J Balvin, Bad Bunny set for big night at Latin Grammys

By Mesfin Fekadu,

NEW YORK (AP) — A year after they were shut out of major categories, Latin trap kings Bad Bunny and J Balvin have a chance of winning the top honors at the Latin Grammy Awards.

Both performers are double nominees for album of the year: their collaborative project, “Oasis,” is up for the prize and their solo albums — Bad Bunny’s “YHLQMDLG” and Balvin’s “Colores” — are also in contention.

Balvin, who is the leading nominee with 13 bids, is also a double nominee for record of the year: His song “Rojo” is nominated as is “China,” his collaboration with Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G and Ozuna. Bad Bunny’s “Vete” will also compete for record of the year.

It’s a far cry from the 2019 Latin Grammys, where popular reggaeton and Latin trap musicians such as Balvin, Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Karol G, Daddy Yankee, Nicky Jam, Maluma and more were dissed in top categories like album, song and record of the year. As a result 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 last year 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.”

But this year the Latin Grammys have changed its tune. They added new categories like best reggaeton performance and best rap/hip-hop song, while contemporary stars scored major nominations: Bad Bunny has nine, Ozuna picked up eight and Karol G scored four, including bids for record and song of the year for her global, Nicki Minaj-assited hit “Tusa.” Karol G’s fiancé, Puerto Rican rapper-singer and first-time nominee Anuel AA, earned seven nominations including one for best new artist.

Most of the 53 awards will be handed out at a pre-ceremony. The show, which will air on Univision at 8 p.m. EDT, will include performances (most of them pre-taped) by Balvin, Camilo, Ricky Martin, Prince Royce, Anuel AA, Marc Anthony, Pedro Capó, Karol G, Kany García and Sebastián Yatra. Bad Bunny will perform from San Juan, Anitta will sing from Rio de Janeiro and Pitbull will be joined by frontline workers to honor their courageous work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of the pandemic, the show will not have a live audience or a red carpet.

Main Photo: Singer J Balvin performs during the Coca-Cola Flow Reggaeton festival in Mexico City on Nov. 23, 2019. Latin trap kings Bad Bunny and J Balvin have a chance of winning the top honors at the Latin Grammy Awards. oth performers are double nominees for album of the year: their collaborative project, “Oasis,” is up for the prize and their solo albums — Bad Bunny’s “YHLQMDLG” and Balvin’s “Colores” — are also in contention. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme, File)

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