What seemed unthinkable for the genre 20 years ago happened this year: “A Summer Without Ií” was nominated for Best Album at the Grammys and the musical phenomenon established itself with the title of MTV Artist of the Year and Most Streamed Artist of the Year on Spotify for Bad Bunny.
But he was not the only one: at the Latin Grammys, the person who won the album of the year award was rosalia with “Motomami”, which has been included in numerous lists of the best albums of the year worldwide, competing with giants such as Beyoncé, The Weeknd and Taylor Swift.
And for those who have twerked on the dance floor for decades, the year also left an air of nostalgia as many of its early stars left the microphone to the new generations.
“Grateful for everything they did for the genre, you know that without them we really wouldn’t have been here… And I also feel incredible about the new stuff,” Panamanian urban star Sech told The Associated Press at the Mexico City after the release of his EP “Almost they come”. “I know that the genre will continue to grow and it’s something crazy, there is no brake, there is no limit, there is no barrier.”
THE BAD BUNNY EFFECT
Bad Bunny grabbed many of the urban music and music headlines for the year, as well as earning Spotify’s Most Streamed Artist title globally for the third year in a row, his ubiquitous album “A Summer Without You” spent 13 weeks on the first position on the Billboard 200 list and became the first entirely in Spanish to occupy the first position of the Billboard 200 year-end ranking. It also earned him the most nominations at the Latin Grammys with 10 mentions. Bad Bunny swept the Latin Grammy urban music categories with five statuettes.
In January, months before releasing his album, Bad Bunny announced the dates of his World’s Hottest Tour, his first arena tour, for which tickets sold out almost immediately. The tour, which took him through Latin America and the United States, has been the most lucrative of the year worldwide, according to the specialized publication Pollstar, above those of Elton John, Lady Gaga and the Red Hot Chili Peppers and culminated with two concerts at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City before close to 85,000 attendees each.
At the time of writing this note, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, had made an attentive invitation in his morning conference to appear for free at the Zócalo in Mexico City.
But perhaps what was the jewel in the crown was the nomination for “Un verano sin ti” in the album of the year category at the Grammys, a historic nomination considering that it is the first album sung in Spanish to get it at the Awards. of the Recording Academy that will celebrate its 65th edition on February 5. It is also no coincidence that it is a Bad Bunny album sung in Spanish, the artist defends his language as his identity and has said that he has no plans to sing in English.
“I have been saying it and I always believed from the beginning that I could become great, that I could become one of the biggest stars in the world, without having to change my culture, my language, my language, my slang. I am Benito Antonio Martínez from Puerto Rico to the whole world, thank you!” Bad Bunny said upon receiving his MTV artist of the year award.
FAREWELL TO AN ERA
We probably wouldn’t be talking about Bad Bunny if it weren’t for the fact that in 2004 Daddy Yankee decided to release a song dedicated to girls who like cars and motorcycles, “Gasolina”. The fast-paced and catchy song was the first urban music to reach the top of the world popularity charts, people chanted it and went around the planet from record to record. His impact was such that the Puerto Rican musician celebrated him at the first of his farewell concerts at the Foro Sol.
“This song changed the game forever, this song went viral without social networks, this song was the one that made reggaeton go global, the one that broke borders,” said the Puerto Rican star who accompanied his goodbye tour with the release from his Grammy-nominated album “Legendaddy.”
With his dates at Foro Sol, Daddy Yankee broke attendance records, becoming the first artist in the history of the forum, the second largest in Mexico City after the Azteca Stadium, to have five consecutive dates in which he brought together more than 325,000 attendees.
“You are seeing a real testimony of life, a little boy who started from 0.00 in poverty,” he said in the first of his concerts. “If you are watching me here tonight and you are in the fight and you are in the war, listen to me, you can make your dreams come true tomorrow.”
Other important exponents of the genre that said goodbye during the year were the duo Wisin y Yandel, in their case with 14 consecutive dates at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico for December.
“We are receiving the love in our house, where it all began,” Wisin told PA. “Honestly, we didn’t expect the success of this tour.”
This year they released their stellar album “La última misión” with guests from the new generation such as Rauw Alejandro, Rosalía, Sech and Jhayco. Wisin compared the mark they have left on the Latin urban genre to the first stages of a relay at the Olympics.
“These first and second sections do not reach the finish line, but they have to be important, they have to be well run so that the last ones can reach the finish line,” said Wisin. “We started in the movement, but we didn’t know the business, and today the new generation knows it and that makes you make better decisions, because you don’t go after a dream, you already have an established business. So happy for all of them.”
Yandel highlighted: “The genre is now going to get even stronger.”
THEY ALSO SHINED
In addition to her Latin Grammy for Album of the Year, “Motomami” took home Best Alternative Music Album, Best Packaging Design and Best Album Engineering and earned Rosalía Grammy nominations for Best Rock or Alternative Music Album. Latina and best musical film for his presentation on TikTok.
Anitta became the first Brazilian artist to win an MTV Video Music Award for “Envolver” and is currently nominated for a Grammy for Best New Artist.
On the popularity charts, Bizarrap and Quevedo were a consistent presence in multiple Latin American countries with “Quevedo: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 52” from its release in July through December, reaching the top spot on Spotify’s global chart. And once again Karol G made everyone dance with his world hit “Provenza”.
The Colombian Feid caused a stir when he denounced having been hacked, for which he had to bring forward the release of his album “Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo” which ended up being a success on the popularity charts since its release in September.
Rauw Alejandro had a good second half of the year with “Saturno” and Maluma got a Grammy nomination with “The Love & Sex Tape”, an album he released because “I needed to make a little music for the street, for the fans. of reggaeton, reggaeton of the bush,” he told the AP.
RECOGNITION FROM YOUR COLLEAGUES
The Uruguayan alternative artist Jorge Drexler, the top winner of the Latin Grammys, with six statuettes, showed how the impact that urban artists are having on music worldwide has been recognized even among musicians of other genres.
“I want to dedicate this award to all those who make urban music in Spanish because they have taken the language of the Spanish language to places on the planet that we had never reached before,” he said upon receiving the song of the year award for “Tocarte” from his album “Tinta y tiempo”, which he performs with the Spanish urban musician C. Tangana.
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2022, the year the world danced reggaeton