This year, there was a good deal of controversy about the Latin Grammys, which went down last night in Las Vegas. Many of the biggest stars in the world of reggaeton and urbano were shut out of major awards, and some of those stars, like J Balvin and Daddy Yankee, stayed home from the show in protest, as the Los Angeles Times reports. Bad Bunny, who was shut out of the Album Of The Year race and who won Best Urban album for his debut X 100PRE, made the case in his acceptance speech that he and his peers deserve respect: “With all due respect, reggaeton is part of Latin culture and is representing as much as any other genre worldwide.”
Two of the night’s biggest winners, Rosalía and Alejandro Sanz, come from Spain, and there’s been some conversation about whether Spanish artists actually count as Latin. But even with all that, Rosalía turned out to be the big story of the evening. She won a whole handful of awards — Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album, Best Engineered Album, Best Recording Package, Best Urban Song, and the big one, Album Of The Year. And she gave an electrifying performance, doing her new single “A Palé” alone on a dark stage and then doing her smash J Balvin collab “Con Altura” (without Balvin, obviously) with a whole army of dancers behind her. Here’s her performance:
I have no authority to say whether Rosalía’s El Mal Querer should count as a Latin album or not, but I do know that it’s a stunning piece of work, and it’s cool to see the young woman who made it recognized on such a big stage. Ricky Martin presented a giddy-excited Rosalía with the Album Of The Year award, and she shouted out Balvin and her regular collaborator El Guincho from the stage. Here’s her acceptance speech:
— Latin GRAMMYs (@LatinGRAMMYs) November 15, 2019
El Man Querer is out now on Columbia.