Each year, Billboard offers its analysis of who will win and who should win in the main categories in the Latin Grammys. These are not necessarily our favorites. Instead, these are educated guesses based on the marketplace and past voting behavior.
Below are our selections ahead of Thursday night's (Nov. 14) Latin Grammys ceremony. (For simplicity’s sake, we are only listing the title and artist for each nomination, not full credits.) The Latin Grammys air live Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET from Las Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
"Parecen Viernes" — Marc Anthony
"Verdades Afiladas" — Andrés Calamaro
"Ahí Ahí" — Vicente García
"Kitipun" — Juan Luis Guerra 4.40
"Querer Mejor" — Juanes Featuring Alessia Cara
"La Plata" — Juanes Featuring Lalo Ebratt
"Aute Couture" — Rosalía
"Mi Persona Favorita" — Alejandro Sanz & Camila Cabello
"No Tengo Nada" — Alejandro Sanz
"Cobarde" — Ximena Sariñana
Who Should Win: Juan Luis Guerra’s “Kitipun” is completely different from what we hear today, but the sound is vintage and powerful Juan Luis Guerra. It speaks to his essence. Likewise, Marc Anthony’s “Parecen Viernes” is sophisticated, beautifully produced tropical music that takes the genre to another level.
Who Will Win: All eyes are on Rosalía and her new take on flamenco. While her songs are not immediately hummable, the way she produces them breaks rank in many ways. The world expects her to win. On the other end of the spectrum, Juanes’ “La Plata” featuring Lalo Ebratt would be a nod for this year’s Person of the Year.
SONG OF THE YEAR:
"Calma" — Pedro Capó
"Desconstrução" — Tiago Iorc
"El País" — Rubén Blades
"Kitipun" — Juan Luis Guerra
"Mi Persona Favorita" — Camila Cabello & Alejandro Sanz
"No Tengo Nada" — Alejandro Sanz
"Quédate" — Kany García & Tommy Torres
"Querer Mejor" —Juanes Featuring Alessia Cara
"Un Año" —Sebastián Yatra Featuring Reik
"Ven" — Fonseca
Who Should Win: “Un año” by Sebastian Yatra featuring Reik is a modern pop song that’s a standout in the middle of an urban world and in this category, in the middle of many legacy names. Likewise, Pedro Capó’s “Calma” is a breath of fresh air; the little song that could thanks to its sunny outlook.
Who Will Win: "Mi Persona Favorita” by Camila Cabello and Alejandro Sanz marries the perennially favorite Sanz with Cabello, a coming together of generations, languages and styles. The meaningful lyrics add weight. But this win will likely go to “Querer Mejor" by Juanes featuring Alessia Cara. Its stable of songwriters, from Camilo to Tainy, guarantee a strong voting base; it’s a prime example of collaboration; and, of course, it’s Juanes.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Visceral – Paula Arenas
Paraíso Road Gang – Rubén Blades
Cargar La Suerte – Andrés Calamaro
Agustín – Fonseca
Vida – Luis Fonsi
El Mal Querer – Rosalía
#Eldisco – Alejandro Sanz
¿Dónde Bailarán Las Niñas? – Ximena Sariñana
Mas De Mi – Tony Succar
Fantasía – Sebastián Yatra
Who will & should win: This is a standout category. But our bet is on Rosalía’s El Mal Querer, an ambitious, forward-looking album with roots in tradition. The ability to blend past and present and capture a global imagination makes this album, in our opinion, the front-runner.
BEST NEW ARTIST
Elsa y Elmar
Who will & should win: Hard to imagine this award going to anyone other than Paulo Londra, the maverick Argentine rapper who bucks trends with his romantic, melodic fare. Collabs with the likes of Ed Sheeran should definitely up the ante. Having said this, Colombia’s dynamic Greeicy also has a strong shot here, especially at a time when the world is looking for women. Nella, with her lustrous voice, is also someone to look out for.
BEST URBAN/FUSION PERFORMANCE
"Tenemos Que Hablar" — Bad Bunny
"Calma (Remix)" — Pedro Capó & Farruko
"Pa' Olvidarte (Remix)" — ChocQuibtown, Zion & Lennox, Farruko Featuring Manuel Turizo
"Con Calma" — Daddy Yankee Featuring Snow
"Otro Trago" — Sech Featuring Darell
Who will & should win: In this marvelously competitive category it is truly near impossible to pick. Every track here is an example of something done right artistically and executed well commercially. With that as a starting point, our bets are on Pedro Capó and Farruko’s “Calma,” which managed to cross the pop-urban line like few tracks this year.