Latin Grammys 2018: Why Luis Miguel Won Big and J Balvin Won Only One Award


Now that we’ve recovered from Latin Grammy week, we are able to look again dispassionately at an awards present that featured some stunning performances and a few sudden outcomes, notably Luis Miguel’s album of the yr win and J Balvin’s report of the yr loss. 

First, Luis Miguel. The Mexican crooner/celebrity was awarded album of the yr for ¡México por Siempre!, which additionally gained in one of the best ranchero/mariachi album class. The win within the second class, introduced within the pre-telecast, was noticed with barely a ripple. But album of the yr, maybe a very powerful award of the night and introduced towards the top of the stay telecast, resulted in loud boos from the viewers. It was unimaginable to say if the boos have been a results of Luis Miguel not being there to just accept the award or on the Mexican crooner profitable it within the first place. 

Post-show, a number of folks, together with producers, approached me to lament the win. “It’s not about him,” stated one. “But it’s not his finest album. Who would vote for that?” 

Apparently, loads of folks — and voters are entitled to their opinion. Having stated that, a controversial win deserves a proof. 

Luis Miguel is coming from an especially good yr. The Telemundo/Netflix sequence based mostly on his life (and sanctioned by him) is great and surprisingly candid about each the singer and the music trade as an entire. It’s been a powerful success. Luis Miguel’s ¡México por Siempre! tour has additionally been a powerful success, and by Nov. 29, he’ll have carried out 31 sold-out dates at Mexico’s Auditorio Nacional, a report for the venue (the earlier report was additionally Luis Miguel’s: 30 sold-out dates in 2006). In the U.S., his touring numbers are solely behind Jennifer Lopez’s thus far this yr.  

As an album, ¡México por Siempre! didn't do too shabby, both, debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Albums chart and at No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. 

But most significantly, Luis Miguel is a venerable identify in Latin music competing for high Latin album, a class that had no different names together with his historical past within the working. If you recall, final yr’s winner on this class was Ruben Blades, an icon, competing with an album that few folks had heard. In the Latin Grammys (as with the Grammys), all members can vote in the principle classes, which signifies that very often, the best-known identify will win, significantly if voters will not be acquainted with the remainder of the fabric. 

In this case, nonetheless, Luis Miguel did have a giant, blockbuster contender — J Balvin’s Vibras — in addition to different high quality competitors, together with Kany García’s Soy Yo (which I had predicted would win, bearing in mind the Academy’s eclectic nature). 

But if familiarity plus high quality was the profitable equation, this could have gone to Vibras, which has been lauded as an city album that pushed the boundaries of the style, incorporating a number of influences past what’s conventional for reggaetón; witness the participation of Carla Morrison (who carried out with Balvin on the present) and Rosalía. It was additionally a globally profitable album in nearly each territory, much more so than Luis Miguel’s. 

But Balvin remains to be seen as a reggaetón act, and that clearly doesn’t resonate with many Latin Grammy voters, to such a level that Balvin — the main nominee with eight nods — took dwelling just one award, for finest city album. 

Balvin acknowledged the resistance in his profitable speech: “Reggaetón has saved lives. It has motivated folks to go away the streets and seek for different issues,” he stated onstage.  “Let's not kill the desires of latest composers and producers. Let’s worth new blood as a result of we’re the way forward for music. Obviously respecting our legendary artists, however it’s time to create new legends.”

On Thursday evening (Nov.15), the Latin Grammys weren’t fairly able to create new legends. The report of the yr class, which ought to have gone to Balvin and Willy William’s “Mi Gente” — a observe that broke parameters and was instrumental within the explosion of Latin music worldwide — went to Jorge Drexler’s “Telefonía.” Without minimizing Drexler’s wonderful music, or his stunning track, this award ought to have gone to a recording that contributed to Latin music’s breakout yr. 

If the entire world is able to hear, so too must be Latin Grammy voters.