The Latin Grammys turns 15 years old this year! In celebration, let’s walk down memory lane and recap the best moments at the 6th Annual Latin Grammy Awards, which were held in Los Angeles at the Shrine Auditorium on Thursday, November 3, 2005.
Alejandro Fernandez made a surprise appearance in…
Credit: Getty Images
Super tight jeans…we still remember.
Credit: Getty Images
Quick note: This was the first Latin Grammy ceremony to be broadcast by Univision.
Followed by an electrifying performance by Beto Cuevas.
Seriously, it was just last year that some of the world’s most popular artists – reggaetoneros and trap artists like Bad Bunny and J Balvin – were completely ignored. I mean it was so serious there was even a hashtag: “Sin Reggaetón, No Hay Grammy.”
At the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards, the top award categories very conspicuously left out these very artists. However, this year they’re dominating all the categories and bringing in a record number of nominations.
The 2020 Latin Grammy nominations are in and they definitely do a better job at representing the community than last year’s.
In 2019, the Latin Grammy’s went viral but really for all the wrong reasons. social media exploded as Latin artists posted images of the Grammy logo with a large red “X″ across it, with words on the image reading in Spanish: “Without reggaeton, there’s no Latin Grammys.” Balvin even skipped the live show and Bad Bunny, who won best urban music album during the telecast, told the audience: “With all due respect, reggaeton is part of the Latin culture.”
This definitely forced the Grammy’s to reconsider this year’s awards.
“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,” Latin Academy President and CEO Gabriel Abaroa Jr. said in a statement, calling this year’s nominees “a group that reflects the constant evolution of Latin music.”
To honor Latin rap and reggaeton performers, the Latin Grammys added new categories this year, including best reggaeton performance and best rap/hip-hop song.
J Balvin leads the pack with an astonishing 13 Grammy nominations.
In announcing this year’s nominees, J Balvin is in the lead with 13 total nods, including two nominations Album of the year, thanks to his own album Colores and his collab with Bad Bunny, OASIS.
The Colombian reggaetonero has a chance to win his first album of the year prize — a category with 10 contenders – and his chances look pretty good. However, even if he doesn’t pick up that, he’s in the running for several other awards.
Bad Bunny is close behind with nine nominations for what was a record-breaking year for the artist.
Bad Bunny is included in the Album of the Year category for his album YHLQMDLG (which was this year’s best-selling Latin album), however, his surprise album, LAS QUE NO IBAN A SALIR, wasn’t recognized in any category.
In the Best Urban album category, Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG is up against Anuel AA’s Emmanuel, Benito’s Oasis with J Balvin, Balvin’s Colores, Feid’s Ferxxo: Vol. 1 M.O.R., Ozuna’s Nibiru, Sech’s 1 of 1, and rising Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers’Easy Money Baby.
Meanwhile, the Album of the Year category could get pretty interesting with this caliber of nominees.
This year’s Album of the Year category prove what an incredible year 2020 was for Latin music. We were blessed with hit after hit which was all the more important considering what a traumatic year it’s been.
Bad Bunny and J Balvin are both competing for the award. San Benito’s YHLQMDLG faces off against Balvin’s Colores and their joint album OASIS. Meanwhile, albums from Camilo (Por Primera Vez), Ricky Martin (PAUSA EP), and Kany García (Mesa Para Dos), are all up for the same award. What’s extra special about this category this year is that it’s also featuring three nominees from the LGBTQ community.
This year’s top-selling record, “Tusa”, is also up for a Grammy.
Colombian reggaetonera Karol G along with Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj are nominated for this hit song that has just blown up the airwaves this entire year.
“Tusa” is the sole Latin trap nominee in the song of the year category, where 11 tracks are in contention. It’s a departure for Karol G, who didn’t receive a single nomination last year and was part of the group of uber-successful Latin trap and reggaeton artists who were dissed in top categories like album, song and record of the year. This year, the Colombian performer who was named best new artist in 2018 has four nominations, including two shared with Minaj.
It’s encouraging to see the academy actually reflect what is happening in Latin music. The inclusion of this larger variety of artists helps illustrate just how diverse the Latin music industry really is. But to see who actually takes home the awards will be a different story. The Latin Grammy Awards will air live from Miami on Nov. 19 on Univision.
Not everyone has the privilege of growing up surrounded by their cultura, with parents there to pass on knowledge of traditions and customs from home. That, combined with heavily opinionated internet trolls, has led to many people struggling to feel confident in their identity. In a digital world that tries to force us all to fit into boxes, what does “Latino enough” mean and how do you know if you’re there?
Recently, we asked our Instagram community “what does being Latino mean to you?” and although some responses had details in common, for the most part they were as unique as every member of the community itself. There is no one definition of Latinidad, and therefore there is no way to measure what exactly makes someone “Latino enough.”
We got the chance to talk to Alaina Castillo, musical artist and TikTok Queen, about how she identifies with Latinidad and what this TikTok video means to her.
What does being Latina mean to you?– mitú
“It means that I have something to identify with and be proud of because of my family members, my culture, and the things that I participate in as a Latina.” – A.C.
Side note, this was a personal reminder that we represent the community wherever we occupy space, whether we realize it or not. We are all participating in things as members of the community.
What’s something that, as a Latina, you are proud of?– mitú
“The strength and endurance that we have. I’ve seen it in my dad, his family, and so many others and it makes me feel proud as well as encouraged to achieve my goals with the same mindset as them.” – A.C.
While they may not be perfect (and let’s face it, who is?), our parents are the definition of hard working. Remembering that their blood runs through my veins always keeps me going when the going gets tough. Si se puede!
What Latino figures inspire you? – mitú
“Selena, even though she was an artist that I didn’t really grow up listening to. When I found out who she was, she was someone who I related to because she was a Mexican-American learning to speak and sing in Spanish, while breaking a lot of barriers that people had set up around her.” – A.C.
La Reina del Tex-Mex was a trailblazer indeed! Who else could forget Selena’s iconic “diecicuatro” blurb when she appeared in an interview with Cristina Saralegui? The important thing to focus on is that she was TRYING! As long as we’re all working on improving and being the best versions of ourselves, that’s the best we can do, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.
Name one meal that, no matter where you have it, always reminds you of home. – mitú
“Homemade tamales!!!! 100%” – A.C.
You know we love some good tamales, so naturally our next question was…
Where is your family from? – mitú
“My dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Ohio.” – A.C.
Mmmm…Mexican tamales 😋
Have you ever been to those places? – mitú
“Yes, both places. I went to Mexico when I was really young, maybe about two times, and then I’ve traveled to Ohio on various occasions to see family. I was young each time I went to those places so they’re little memories I think of when I miss my family.” – A.C.
What would you say is the most “Latino” item in your home? – mitú
“We have these blankets from my grandma that I grew up using. I thought they were normal blankets but then I saw on social media that almost every Latino household has some and I was like hmmm, what do you know?” – A.C.
What would you say to people who think that not speaking Spanish makes you less Latino?– mitú
“I think it’d definitely be nice to know the language fluently but some people aren’t taught Spanish growing up and that’s not their fault. Not speaking the language doesn’t mean that they don’t have the same customs or should be rejected from the culture that their family is from. I decided to learn on my own because I’ve always been interested in Spanish, and also so I could speak with my family and I see that’s what a lot of other people are doing too.” – A.C.
One more time for the people in the back: not speaking Spanish doesn’t make you any less Latino.
How do you celebrate your Latinidad? – mitú
“With pride. I wouldn’t be who I am today without influences from my family so it’ll always be something I carry with me and proudly show throughout my life and career.” – A.C.
What do you hope people take away from this trend? – mitú
“That Latinidad is something you’re born with and it can’t ever be taken away from you,” – A.C.
So forget about the opinions of other people! All they’re doing is projecting their beliefs onto you and that is not an actual reflection of who you are. We hope you are inspired to embrace your Latinidad on your own terms, and that you walk more confidently in your identity. So duet us on TikTok and don’t forget to use the hashtag #AreYouLatinoEnough to join in on the fun!
Did we mention quarantine has not stopped Alaina Castillo from dropping new music? Check out her latest single, “tonight,” below!