Things That Matter

Amid A Year Of Heartbreak, These Were The Moments That Gave Us Hope In 2020

Looking back on 2020, there will be the standout moments: where you were when you realized the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic; when you found out that the shutdown was coming to your town, your city; for millions of Americans, the moment you lost your job; for millions more, when you found out that a parent or loved one had gotten sick or died from the disease; for nearly everyone, the moment you found out you’d lost a friend or treasured icon.

It was a series of emotional moments because everything else was the same — stuck in our homes, it became hard to differentiate between days, weeks, months. It was only the moments that stood out.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom, as many people stood up and gave us hope amid the uncertainty and loss.

People took to the streets to march for Black and Brown lives.

People, for the most part, stayed inside when told to. We were bored, lonely, horny, scared, appalled — but people stayed home if they could. But then the recent killings of several unarmed Black people — George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and sadly even more since them — renewed and reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement.

People had been watching the news out of the U.S. for months, seeing the undeniable reports that Black and Latinx communities had been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, the petulant incompetence of an administration that repeatedly and calculatedly failed those communities, and the destructiveness of a deeply broken health system. And after months of social distancing, those who could do so safely took to the streets, and faced a police response that more than proved their point.

Bad Bunny brought attention to anti-trans violence in Puerto Rico.

Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Throughout his rise as the world’s biggest reggaetón star, Bad Bunny has been known to challenge the genre’s hypermasculine ideals. But he stepped into LGBTQ+ advocacy when he brought mainstream attention to the murder of Puerto Rican trans woman Alexa Negrón Luciano by paying tribute to her on Fallon in a live performance this February. Considering he also made his drag debut in his “Yo Perreo Sola” video this year, it’s refreshing to see a global superstar breaking down gender norms and rallying behind the trans community.

Crowds clapped to celebrate our front-line workers.

For many people, staying at home meant just that: work from home, relax at home, socialise at home, cook at home, and do your best to get through it. For healthcare and support workers, though, this has not been an opportunity to catch up on the Netflix queue. In a few places, it’s been a full-on horror movie; in most places, it’s meant ethical dilemmas, long hours chafing in PPE (some of it improvised amid shortages), heartbreaking FaceTimes with next of kin, and angry or terrified members of the public.

Kamala Harris speaking for women everywhere when she told Mike Pence, “I’m speaking.”

Credit: Julio Cortez / Getty Images

It was a moment that resonated with exasperated women around the world: During the vice presidential debate, after Mike Pence had interrupted soon-to-be Vice President Kamala Harris for the umpteenth time, she quietly but decisively stated, “Mister Vice president, I’m speaking. I’m speaking.” Shortly after the debate, it became a trending sound on TikTok, remixed with Megan Thee Stallion’s “Girls in the Hood.”

We got a new president-elect and a soon-to-be-over Trump presidency.

It was one joyous day in the middle of the worst year ever — when the networks began calling Pennsylvania for Biden, and it dawned on the country that there might be a light at the end of this Trumpian tunnel. Philadelphia had come through with enough votes to clinch the election. 

Marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform sweeps across the country.

Credit: Paul Demaron / Getty Images

How many of us were biting our nails on election night, dreading the possibility of anther four years under a Trump presidency? Well, despite the drawn out process for presidential results, we got to see historic wins for cannabis legalization.

Six legalization initiatives were on ballots across the country; six initiatives passed. Mississippi got medical weed. New Jersey, Arizona, and Montana got recreational. South Dakota became the first state to vote in both medical and recreational at the same time. There’s a lot of bad things to say about 2020, but at least we can look back on it as a tipping-point year in ending the disastrous War on Drugs.

A cute af owl emerged from the less than cute Rockefeller Christmas Tree.

there a better metaphor for 2020 than the typically majestic and inspiring Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree being unearthed this year as a decrepit shell of its fallen brethren of years past? But for optimists — should any still exist — a 2021 metaphor arrived soon after in the form of Rockefeller, a diminutive owl that emerged from the arboreal wreckage. 

Scientists developed a vaccine for COVID-19 in record-breaking time.

In November, the world heard the news that not one – but three – COVID-19 vaccines under development reported promising levels of effectiveness, with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine being approved and rolled out in the UK in December.

Lil Nas X was the best, most unapologetic gay rapper on the internet.

Lil Nas X wasn’t the first mainstream rapper to come out of the closet, but he’s definitely the first to truly have fun poking fun at the homophobia often associated with the genre. His unapologetic confidence — from rapping about bottoming to dressing as Nicki Minaj for Halloween — is inspiring, and watching him playfully respond to homophobes who needlessly take offense to his actions is a never-ending delight

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These Were The Moments That Defined Latin America In 2020 That Weren’t About COVID-19

Things That Matter

These Were The Moments That Defined Latin America In 2020 That Weren’t About COVID-19

PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images

2020 will easily go down in manny of our memories as the year that just wouldn’t stop. As the year started, it all seemed to be sort of fine as the world came together to battle record-breaking Australian bushfires and worked to hopefully contain an outbreak of a strange new virus in China.

However, as the year comes to a close things have gone de mal a peor for the world in general, but for the Latino population in the United States and Latin America as a region in particular. Though it’s hard to realize just how much we all witnessed and experienced since so much of what happened seems like it was a lifetime ago.

Here’s a look back at some the defining moments from 2020 across Latin America.

Jennifer Lopez and Shakira kicked off the year hopeful with a history-making performance at the Super Bowl.

Yes, believe it or not, this happened in 2020. The pair put on what many have called the best half time show in Super Bowl history. They were also joined by J Balvin and Bad Bunny.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales was forced into exile, only to return to the country in November.

After being forced into exile at the end of 2019 for attempting to illegally run in upcoming presidential elections, Morales spent a year abroad – first in Mexico and then in Argentina.

Mexico’s President AMLO made his first trip abroad to visit Donald Trump at the White House.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is a staunch populist and has long said his primary focus is domestic policy within Mexico. Therefore, despite two years in office, AMLO hadn’t left Mexico once. So it came as a surprise when his first trip abroad was a visit to the U.S. leader who had long disparaged Mexico, the government, and Mexicans – not to mention his trip came in the middle of a global pandemic.

Migrant caravans continued to make their way towards the U.S. despite interference from Mexico and Covid-19.

Migrants attempting to make their way to the U.S. isn’t unique to 2020. For decades, migrants have long banded together for safety in numbers along the treacherous journey to the north. However, they became larger and better organized in 2020, perhaps owing to the new dangers of Mexican interference.

Mexico’s AMLO vowed to stop migrants from reaching the U.S.-Mexico border, adhering to Trump’s request. It was also noteworthy because the caravans continued despite the Covid-19 crisis, which has hit the region particularly hard.

Peru saw three presidents in the span of a few weeks after massive protests.

Peru is facing one of the greatest crises the nation has faced. Just as the country seemed to be emerging from the worst of its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has entered a severe political crisis.

The country’s elected president, Martin Vizcarra, was impeached and removed from office. His predecessor responded with a heavy hand to the protests that ensued resulting in his resignation less than 24 hours later. The government then had to find someone willing to take the job which proved to be a tough sell.

In fact, massive protests swept across Latin America.

From Mexico in the north to Cuba in the Caribbean and Chile in the south, protests were seen all across the region. Although each movement had it’s own stated goal and objectives, many were largely borne out of the same purpose: to fight back against corruption.

Brazil’s President Jaír Bolsonaro tested positive for Covid-19 but it did nothing to change his approach to the pandemic.

Jaír Bolsonaro has long been compared to Donald Trump, with many calling him the Donald Trump of South America. The two were also strongly aligned in their responses to the Coronavirus pandemic, with the pair largely downplaying the severity of the crisis.

Then, Bolsonaro became infected with the virus and many hoped it would change his view on the crisis. It didn’t.

A growing feminist movement developed in Mexico, demanding protection from a shocking rise in violence against women.

Mexico has long been battling endemic violence and the country has continued to see record-setting rates of homicides. But it was the growing rate of violence against women, particularly femicide, that gained national attention.

Women banded together and started large nationwide protests. Over the summer, women in the capital of Mexico City occupied government buildings and destroyed many of the city’s most popular monuments to hopefully get their message across. Although the movement has gained more recognition by Mexicans, the government has still failed to address their concerns. Let’s hope things are different in 2021.

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These Are The Latin Artists That Dominated VEVO’s Most Watched Lists For 2020

Entertainment

These Are The Latin Artists That Dominated VEVO’s Most Watched Lists For 2020

Medusa – Universal Music Group

It’s official: 2020 was the year that Latin artists truly dominated worldwide music and video charts. Despite the drama and pain of 2020, Latin artists were busy bringing their talent to so many of us who needed an escape from the constant reminders of what an unprecedented year 2020 was.

From Bad Bunny’s three albums in one year to J Balvin’s highly-ambitious Colores album, and the top-charting collab between Dua Lipa and Bad Buny, Tainy, and J Balvin in “Un Dia,” we had some serious bops this year.

Along with all this incredible music, we also got served some visually-stunning music videos – which, globally, were also dominated by Latin artists.

Vevo has revealed the top 10 most-watched artists and music videos of 2020.

One of the first things that pops out on this list, is the fact that four out of ten of the artists are Latinos. In fact, the number one spot is claimed by Colombia’s own J Balvin!

Karol G rocketed up the charts this year to the number two spot while Maluma (#5) and Shakira (#8) round off the list. Perhaps most shockingly, is the fact that Bad Bunny didn’t crack the top ten, considering so many of his albums were chart toppers this year.

Vevo also broke down the top Latinx videos of 2020.

J Balvin truly dominated the music video scene of 2020. Out of Vevo’s top ten videos by Latin artists, he is featured in half of them. From his own track “Rojo” off his Colores album to collabs with Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, and Tainy on “Un Día” to the number one spot with Jhay Cortez and Anuel AA in “Medusa,” J Balvin had an incredible 2020.

Here’s a roundup – for your viewing pleasure – of the top music videos of 2020 by Latino artists.

Medusa – Jhay Cortez, Anuel AA, J Balvin

This track claimed the number one spot on Vevo’s “Most Watched Latin Videos” of 2020. And it’s easy to see why. Not only is it a great song, but the video features three of Latin musics top artists.

Agua – Tainy, J Balvin

Although “Agua” came in at number two on the Most Watched Latin Videos in the U.S. (with 26 million views), it also performed incredible worldwide. In fact, “Agua” received more than 479 million views worldwide, earning it the number four spot globally.

Hawái – Maluma

Maluma’s video for “Hawái” actually came in at number three on the worldwide list, garnering more than half a billion views! This earns him the number one spot among Latin artists on the worldwide circuit.

Ay, Dios Mío! – Karol G

Karol G truly rocketed to the top of the charts this year and although it’s surprising that “Tusa” didn’t make the cut (perhaps since it’s from 2019), she had two videos on this year’s lists.

First, “Ay, Dios Mío” charted at number 4 in the U.S. with more than 18 million views but it was also her top-performing video around the world as it came in at number seven globally with more than 307 million views.

Un Día – Dua Lipa, Tainy, Bad Bunny, J Balvin

Although “Un Día” failed to chart globally on the Vevo list, it earned the number five spot by Latin artists in the U.S. with more than 16 million views.

Se Me Olvidó – Christian Nodal

Another interesting thing of the Vevo list is the presence of Christian Nodal who made the cut with “Se Me Olvidó (La Canción Del Avión)”, which puts Mexican Regional music high on the countdown among mostly dembow specialists.

Favorito – Camilo

Another track that performed exceptionally well around the world, Camilo’s track “Favorito,” was viewed 13.2 million times in the U.S., earning the artist the number seven spot. But when it came to global views, “Favorito” was viewed 359 million times!

Camilo earned another top spot (#6) on the global list with his track “Vida de Rico.”

Me Gusta – Shakira, Anuel AA

This collaboration charted at number eight on Vevo’s roundup for the U.S. with more than 13 million views.

Bichota – Karol G

Her second entry on VEVO’s 2020 roundup, “Bichota” charted at number nine in the U.S. with more than 12 million views.

Rojo – J Balvin

J Balvin was all over the 2020 roundups but his track “Rojo” was his top charting video in the U.S. with more than 12 million views.

Who was on your most-watched lists of 2020?

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