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

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 will look again dispassionately at an awards present that featured some stunning performances and a few sudden outcomes, notably Luis Miguel’s album of the 12 months win and J Balvin’s document of the 12 months loss. 

First, Luis Miguel. The Mexican crooner/celebrity was awarded album of the 12 months for ¡MĂ©xico por Siempre!, which additionally received 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 12 months, maybe an important award of the night and introduced towards the tip of the reside telecast, resulted in loud boos from the viewers. It was not possible to say if the boos had 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,” mentioned 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 mentioned that, a controversial win deserves an evidence. 

Luis Miguel is coming from a particularly good 12 months. The Telemundo/Netflix sequence primarily based on his life (and sanctioned by him) is great and surprisingly candid about each the singer and the music business as an entire. It’s been a powerful success. Luis Miguel’s ¡MĂ©xico 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 document for the venue (the earlier document was additionally Luis Miguel’s: 30 sold-out dates in 2006). In the U.S., his touring numbers are solely behind Jennifer Lopez’s up to now this 12 months.  

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

But most significantly, Luis Miguel is a venerable title in Latin music competing for high Latin album, a class that had no different names along with his historical past within the operating. If you recall, final 12 months’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 implies that very often, the best-known title will win, notably if voters are usually not conversant in the remainder of the fabric. 

In this case, nevertheless, Luis Miguel did have a giant, blockbuster contender — J Balvin’s Vibras — in addition to different high quality competitors, together with Kany GarcĂ­a’s Soy Yo (which I had predicted would win, taking into account 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 reggaetĂłn; witness the participation of Carla Morrison (who carried out with Balvin on the present) and RosalĂ­a. 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 reggaetĂłn 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: “ReggaetĂłn has saved lives. It has motivated folks to go away the streets and seek for different issues,” he mentioned onstage.  “Let's not kill the goals of recent composers and producers. Let’s worth new blood as a result of we’re the way forward for music. Obviously respecting our legendary artists, but it surely’s time to create new legends.”

On Thursday evening (Nov.15), the Latin Grammys weren’t fairly able to create new legends. The document of the 12 months class, which ought to have gone to Balvin and Willy William’s “Mi Gente” — a monitor that broke parameters and was instrumental within the explosion of Latin music worldwide — went to Jorge Drexler’s “TelefonĂ­a.” 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 12 months. 

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