s Feid, Sony Latin’s Rauw Alejandro, Warner Latina’s Maria Becerra and One World/Warner Latina’s Myke Towers.

Could the Recording Academy over-correct its handling of Latin superstars? Bad Bunny, for instance, apparently didn't appreciate the lack of trophies for Un Verano Sin Ti. What better time than Grammy season?