J Balvin performs at the 2020 Latin GRAMMYs
Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for the Latin Recording Academy
J Balvin, Bad Bunny, Anitta & More: 10 Unforgettable Moments From The 2020 Latin GRAMMYs
In the face of an ongoing pandemic, global quarantines and facemasks everywhere, the 2020 Latin GRAMMYs remained the Biggest Night in Latin Music.
The Latin Recording Academy hosted the 21st Latin GRAMMY Awards, held Thursday (Nov. 19) in Miami, this year without a live audience or the usual red carpet due to the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Actress Yalitza Aparicio joined Ana Brenda Contreras and Carlos Rivera on hosting duties. One large change to the awards show was the shift to having a few of the night's performances streamed from different cities in Latin America, including Guadalajara, Madrid, Buenos Aires, San Juan and Rio de Janeiro. One thing that didn't change, however, were the surprises and memorable performances throughout the history-making night.
GRAMMY.com relives the Biggest Night in Latin Music with 10 unforgettable moments from the 2020 Latin GRAMMYs.
The Show Opened With A Powerful Tribute To Salsa Legend Héctor Lavoe
The 2020 Latin GRAMMYs began with a bang as Sergio George led his band into the opening notes of Héctor Lavoe's "El Cantante," as singer Ricardo Montaner sang the famous first four words of the song: "Yo, soy el cantante" ("I am the singer"). Jesus Navarro and Victor Manuelle joined in to accompany him soon after. The trio of singers were clearly in their element, but the party truly began once the band reached the chorus as Best New Artist nominee Rauw Alejandro walked out with the Original Rude Girl herself, Ivy Queen. The end result was a loving and moving tribute that set the tone for the rest of the night.
Susana Baca Dedicates GRAMMY Win To Young People And Workers Fighting For Change In Peru
Susana Baca is a legend in her own right, and her name is synonymous with her homeland of Perú along with the Incas and Machu Picchu. With her homeland currently living through politically tumultuous times, it's no surprise that the folk singer, who twice moonlighted in an official political capacity, had something to say about the current events in her country. Baca, who served as Perú's Minister of Culture in 2011 and as the President of the Commission for Culture (2011 - 2013) for the Organization of American States, dedicated her Latin GRAMMY award for Best Folk Album to the youth and all working-class people fighting for change in Perú. "I dedicate this to all the young people, especially the young people and all the workers who, each day, build this country we call Perú," she said via video.
Mon Laferte Becomes The Chilean Artist With The Most Latin GRAMMY Wins
Mon Laferte's Latin GRAMMY win this year, for Best Rock Song for her song "Biutiful," cemented her status as one of her country's leading musical artists. The award marked her third Latin GRAMMY win, making her the Chilean artist with the most Latin GRAMMY awards. That title once belonged to La Ley, who won a Latin GRAMMY for Best Rock Album in 2000 and again in 2004. Laferte previously won the Best Alternative Album award in 2019 and Best Alternative Song in 2017, when she was nominated for five different awards.
This year's awards ceremony welcomed the debut of three new categories: Best Reggaeton Performance, Best Rap/Hip Hop Song and Best Pop/Rock Song. Superstars Bad Bunny and Residente were the first to take two of these honors. El Conejito Malo took home the Best Reggaeton Performance award for his celebrated anthem, "Yo Perreo Sola." Residente, no stranger to the Latin GRAMMYS thanks to a record-breaking list of 27 awards, added his 28th Latin GRAMMY to his trophy case as the first winner in the Best Rap/Hip Hop Song category for "Antes Que El Mundo Se Acabe." Meanwhile, Argentine singer and film director Fito Páez took home the first-ever prize in the brand-new Best Pop/Rock Song category for his song, "La Canción De Las Bestias."
Carla Morrison Shares Stage With Ricky Martin For "Recuerdo" Duet
Carla Morrison told GRAMMY.com about her excitement about dueting with Ricky Martin during the Latin GRAMMYs broadcast. As promised, the duo delivered a moving rendition of their duet, "Recuerdo," which is featured on Martin's latest EP, Pausa. Martin, dressed in black, sat next to Morrison, clad in a white dress, as the duo crooned their way through a shorter, though no less emotionally heart-wrenching, version of the song. Martin won the Latin GRAMMY for Best Pop Album that night.
J Balvin's Bleeding Heart
J Balvin really took the show's theme, "Music makes us human," to heart during his performance of his hit song, "Rojo." Balvin took to the stage in a white three-piece suit and stepped out under a large prop designed to look like a pair of arms and hands clasped together in a prayer position. The Colombian artist opened the song by wearing his heart on his sleeve and proclaiming to the world how his "heart breaks and I pray for the world."
The video screens around him flashed scenes of protestors marching for equal rights when, halfway through the song, Balvin spoke to viewers again. This time, the bleeding heart wasn't just metaphorical as fake blood poured out from the left side of his suit's chest into the shape of a heart and ran down his coat. "Even though the world feels bleak," he said during the performance breakdown, "and our fears can overtake us, this is the moment that our hearts, which are bleeding, can feel again, that we can come together and fight for our dreams and a better future."
Bad Bunny Reminds Us Why He's One Of The Best Performers Today
Bad Bunny went above and beyond with his performance at the Latin GRAMMYs as he unveiled what felt like more of a short music video production of a live show. El Conejito Malo started his set behind the wheel of a white Bugatti. He stops to perform "Bichiyal" while flanked by women on motorcycles and four-wheel ATVs. The scene shifts to Bad Bunny on a small stage where an all-woman band with guitars, violins and a drum kit perform a stripped-down version of "Si Veo a Tu Mamá." It all ended with a fireworks show as the cameras pulled back to reveal that the stage he was on was set on top of the second base diamond of Hiram Bithorn Stadium in his native Puerto Rico. Can anyone do it better?!
Anitta's Medley Of Skills
Anitta's rise to stardom was quick, but certainly not a fluke, and she proved why during her two-song performance of "Mas Que Nada" and "Me Gusta," all while making it all look easy. In under three minutes, the Lapa Arches of Rio de Janeiro bore witness as Anitta danced, sung in Portuguese, Spanish and English, and even played a bit of percussion to boot. She was nominated for a Latin GRAMMY in the Best Urban Song category for "Rave De Favela," a banger that features Major Lazer, BEAM and MC Lan.
Lupita Infante's Moving Tribute To Her Grandfather
Like grandfather, like granddaughter. Lupita Infante was one of a few singers at this year's Latin GRAMMYs who carries a family history of legacy. One wouldn't know it, however, from watching her perform a song made classic by her grandfather, Pedro Infante. Lupita paid tribute to her late grandfather, a man who set many benchmarks in Mexican music and film, by performing his classic song, "Amorcito Corazón," backed by the Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández.
Alejandro Fernández, Calibre 50 And Christian Nodal Unite For A Generation-Spanning Performance Of Regional Mexican Music
The past, present and future of regional Mexican music came together under the light of fireworks in the skies of Guadalajara. With Vicente Fernández formally retired (though that didn't keep him from performing at last year's Latin GRAMMYs), his son, Alejandro "El Potrillo" Fernández, has continued his father's tradition of keeping the charro alive. A grand mariachi singer in his own right, Alejandro joined two artists leading the new generation in norteño, banda, ranchera and mariachi music. He and Calibre 50 performed their song, "Decepciones," backed by a mariachi group. Christian Nodal then appeared with his own backing band to perform his mariacheño hit, "AYAYAY!" It all came together when Fernández joined forces with Nodal for a duet performance of their track, "Más No Puedo."