Spanish pop star Alejandro Sanz, Mexican folk-pop singer Natalia Lafourcade and Puerto Rican rapper Residente were the biggest winners at the 2020 Latin Grammys, the world’s most prestigious awards for Latin music.
Sanz picked up the record of the year award for the second time in a row, for Contigo, an earnest love song set to jazz piano and strings. He won the category five times between 2001-2006.
Lafourcade won album of the year for Un Canto por México, Vol 1, released to benefit a cultural centre damaged in the 2017 Puebla earthquake. Residente’s René, an autobiographical song written in the wake of a severe depressive episode, was named song of the year. Lafourcade and Residente picked up further awards, for best rap/hip-hop song and best alternative song respectively.
The trio beat big-name pop stars such as Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Karol G and Maluma, who are among the most-streamed artists in the world, though “urban” artists such as these did find success in other categories.
Bad Bunny, whose hit Dákiti is currently the most streamed song globally on Spotify, won best reggaeton performance for Yo Perreo Sola, while J Balvin, who topped the nominations list with 13, won best urban album for Colores – his first ever Latin Grammy award.
The Colombian vocalist, who recently recovered from coronavirus, performed his track Rojo live at the Miami ceremony to a backdrop featuring Black Lives Matter protests, saying: “Our fears torment us but this is the moment for our bleeding hearts to have meaning again, and that we all unite and continue fighting for our dreams and a better future.”
He and other reggaeton and Latin trap artists had criticised the Latin Grammys last year for overlooking their genres in favour of more traditional pop and folk styles.
Elsewhere, the Spanish flamenco futurist Rosalía won best urban song with the Puerto Rican singer Ozuna for the collaboration Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi, while the versatile Colombian pop singer Mike Bahía was named best new artist. A full list of winners is on the Grammy website.