J Balvin Earns 13 Latin Grammy Award Nominations, Including Two for Album of the Year

J Balvin is the man to beat…

The Latin Grammy Award nominations have been announced, with the 35-year-old Colombian reggaeton singer leading the pack of nominees with 13 nominations.

J Balvin

J Balvin’s nominations include two for album of the year and two for record of the year (“Rojo” & “China”).

Balvin has a chance to win his first album of the year prize — a category with 10 contenders — thanks to his fifth solo album “Colores” and “Oasis,” his collaborative project with Bad Bunny. Other nominees include Bad Bunny’s sophomore release “YHLQMDLG” as well as albums from Ricky Martin, Carlos Vives, Jesse & Joy, Kany García, Natalia Lafourcade, Camilo and Fito Paez.

Bad Bunny received nine nominations, including two for album of the year (YHLQMDLG & Oasis) and one for record of the year (“Vete”).

Ozuna has eight nominations, including one for record of the year (“China”).

For record of the year, which also has 10 nominees, contenders include popular hip-hop-flavored Latin songs that have dominated the Latin music charts and earned hundreds of millions plays on streaming services, with some even reaching the billion-mark on YouTube, including Karol G and Nicki Minaj’s global hit “Tusa” and “China” by Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna, Balvin and Marco Masis. Other nominees include Balvin’s “Rojo” and Bad Bunny’s “Vete.”

“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 29-year-old Colombian performer, who was named best new artist in 2018, has four nominations, including two shared with Minaj. Karol G’s fiance, Puerto Rican rapper-singer Anuel AA, marked a major breakthrough this year as a first-time nominee. He scored seven nominations, including a bid for best new artist.

“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.”

As a result of last year’s debacle 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.”

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.

Balvin’s 13 nominations includes several categories where he will compete with himself: Outside of album and record of the year, he’s a double nominee in the best urban music album, best urban fusion/performance and best reggaeton performance categories. Ozuna and Bad Bunny will also compete with themselves in several categories.

Others who scored multiple nominations include Juanes, Martin, Alejandro Sanz, Camilo, Carlos Vives, Kany García and Residente, the most decorated winner in the history of Latin Grammys. Rosalía, who won album of the year last year and became the first solo female performer to win the top honor since Shakira’s triumph in 2006, earned four nominations this year.

Apart from Minaj’s two nominations, other popular American artists who will compete for awards include rapper Travis Scott (best short form music video for “TKN” with Rosalía); jazz master Chick Corea and his Spanish Heart Band (best Latin jazz/jazz album for “Antidote”); DJ-producer Diplo (best urban song for “Rave de Favela” ); and rapper Tyga (best reggaeton performance for “Loco Contigo” with DJ Snake and Balvin). Justin Bieber’s right-hand songwriter, Jason Boyd aka Poo Bear, earned an album of the year nomination for his work on Jesse & Joy’s “Aire (Versión Día).”

The 21st annual Latin Grammy Awards will air live on November 19 on Univision. The nominees in the 53 categories were selected from more than 18,000 entries. Songs and albums released between June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020 were eligible for nomination.

Click here to see the full Latin Grammy nominations.

Jessie Reyez to Perform at This Year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards,

Jessie Reyez is celebrating her Latin roots…

The 29-year-old Colombian-Canadian singer and Grammy nominee will perform at this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards, which are less than a month away.

Jessie Reyez

 

Reyez joins a roster of newly confirmed A-list artists set to perform at the Billboard awards show.

Reyez joins a roster of new additions to the lineup that includes Anuel AA, Banda MS, Carlos Vives, Chesca, Daddy Yankee, Kendo Kaponi, Luis Fonsi, Manuel Turizo, Pablo Alborán, Paulina Rubio, Pitbull, Rauw Alejandro, Raymix, Reik, and Yandel.

They join the previously announced performers Armando Manzanero, Black Eyed Peas, Farruko, Gente de Zona, Gerardo Ortiz, Jesse & Joy, Maluma, Myke Towers, Ozuna, Sech, and Wisin.

The 2020 BLMAs, led by top finalists Bad Bunny and Ozuna, are the only awards show to honor the most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin music, the awards are determined by the actual sales, streaming, radio airplay, and social data that informs Billboard‘s weekly charts during a one-year period from the rankings dated February 2, 2019, through this year’s January 25 charts.

The event is coinciding with Billboard’s Latin Music Week 30th anniversary, a three-day virtual experience dedicated to Latin music, culture, and entertainment, The Billboard Latin Music Awards 2020 will broadcast live from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on October 21 via Telemundo.

For more information and to RSVP for Latin Music Week, visit BillboardLatinMusicWeek.com.

Jesse & Joy to Perform at This Year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards

Jesse & Joy are returning to performing in October…

The Latin Grammy-winning Mexican sibling duo will take the stage at this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Jesse & Joy

Jesse & Joy, comprised of Jesse Huerta Uecke and Joy Huerta Uecke, join a roster that includes Ozuna, Gerardo Ortiz, Farruko, Gente de Zona, SechMyke Towers and The Black Eyed Peas.

Jesse & Joy released their latest album, Aire (Versión Día), in May.

The awards show is set to take place on October 21 live from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, which boasts of a state-of-the-art set including five distinct stages to accommodate multiple live performances.

Aside from show-stopping performances, the show will also celebrate Latin music’s finest, and honor this year’s finalists, which include Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Daddy YankeeJ Balvin and Karol G, among others.

The complete list of finalists were announced earlier this year with Bad Bunny and Ozuna leading the list with 14 mentions each. Daddy Yankee and J Balvin both have 12 finalist mentions; Anuel AA has 11; and Farruko has 10.

See the complete list of finalists here.

The Billboard Latin Music Awards will kick-off at 7 p.m. ET with a red carpet pre-show followed by the three-hour awards show featuring live performances by today’s top Latin artists to honor the most popular albums, songs and performers in Latin music.

Carlos López Estrada Co-Directing Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Feature “Raya and the Last Dragon”

There’s a bright raya of light for Carlos López Estrada.

The 31-year-old Mexican-American music video, commercial and film director will co-direct Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon, starring Kelly Marie Tran as titular heroine.

Carlos Lopez Estrada

Raya and the Last Dragon is set in the fantasy kingdom of Kumandra and follows a warrior who teams up with a crew of misfits in her quest to find the Last Dragon and bring light and unity back to their world. Tran is part of the voice cast that includes Awkawafina, who plays a dragon in human form named Sisu.

Raya and the Last Dragon

Lopez Estrada will co-direct the film with Don Hall, Paul Briggs and John Ripa.

Playwright Qui Nguyen serves as a co-writer with Adele Lim on the project.

“As filmmakers, Don and Carlos bring a combination of animation know-how and emotional storytelling to Raya and the Last Dragon, bringing our fantasy adventure to surprising, original, and dynamic heights,” said Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Jennifer Lee. “They both saw the potential for this film and had a strong vision for the story, especially for our lead character, played by the wonderfully talented Kelly Marie Tran. And no small feat, directors Don and Carlos, writers Qui and Adele, and the entire crew of 400 Disney Animation artists are making this film together, while separated and working from home.”

Raya and the Last Dragon is set to debut on March 12, 2021.

Lopez Estrada, who earned a Latin Grammy in the Best Short Form Music Video category for directing Jesse & Joy’s “Me Voy” music video, previously directed Blindspotting.

Bad Bunny to Receive Hispanic Heritage Award for Vision

Bad Bunny’s vision is being recognized…

The 26-year-old Puerto Rican singer/rapper will receive the  Hispanic Heritage Award for Vision from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) during this year’s Hispanic Heritage Awards.

Bad Bunny

Bad Bunny, who is also known for his activism, will receive the award during the awards broadcast on PBS stations on October 6.

Bad Bunnyjoins past honorees like fellow hitmaker J Balvin who received the vision award in 2016 and brother-sister duo Jesse & Joy, the 2018 winners.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is honored to recognize the transcendent impact of Bad Bunny as an artist and as an activist through the Vision Award,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of HHF.

He continued, “Bad Bunny understands his responsibility to serve as a powerful voice for those who need to be heard as well as a source of inspiration for our youth.  He radiates his Latinx and Puerto Rican pride in everything he does from the stage to the community to the entire world.”

Now in its 33rd edition, the Hispanic Heritage Awards recognize the contributions and accomplishments of Latino leaders in various fields while celebrating cultural pride and the great promise to America.

This year will see the Hispanic Heritage Awards broadcast on PBS presented in a “unique documentary style,” and will include honoree profiles and special performances filmed in intimate settings.

Gloria “Goyo” Martínez Helps Launch the Latin Music Industry’s BLM-Inspired ‘Conciencia Collective’

GloriaGoyoMartínez is standing in solidarity with the Black community…

The 37-year-old Colombian singer and member of the Latin Grammy-winning hip-hop group ChocQuibTown has joined the Conciencia Collective

Gloria "Goyo" Martínez

The recently-announced initiative, comprised of more than 35 executives from the Latin music industry — including artists, activists, artist managers, publicists, among others – aims to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Mattermovement in an effort to create awareness about racial and social injustice.

Conciencia Collective was born amid national outrage in the U.S. over the recent killings of George FloydBreonna Taylorand other black citizens who’ve died at the hands of police. The intention is to “educate our colleagues, artists and peers of influence in order to gain their advocacy. Our ongoing initiatives also focus on the many issues affecting our Latin community,” according to a press release. 

Goyo, a leading, Afro-Latinx voice launched the initiative with a poignant statement.

“I’m talking to you as a Black woman, rapper, singer, born in South America. In an invisible region, a jewel in my country; a Black village,” writes Goyo. “The experiences that we Black women live change you from the moment you leave your home. Society reminds you that at home, you live in a protected space. At home, we are educated with tools to go out into a racist world. As Howard C. Stevensonsaid, ‘we [as Black people] are educated with a kind of a racial literacy.'”

Goyo kicked off a “Conciencia Talk” alongside Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Rafa Pabónin partnership with Latinx-focused media/news company MiTú on Friday, June 26.

The “online dialogue” was moderated by Afro-Colombian Dr. Aurora Vergara Figueroa, director of the Afrodiasporic Studies Centerat ICESI University.

Quotes on solidarity and racial inequality from more than 100 Latin artists, including Leslie GraceAnuel AAJesse & JoyMyke TowersCarla MorrisonZion & Lennox, and Farruko, among others, will be posted weekly on MiTú’s page.

“In order to consciously educate the Latinx community and change the derogatory narratives towards people of color within our community, we commit to leading with acknowledgement in solidarity with the Black community to enable the rise of leaders in our respective communities,” the statement continues.

“We want to extend our platforms to our brothers and sisters so that their voices and needs can be heard. We want our brothers and sisters across the U.S. and Latin America to know that we see them, we hear them and we will champion equality and justice on behalf of our industry.”

Good Deed Entertainment Acquires Rights to Carlos López Estrada’s “Summertime”

There’s no Summertime sadness for Carlos López Estrada

Good Deed Entertainment has acquired the North American distribution rights from Los Angeles Media Fund to the 31-year-old Mexican-American music video, commercial, and film director’s Summertime, which was the opening film of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Carlos Lopez Estrada

Summertime chronicles the intersecting stories of 25 young spoken-word poets over a day in Los Angeles. 

Estrada directed from a script written by 27 poets from the literary organization Get Lit, who also star in the film, and playwright Dave Harris. The film marks Estrada’s follow-up to Blindspotting.

Kimberly StuckwischJeffrey SorosAlisa TagerSimon HorsmanDiane Luby Lane and López Estrada produced the film. In addition to producing, Los Angeles Media Fund fully financed the project.

“It’s rare these days to find something so impactful and wholly unique,” said Scott Donley, CEO and founder of Good Deed Entertainment. “But Summertime is just that. We’re beyond excited to be able to share this heartfelt viewing experience with audiences across the country.”

Lopez Estrada made his feature film directorial debut in 2018 with Blindspotting

In 2018, he directed the music video for Billie Eilish‘s “When the Party’s Over.” He earned a Latin Grammy for directing Jesse & Joy’s “Me Voy” music video.

Jesse & Joy Release Star-Studded “Love (Es Nuestro Idioma)” Music Video in Support of LGBTI+ Community

Jesse & Joy are spreading the love with some all-star assistance…

The Mexican Latin Grammy-winning brother and sister duo has released the official music video for “Love (Es Nuestro Idioma)” and it features appearances by nearly 200 people from around the world, including artists like ThalíaJuanes and more.

Jesse & Joy

The music video speaks out against violence toward the LGBTI+ community and raises awareness about conversion therapies that to this day take place in Mexico and other parts of the world.

“Our music will always be there to remind you that you are beautiful just as you are,” the Mexican previously said about the song, included in their recently-released album Aire. “It’s called ‘Love’ and talks about love being the universal language, the language that all of us should speak.”

Toward the end of the video, the message is loud and clear: “A sexual orientation is nothing something that should be cured. Conversion therapies are acts of torture and violation of privacy.”

Featuring cameos by Latin artists like Mon Laferte, Natalia JiménezÁngela Aguilar, Alejandro SanzLaura PausiniKany GarcíaAna BárbaraTommy Torres, Sofía Reyes, Luis Fonsi, among others, the video was directed by Kacho López and Joy. 

The release coincides with the landmark ruling officially protecting LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination issued by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Profits from the video will be donated to the YAAJ MEXICO Foundation to help the organization continue their social work in Mexico and for their work supporting sexual violence young victims.

Jesse & Joy Release New Track “Love (Es Nuestro Idioma)” to Commemorate Pride Month

Jesse & Joy are spreading some Love this Pride Month

The Mexican brother & sister duo, comprised of Jesse Eduardo Huerta Uecke and Tirzah Joy Huerta Uecke, kicked off Pride Monthby releasing “Love (Es Nuestro Idioma),” a new track featured on their new album Aire.

Jesse & Joy

“Our music will always be there to remind you that you are beautiful just as you are,” Jesse & Joy said in the homemade video released on their Instagram page. “It’s called ‘Love’ and talks about love being the universal language, the language that all of us should speak.”

On the post’s caption, they elaborated that the song and video are in celebration of Pride Month and was a previous presentation for, LGBTI organization Yaaj Mexico.

“Do not let anyone tell you that it is wrong to love,” they stated of the uptempo acoustic song.

Spotify Enhanching Its ¡Viva Latino! Playlist with Exclusive, Original Content from Daddy Yankee & More

Spotify is upping it’s Latin Music game…

Spotify’s ¡Viva Latino! Playlist, which launched in 2014, has been connecting music lovers with some of the most established voices en el mundo Latino and giving a platform to emerging acts, all the while bridging cultural gaps regardless of language or origin.

Spotify x Daddy Yankee

But Spotify knows there’s more to music than just the finished product, and there’s more to an artist than what we hear on a single track. That’s why Spotify is upping the ante every Friday with a constantly refreshing playlist that brings fans even closer to their favorite Latin artists like J BalvinShakira or Daddy Yankee.

Starting this week, the new ¡Viva Latino! feed comes equipped with exclusive, original content, including videos from artists of all genres, behind-the-scenes tracks, and more.

According to Rocio Guerrero, head of global cultures at Spotify, the new enhanced playlist is poised to change the game, giving fans unparalleled access to the movers and shakers making a name for Latin music around the world.

“It’s a new playlist that we believe will take Latin culture to the next level. I don’t think there’s anything like it. It will have its own identity, original music videos and cover stories. We are relaunching [Viva Latino] with original music videos and audios. Every week we are going to have editorial content.”

Spotify isn’t stopping at behind-the-scenes exclusives, video premieres and original editorial content. They’re simultaneously introducing ¡Viva Latino! A Spotify Original Podcast, where every two weeks Latin music’s megastars contextualize their latest global hits charting on the Viva Latino playlist. The podcast is scheduled to feature luminaries like Jennifer LopezJesse & JoyBecky GBad BunnyCarlos Vives and Bomba Estéreo, among many others.

Guerrero looks no further than this year in Latin music as an indicator of the genre’s promising future in pop culture.

“The recent successes of Latin artists such as Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and J Balvin have shown us that music today knows no geographic boundary or language. Latin music has truly become a universal language. We want to not only celebrate, but continue to foster that growth by bringing fans one step closer to their favorite Latin artists, while giving emerging artists a platform to reach new ears.”

To get things started properly, Spotify has recruited some of the biggest names in music to help celebrate their first week:

11/14: Daddy Yankee ft. Bad Bunny “Vuelve”
11/15: Bomba Estereo “Química”
11/16: J Balvin “Mi Gente”
11/17: Luis Fonsi’s new single featuring Demi Lovato.
11/18: Carlos Vives “Nuestro Secreto”
11/19: Anittas new single “Downtown” featuring J Balvin.

The new ¡Viva Latino! is available in the U.S. and Latin America on both mobile (iOS & Android) and desktop for free and premium users. Check it out here.