Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
10 Moments From The 2022 Latin GRAMMY Awards: Rosalía's Big Wins, A 95-Year-Old Best New Artist & Christina Aguilera Goes Ranchera
Soulful, sensuous and visually stunning performances from Marco Antonio Solís, Ángela Aguilar, Anitta and others prove the vibrancy and multifaceted nature of Latin music.
There’s still hope in these uncertain times of ours when a nonagenarian singer of sweet boleros can win a Latin GRAMMY in the Best New Artist category.
The 23rd edition of the awards not only gave audiences hope, but thrilled with a sprawling, vibrant banquet of sounds, colors and textures from more than 30 countries. The star-studded show demonstrated — one soulful, visually stunning performance at a time — that Latin music is not a single, monolithic genre.
From anthemic Mexican rancheras to bouncy reggaetón riddims and stark confessional ballads, these are the highlights of a ceremony that gave us many moments to cherish.
The Spirit of Salsa Lives On
At a time when salsa is often remembered as a beloved artifact from decades past, Marc Anthony deserves accolades for remaining true to the genre that made him a tropical icon during the ‘90s.
Backed by a seasoned orchestra led by keyboardist and producer Sergio George, Anthony performed a feverish reading of "Mala" — off his 2022 album Pa’llá Voy — heavy on the trombone riffs and byzantine piano tumbaos. "I’d rather sing than talk," the 54 year-old quipped when receiving the Latin GRAMMY for Best Salsa Album. "Mala" was also victorious in the Best Tropical Song category.
Rauw Alejandro Is Here To Stay
In a way, Rauw’s tight, intense performance celebrated his confirmation last year as one of Latin music’s biggest global stars. A medley including bits from "Desesperados" and "Lejos del Cielo," felt both smooth and urgent, and showcased his multiple talents as dancer, songwriter and vocalist.
The finale, a kinetic reading of "Punto 40" — his remake of the classic reggaetón cut by Baby Rasta & Gringo — proved that the Puerto Rican tastemaker has found a creative sweet spot. He is also listed as a contributor on MOTOMAMI, the Album of the Year winner by girlfriend Rosalía.
Christina Habla Español
Accepting her award for Aguilera in the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album category, Ecuadorian/American diva Christina Aguilera remarked that she had wanted to record another Spanish language album since the release of Mi Reflejo in 2000.
The two-decade wait was definitely worth it, as her voice sounded deliciously gritty on her performance of rousing ranchera "Cuando Me Dé La Gana" with Christian Nodal, whose EP #1 FORAJIDO won the Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album race. Fittingly, their duet concluded with fireworks.
It’s Never Too Late — Seriously
As a rule, ties in award ceremonies leave behind a lukewarm aftertaste. In the case of this year’s Best New Artist, however, the joint victory of 25 year-old Mexican songstress Silvana Estrada and 95-year-old Cuban singer Ángela Álvarez was hands down the most emotional moment of the evening.
Both women recorded luminous albums marked by a deep reverence to the folk roots of Latin America. "This is for my dear homeland, Cuba — a place I will never forget," said Álvarez, standing next to her grandson, Los Angeles-based producer Carlos José Álvarez. After receiving an ovation, she left behind some inspiring artistic advice. "Even though life is difficult, I promise that with faith and love, it’s never too late."
An Album For The Ages
Released in March of this year, Rosalía’s MOTOMAMI is a cultural landmark — a conceptual work of limitless imagination and wondrous stylistic plurality. It won awards for Best Album Of The Year, Best Alternative Music Album, Best Recording Package and Best Engineered Album.
The Spanish singer’s performance reflected MOTOMAMI’s own opulence. Wearing sunglasses and bright red lipstick, she played the piano and performed an achingly vulnerable "HENTAI," before launching into a gorgeous version of post-modern bachata "LA FAMA." The buoyant "DESPECHÁ," a recent single, found her dancing among the crowd, with a brief pit stop to greet boyfriend Rauw Alejandro.
Moving Urbano Forward
2022 has been a particularly creative year for Karol G. Her ongoing collaboration with fellow Colombian producer Ovy On the Drums expanded the urbano landscape with a cinematic scope.
Her deeply emotional performance functioned as a summary of her recent achievements. It began with a languid quote from "GATÚBELA," then quickly morphed into the familiar strains of mega-hit "PROVENZA," which she performed walking down the aisles of the venue, followed by her dancers. Back onstage, she beamed dancing to the progressive post-reggaetón beat of brand new single "CAIRO," with Ovy playing ominous keyboard patterns.
Past And Present Of A Mexican Legend
A prolific singer/songwriter with a Midas touch for timeless romantic hits, Michoacán native Marco Antonio Solís was honored as the 2022 Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year with a special gala held the night before the awards.
Solís performed twice during the ceremony — first as a solo artist with majestic readings of "Si No Te Hubieras Ido" and ranchera-pop "La Venia Bendita," and then a sentimental "La Cárcel" with former group Los Bukis. "You’re not only the pride of Mexico, but of all Latinos," enthused presenter Emilio Estefan Jr. Solís expressed his gratitude and underscored the relevance of younger artists carrying the torch of Latin sounds around the world.
A Brazilian Diva Channels Reggaetón
A native of Rio de Janeiro, Anitta conquered the mainstream on the strength of a cosmopolitan musical palate that embraces reggaetón beats and lush strains of Latin pop. Her performance at the Awards was appropriately electric, beginning with the booty-grinding "Envolver," then segueing into the tribal excesses of "Rave de Favela," her orgiastic collaboration with Major Lazer. Far from relying on musty bossa novas, the Latin GRAMMYs found in Anitta a glimpse of Brazilian futurism.
An Uruguayan Maestro Wins Big
A perennial Latin GRAMMY favorite, Jorge Drexler added seven trophies to his collection, including the coveted Record and Song Of The Year awards.
The veteran troubadour appeared genuinely surprised as the Latin GRAMMYs kept piling up, but anyone who listened to the lovely orchestral arrangements of his album Tinta y Tiempo could have anticipated this moment. A collaboration with Spanish enfant terrible C. Tangana, "Tocarte" is an electro-canción gem, and Drexler performed it with Elvis Costello. "Vamos, Elvis," he exclaimed, just as the British legend launched into a blistering guitar solo. In one of his acceptance speeches, Drexler showed his generosity of spirit by thanking urbano artists for disseminating the beauty of Latin sounds internationally.
The Future Is Now
Having Nicky Jam perform a moody rendition of "El Perdón" — his smash collaboration with Enrique Iglesias — is in itself cause for celebration. But the singer went a step forward and created an indelible moment by inviting four young artists to join him onstage. Xavier Cintrón, Valentina García, Nicolle Horbath and Sergio De Miguel Jorquera are recipients of the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation’s Prodigy Scholarships. The pairing of veteran stars with talented new voices was magical.
Photo: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images
Rosalía Announces First Solo North American Tour
El Mal Querer Tour, named after the Spanish pop star's latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances
Rosalía is set to perform at some of the most popular music festivals around the globe, including Primavera Sound in Spain, Lollapalooza (Argentina and Chile) and Coachella, but the Spanish pop star isn't stopping there when she gets to the States. Now, she has announced her first solo North American Tour with a string of dates that will bring her to select cities in the U.S. and Canada.
El Mal Querer Tour, named after her latest album, will come to Los Angeles on April 17 in between her Coachella performances. Then she'll play San Francisco on April 22, New York on April 30 and close out in Toronto on May 2.
"I’m so happy to announce my first solo North American tour dates," the singer tweeted.
Rosalía won Best Alternative Song and Best Fusion/ Urban Interpretation at the 19th Latin GRAMMY Awards in November and has been praised for bringing flamenco to the limelight with her hip-hop and pop beats. During her acceptance speech she gave a special shout-out to female artists who came before her, including Lauryn Hill and Bjork.
Rosalía has been getting some love herself lately, most notably from Alicia Keys, who gave the Spanish star a shout-out during an acceptance speech, and Madonna, who featured her on her Spotify International Women's Day Playlist.
Tickets for the tour go on sale March 22. For more tour dates, visit Rosalía's website.
Get Familiar With The Best New Artist Nominees At The 2022 Latin GRAMMYs
Learn more about the 11 rising stars nominated for Best New Artist at the 2022 Latin GRAMMYs: Angela Alvarez, Sofía Campos, Cande Y Paulo, Clarissa, Silvana Estrada, Pol Granch, Nabález, Tiare, Vale, Yahritza Y Su Esencia, and Nicole Zignago.
The below article is an excerpt from the 2022 Latin GRAMMYs program book, which you can read in full here.
As some of the biggest artists, songs and albums in Latin music are celebrated at the 2022 Latin GRAMMYs, so will its next generation in the Best New Artist category.
This year, there are 11 nominees: Angela Alvarez, Sofía Campos, Cande Y Paulo, Clarissa, Silvana Estrada, Pol Granch, Nabález, Tiare, Vale, Yahritza Y Su Esencia, and Nicole Zignago. Whether you're a huge fan or new to the names, GRAMMY.com has all the info you need to know about each of those artists ahead of the Nov. 17 broadcast.
Below, get to know all of the 2022 Latin GRAMMY Best New Artist nominees. Then, be sure to tune into the 23rd Latin GRAMMY Awards on Univision at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT) to see which rising star wins!
The 2022 Latin GRAMMYs will also air on cable channel TNT at 19.00 (MEX) / 20.00 (PAN-COL) / 21.00 (VEN) / 22.00 (ARG/CHI/BRAZIL), and on Televisa Channel 5. The show will also be available on HBO Max in Spanish only.
Angela Alvarez's story is like something out of a movie. At an early age, she was forbidden by her father from pursuing a career singing in Cuban nightclubs. After the Cuban Revolution, she made the harrowing decision to send her four children to the United States. After joining them later and building a life in her adopted homeland for decades, her grandson, composer Carlos José Alvarez, recorded her performing the songs that had entertained countless family gatherings. Condensing an entire life into one powerful hour, her self-titled debut was a sensation. It not only made the 95-year-old bolero singer the oldest Latin GRAMMY nominee, but also a film star, with an acclaimed biographical documentary (Miss Angela) and a role in the latest remake of Father of the Bride. — Andrew Casillas*
Sofía Campos, an independent singer/songwriter from Argentina who makes dreamy, inviting and heartfelt music in Spanish and Portuguese, describes it as "a mix of the places I've visited: Brazil, Mexico, Argentina." In 2021, she self-released her sunbeam-filled 10-track sophomore album, Lugares Imaginarios, recorded with producer Matías Cella. It features her beautiful collaboration with Natalia Lafourcade, "Verde Nocturno," as well as one with her brother, Chaco Campos, "Segredos Nossos." She released her first EP, Rosa Laranja, in 2018, followed by her debut album, Salvar El Fuego, in 2019. The prestigious South by Southwest Conference selected her to perform as an official artist at its Austin, Texas, festival in April, her first U.S. show. Campos wears her heart on her sleeve with her music, which is perfect for a walk admiring nature or a laid-back cafecito break. — Ana Monroy Yglesias
Cande Y Paulo
Cande y Paulo embody all that is unexpected and sensuous in a style that blends jazz, the classics and the unflinching daring. One day in 2017 this duo decided to upload to social media their performance of the eternally beloved song by Luis Alberto Spinetta, "Barro Tal Vez." A few months and 10 million views later, many discovered that the Cande Buasso y Paulo Carrizo duo was a force to be reckoned with. Hailing from a valley in the San Juan province of Argentina, they're both tenacious, products of a classical music education and families with diverse tastes in music and rhythms. Paulo impresses with his musical prowess, and Cande bewitches with her velvet voice. The end result is a sound that has already traveled much further than they ever imagined. — Ana Santiago
Going from social media influencer to Latin GRAMMY nominee in the span of a year and a half would be a feat for anyone. But for Brazilian indie pop chanteuse Clarissa Müller, it seems almost expected. She has a versatility that's exceedingly rare these days and that is reflected on her self-titled debut EP. Anyone expecting simple songs about overnight fame will be quickly surprised, however, as Clarissa explores themes like love, desire and empowerment with a startling maturity. Perhaps this is best showcased on the single "Ela," which details a burgeoning same-sex romance and the accompanying fear, anxiety, affection and tenderness that are familiar to anyone who's ever been in love. — Andrew Casillas
Silvana Estrada calmly entered the Latin music landscape, and her poetic revolution instantly began. Reared in a family of luthiers in Coatepec, Veracruz, where the son jarocho resonated, the singer and multi-instrumentalist searched her soul to find her voice early on. Her roots, also inspired by jazz, run deep in Latin American folklore, cultivating a powerful, intimate voice that at times channels the spirit of its greats; think Chavela Vargas or Mercedes Sosa. One quality of her raw, hushed voice is that it can turn fiery in an instant. Paired with the pristine fingerstyle of her Venezuelan cuatro, it can evoke the twinkling of a starry night, and the sky's more thunderous moments too. Despite her latest work sprouting from lost love (2022's "Marchita" or "withered"), it flourishes brilliantly like a rose sprouting from concrete. — Isabela Raygoza
Barely into his teens, Pol Granch (born Pablo Grandjean) began to release songs on social media. In 2018, a TV musical talent contest in his native Spain, Factor X España, opened doors for him. In 2019, he released his first single, "Late," and a self-titled EP. They would be followed by a debut album, Tengo Que Calmarme. Since then, however, the agenda of this pop singer/songwriter, who also claims French heritage, has been anything but calm. Last year, he found widespread recognition with a single and remix, "Tiroteo," featuring Marc Seguí and Rauw Alejandro, respectively. And this year, the twentysomething has another album to his name, Amor Escupido. Spit Love? Well, no one ever said love was easy to understand. — Juan Carlos Pérez-Duthie
With his rugged mix of cowboy-pop with an R&B sensibility, up-and-coming Colombian troubadour Nabález is someone to watch. Growing up in Atlanta, Felipe González Abad got immersed in the world of gospel and country, but his heart is clearly in his Colombian heritage as he delves ever deeper into the art of the Latin American ballad. As a producer, the beatmaker started cooking tracks for Latin pop stars like Bebe, Greeicy and Karen Méndez, which elevated his proficiency in contemporary pop. As a solo artist, Nabález set his sights on the regional Mexican music horizon, mastering genres such as ranchera and banda. With a string of successful singles that comprise his ranchera debut and with worthy collaborators such as Majo Aguilar (granddaughter of Antonio Aguilar, an icon from Mexican cinema's golden age), his star will only shine brighter. — Isabela Raygoza
Venezuelan-Peruvian newcomer Tiare's aptly titled debut EP Dieciséis is a compositional snapshot with material she wrote between the ages of 13 and 16.
It displays thematic maturity and a knack for songwriting. And her mostly
acoustic guitar-driven pop ballads "La Española," "Líneas De Tu Mano" and "Evaluna" showcase Tiare's songwriting talents and her ability to convey coming- of-age themes in a nuanced and relatable way within a warm, flamenco-tinged vocal delivery and skillful guitar. "Evaluna," produced by Latin GRAMMY-nominated hitmaker Periko (Periko & Jessi León), surpassed one million views on YouTube. It's evidence that Tiare's talents are rooted in her ability to connect with a wider audience through her music. — Lissette Corsa
Vale, the Colombian duo comprised of twin sisters Valentina and Valeria Pérez, displays a rare combination of voices that are at once diaphanous and strong, and they're causing quite a stir in the Latin indie-pop music scene. Together they float ethereally as they overlap and meld harmoniously against a beguiling blend of R&B and folk-pop. Their latest album, Línea Recta, is a collection of eight tracks described by the sisters as "a tribute to imperfections and real beauty." Vale's otherworldly melodies and minimalist acoustic arrangements connote light effervescence on the surface and something deeper within, draped in heartfelt lyrics and tender poeticism, that explore the many crevices where love likes to hide. — Lissette Corsa
Yahritza Y Su Esencia
They've been called the great new promise of regional Mexican music, even though at the beginning of the year, the vocalist of Yahritza y Su Esencia was still in high school. Along with her instrumentalist brothers, Jairo and Mando, Yahritza Martínez grew up in a working-class family in Yakima, Washington. As a small child, she picked fruit in the fields, and at 13 she composed "Soy El Único," with which she tasted digital fame on YouTube. Today, the three Martínez siblings are with Lumbre Music. The label's directors saw a video of a cover made by the group and became, like the title of the trio's debut EP, Obsessed. No matter what the future holds, these young talents understand that they must preserve what sets them apart them: their essence. — Juan Carlos Pérez-Duthie
This past year, Nicole Zignago has gone from behind-the-scenes hitmaker into the spotlight. The Peruvian singer/songwriter made her reputation co-penning global hits like Sofía Reyes' "1, 2, 3" and Mariah Angeliq's "Taxi." After signing with Warner Music México late last year, Zignago debuted as an artist in May with the EP Así Me Siento Hoy. As the title suggests, she has compiled a collection of six deeply personal songs that showcase her versatility. Soaring ballad "Preguntas" finds her processing her feelings after a difficult breakup. Later, in the flamenco-infused "Feelings," Zignago has shaken off the heartbreak. She also embraces elements of R&B in the funky love song "Me Gusta Que Me Gustes." Zignago, also known for being the daughter of singer Gian Marco, is now making a name for herself. — Lucas Villa
Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com
Christina Aguilera Recalls Singing "Beautiful": "GRAMMYs Greatest Stories"
Learn how show producer Ken Ehrlich's suggestion helped shape Aguilera's iconic performance; tune in to "GRAMMYs Greatest Stories" Nov. 24 on CBS
Christina Aguilera has made six trips to the GRAMMY stage as a featured performer. Over the years, she's shared the spotlight with GRAMMY winners such as Herbie Hancock, Lil' Kim, Missy Elliott, and Pink. She even helped pay tribute to the legendary Aretha Franklin in a stunning medley with Jennifer Hudson, Florence Welch, Yolanda Adams, and Martina McBride.
Integral to the success of the performance was Aguilera's posture and presentation, which she reveals was a difficult pose to hold while singing, but ultimately a challenge she overcame.
"Ken Ehrlich suggested I get down on my knees, and sing the song in sort of a kneeling position," Aguilera reveals. "I think it added to the vulnerability I was trying to pull off in the performance."
Watch Aguilera and other artists discuss the most memorable performances in GRAMMY history on the TV special "GRAMMYs Greatest Stories: A 60th Anniversary Special," airing Friday, Nov. 24 from 9–11 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.
(L - R): Machine Gun Kelly, Charli XCX, Saweetie, Earl Sweatshirt, Rosalía
(Source Photos L - R): Rich Fury/Getty Images for dcp; Jason Koerner/Getty Images; Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for iHeartRadio; Marc Grimwade/WireImage; Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
30 Must-Hear Albums In 2022: Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B, Rosalía, Machine Gun Kelly, Charli XCX, Saweetie & More
2022 has no shortage of new albums to keep your shuffle hard at work. GRAMMY.com compiled a list of 30 upcoming releases — from Kid Cudi, Earl Sweatshirt, Combo Chimbita, Dolly Parton, and Guns N' Roses — to keep you moving in the new year.
Editor's Note: This piece has been updated to reflect release dates and album titles announced after publishing.
While it may feel like there's not much to look forward to during yet another wave of COVID-19, music fans around the world are eagerly waiting to load their playlists with new releases as 2022 gets underway.
And there's certainly plenty to look forward to: Along with The Weeknd, who released his fifth studio album, Dawn FM, on Jan. 7, superstars like Machine Gun Kelly, Camila Cabello, Dolly Parton, Guns N' Roses, and Rosalía have all announced or teased albums coming this year.
The pandemic may have slowed things down, but there's no stopping artists in 2022. Keep an eye out for these 30 albums from ENHYPEN, Mitski, Saweetie, Bastille, and many more.
The Weeknd, Dawn FM
Release date: Jan. 7
Only a year removed from his incendiary Super Bowl Halftime Show performance, the crowned pop prince of Canada returns with the semi-surprise Dawn FM, a hotly anticipated follow-up to his record-breaking 2020 release, After Hours (you know, the one with "Blinding Lights" and "Save Your Tears" on it).
As The Weeknd's album teasers promised, Dawn FM delivered sinister synthesizers, a vocal appearance from Jim Carrey, and old-man makeup that's arguably only slightly less distressing than his wax-faced After Hours persona.Max Martin is back (on lead single "Take My Breath"), and other guests include Tyler, the Creator and Oneohtrix Point Never.
As for what the three-time GRAMMY winner wants his listeners to take away from his latest work? "Picture the album being like the listener is dead," The Weeknd told Billboard. Capisce? — Brennan Carley
ENHYPEN, DIMENSION : ANSWER
Release date: January 10
Seven-piece boy group ENHYPEN may still be relatively new to the K-pop scene (the band formed in 2020 on the Korean survival competition show "I-Land"), but they're already making moves to put themselves in the ranks of BTS and EXO. Their latest release, DIMENSION : ANSWER, marks the group's first studio repackage album, expanding on their 2021 debut set, DIMENSION : DILEMMA.
DIMENSION : ANSWER will feature three new tracks,: "Polaroid Love," "Outro : Day 2," and lead single "Blessed-Cursed." Fans got a first taste of the three B-sides thanks to an album preview the group released on Jan. 4, which teased a wide array of sounds: punchy pop-sprinkled production on "Polaroid Love," sultry R&B vocals with "Outro : Day 2," and guitar-heavy rock on "Blessed-Cursed." With such vast musical prowess, DIMENSION : ANSWER may just be the group's ticket to K-pop superstardom. — Taylor Weatherby
Cordae, From a Bird's Eye View
Release date: Jan. 14
Cordae set the bar high with his GRAMMY-nominated debut album The Lost Boy and emerged as one of the most exciting new talents of 2019, making his return to the game with his hotly anticipated second album.
The Maryland-raised rapper held fans over with his Just Until… EP last April before launching into his album rollout with the braggadocious hit, "Super" and a collaboration with Lil Wayne, "Sinister." The 24-year-old wordsmith — known for his reflective, carefully-crafted raps — said From a Bird's Eye View was inspired by "a life-changing trip to Africa, enduring the loss of a friend gone too soon and evolving as an artist and a man."
The album will also mark Cordae's first full-length effort since the official disbanding of his YBN collective in 2020. — Victoria Moorwood
Animal Collective, Time Skiffs
Release date: Feb. 4
Followers of experimental pop adventurers Animal Collective have waited six years for a new album following 2016's Painting With. At last, the four-piece will release Time Skiffs, an album full of otherworldly harmonies and mind-opening melodies.
Animal Collective has released two singles from the LP so far: the gently psychedelic "Prester John" and the equally trippy "Walker." The latter is a tribute to Scott Walker, the prolific singer-songwriter who died in 2019. Its beautifully intricate music video, directed by band member Dave Portner and his sister Abby, brings the Time Skiffs album cover to life in vivid detail. — Jack Tregoning
Avril Lavigne, Love Sux
Release date: Feb 25
Like everything Y2K, pop-punk is making a comeback. And nearly 20 years since the release of her seminal pop-punk debut Let Go, Avril Lavigne brings back her pop-punk princess persona in all its glory — combat boots and all. In early November, the "Sk8r Boi" singer shared her the angsty anthem "Bite Me," first new single in over two years, featuring Travis Barker.
With the new music, Lavigne also shared she had signed to the drummer extraordinaire's label DTA Records. Her seventh studio album is set to be the artist's first LP since her more traditional pop LP Head Above Water in 2019. — I.K.
Release date: Jan. 14
Like everyone else around the world, electronic shapeshifter Simon Green had a very unusual past two years. The British musician and DJ, better known as Bonobo, found himself grounded in his adopted home of Los Angeles, itching for new inspiration to get through the pandemic. His wanderings took him from a tent in the Californian desert to a new appreciation for modular synths back home in lockdown, all with a nervous eye on the precarious state of the world.
This activity fed into a flood of music which we'll soon hear on Bonobo's seventh studio album, Fragments, out on Ninja Tune. Fragments features guests including Jamila Woods, Joji and Kadhja Bonet, while channeling influences from UK bass, Detroit techno and global music through Bonobo's widescreen lens. The producer is already up for two Best Dance/Electronic Recording awards at this year's GRAMMYs, for "Heartbreak," his collaboration with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, and "Loom," with Ólafur Arnalds. Bonobo begins a tour of the US in February, giving fans a few precious weeks to soak up the album before its live debut. — J.T.
Earl Sweatshirt, SICK
Release date: Jan. 14
With a decade-plus of acclaimed projects such as 2018's Some Rap Songs, Earl Sweatshirt is both an underground hero and a critic's darling. He hasn't achieved the same level of mainstream success as former Odd Future colleagues Tyler, the Creator and Syd – which is fine with him.
Judging from SICK's lead track "2010," where he pays homage to his mother in cryptic terms, the 10-track album promises to be another collection of stylized verses, dusty beats and autobiographical confessions (albeit rendered in a clearer voice than his previous album, 2019's lo-fi affair Feet of Clay). As its title suggests, SICK was inspired by the pandemic. "My whole thing is grading things on the truth, you know what I mean? However expansive or detailed the truth is," he told Rolling Stone. — Mosi Reeves
iann dior, On To Better Things
Release date: January 21
After blasting onto the scene with his 24kgoldn team-up (and runaway smash) "Mood" in 2020, iann dior hasn't slowed down, releasing an EP and countless other collabs. On To Better Things marks dior's first full-length album since 2019, serving up 15 tracks that will help the rapper truly come into his own.
Like the Lil Uzi Vert-assisted "V12" and the racing single "Let You," On To Better Things will see dior further explore his capabilities as a rapper while also tapping into his alt-pop/rock sensibilities. Judging by his previous releases, dior won't be afraid to get raw and real on his latest project as he opens up about love, relationships and loyalty. There may be glimmers of hope on the album, though, as dior captioned a post teasing the album, "life is better now." — T.W.
Combo Chimbita, IRÉ
Release date: Jan. 28
The melding of cumbia beats and psychedelic vibes was embraced during the '70s by many pioneering outfits in Peru and Colombia. Since the release of their 2017 debut, New York quartet Combo Chimbita has built on that foundation, amping up the mystical tinge of its material through the soulful chanting of extraordinary vocalist Carolina Oliveros.
Always ready to speak up on social and political issues, Chimbita uses cumbia as a starting point, adding swashes of funk and soul, Afro guitar lines and atmospheric samples. The band's new album expands its palette, enhancing lead single "Oya" with a video shot at the ruins of Puerto Rico's abandoned Intercontinental Hotel. A tour with the awesomeLido Pimienta will follow soon. — Ernesto Lechner
Release date: January 2022
Anticipation surrounding Aaliyah's fourth album has been building since 2012, when Blackground Records released "Don't Think They Know," which paired the late singer's vocals with Chris Brown, and a Drake collaboration, "Enough Said." The long-awaited arrival of her back catalog to streaming last fall added fresh fuel for a project that has been controversial, with some diehard fans questioning whether it honors Aaliyah's legacy.
Unstoppable includes guests like Snoop Dogg, Future and Ne-Yo. The first single, a woozy ballad titled "Poison," features The Weeknd as well as lyrics originally written by the late Static Major. "Some of the people Aaliyah liked are on the album. She loved Snoop Dogg," Blackground CEO and Aaliyah's uncle Jomo Hankerson told Billboard. "Everything I do at Blackground is always with her in my heart and my mind." — M.R.
Bastille, Give Me the Future
Release date: Feb. 4
If the pandemic had even a glimmer of a bright side, it comes courtesy of musicians like Bastille pivoting and positioning their art to address the present, as Give Me the Future promises to do.
Bandleader Dan Smith had already begun work on the English pop-rock group's fourth album before COVID-19 threw a wrench in his plans, but the pandemic made the album's probing themes seem that much more prescient. Glistening songs like "Thelma + Louise" and the vocoded "Distorted Light Beam" dig more deeply into Bastille's exploration of escapism when the troubles of the world are thundering outside our windows, all with the help of new collaborators Rami Yacoub and One Republic's Ryan Tedder. We promise it's way more fun than it sounds. — B.C.
Mitski, Laurel Hell
Release date: Feb. 4
Mitski almost pressed pause on her music career which, according to a Rolling Stone interview, was "shaving away my soul little by little." After a final performance, "I would quit and find another life." Fortunately, though, Mitski has stuck with it.
Three years since the release of her fifth studio album Be the Cowboy, the indie singer-songwriter is set to share her forthcoming project Laurel Hell. While the majority of the LP was penned in 2018, it wasn't mixed until 2021, making it the longest the singer has spent on one of her records. What listeners can expect is a transformative set of songs that pair Mitski's signature vulnerability with uptempo dance beats and, ultimately, catharsis. — Ilana Kaplan
Guns N' Roses, Hard Skool EP
Release date: Feb. 25
In 2021, 36 years after the band first formed in the hard rock hotbed of Los Angeles, Guns N' Roses returned with two new singles. This productive streak was remarkable enough in itself given the group's notoriously haphazard release schedule. The singles "ABSUЯD" and "Hard Skool" are doubly remarkable, though, because they usher in a new EP that brings beloved members Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan together again after 28 years.
Reinterpreted from the band's Chinese Democracy sessions, "ABSUЯD" features a raw, punk-tinged sound that surprised some fans before rewarding repeat listens. "Hard Skool," meanwhile, harkens back to the classic sound that Guns N' Roses perfected in the late 1980s. The Hard Skool EP will feature the two 2021 singles alongside live renditions of GNR favorites "Don't Cry" and "You're Crazy." To mark this new era, the band is touring arenas throughout 2022, reuniting Axl, Slash and Duff as a powerhouse onstage trio. — J.T.
Take a Look Back: Guns N' Roses' 'Appetite For Destruction' | For The Record
Charli XCX, CRASH
Release date: March 18
Pop polymorph Charli XCX has been promising fans her sellout era for months now ("tip for new artists: sell your soul for money and fame," she tweeted last July), ushered in with last summer's "Good Ones" and buoyed into the holidays with "New Shapes," a powerhouse team-up with Caroline Polachek and Christine and the Queens.
CRASH is the fifth and final album she owes Atlantic Records — a benchmark not lost on fans or Charli herself. For it, Charli promises edge-of-your-seat appearances from Rina Sawayama, frequent collaborator A. G. Cook, and frequent Weeknd cohort Oneohtrix Point Never. Come for the bloody album artwork, stay for the cheeky, self-aware pop concoctions contained within. — B.C.
Dolly Parton, Run, Rose, Run
Release date: March 2022
The beloved, multi-GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter Dolly Parton has built a career as a trailblazer, so it stands to reason that her next musical effort would carry on that grand tradition. Run, Rose, Run is an album of original tunes taking its energetic moniker from a companion novel that Parton co-authored with the acclaimed writer James Patterson.
According to Parton, the accompanying album consists of "all new songs written based on the characters and situations in the book" and centers on a tale about a girl who treks to Nashville to pursue her dreams. Adds Patterson, "the mind-blowing thing about this project is that reading the novel is enhanced by listening to the album and vice versa." Both projects are dropping in tandem. It's a unique undertaking that celebrates a smoldering passion for music; but if you've been following the legend's career, would you expect anything less? — Rob LeDonne
Maren Morris, Humble Quest
Release date: March 25
GRAMMY-winning singer Maren Morris has conquered modern country music with her soulful solo material and even forayed into pop (just mentioning "The Middle" will glue its sticky chorus to your every waking moment for the next week). So whatever magic Morris might make with her highly anticipated third album, Humble Quest, is cause enough for celebration.
Morris kicked off her next LP with "Circles Around This Town," an expansive, freewheeling single that blends the echoing production of her 2016 debut HERO and super-personal lyrics of 2019's GIRL. The album will be Morris' first since the untimely 2019 passing of her longtime creative partner busbee, but her partnership with pop hitmaker Greg Kurstin (who produced "Circles Around This Town" as well as four GIRL tracks) hints that this next project is going to be a timeless trip and an emotional walloping. — B.C.
Thomas Rhett, Where We Started / Country Again: Side B
Release date: April 1 / Fall 2022
Though country music has always been the core of what Thomas Rhett has done since his debut album (2013's It Goes Like This), the star's 2021 set, Country Again: Side A, was more traditional than his past projects. Clearly his roots (along with the unexpected pandemic-induced downtime) sparked a bout of inspiration, as Rhett announced in November that he'll be releasing Side B as well as another LP, titled Where We Started, in 2022.
Surprisingly, Side B won't be coming first. But it will create one cohesive Country Again narrative once it arrives, as Rhett promised in an interview with Rolling Stone last year — though he did hint that Side B will feature production that's "a smidge more experimental" than Side A. His latest single, the wistful "Slow Down Summer" hints that Where We Started will also bring back more of the pop-leaning production he's incorporated in his previous albums.
Still, that doesn't mean he'll lose sight of the country boy that has been unleashed: In writing all of this music, Rhett told his producers (per Rolling Stone), "This is the direction I'm headed in, and I think I'm gonna be here for a long time." — T.W.
Jack White, Fear of the Dawn / Entering Heaven Alive
Release date: April 8 / July 22
Epic ambition fuels the very essence of rock 'n' roll and Jack White has embodied the genre's weakness for glamour, dissonance and excess since his days with The White Stripes. The reckless propulsion of "Over and Over and Over" — off 2018's Boarding House Reach — proved that he has kept the bravado in his songwriting very much alive.
2022 will find the multi-GRAMMY Award winning singer/guitarist releasing two full-length albums: Fear of the Dawn, led by the wonderfully bombastic single "Taking Me Back," will also include a collaboration with rapper Q-Tip. No details are available on July's Entering Heaven Alive, but the appearance of two albums in the same year is the kind of grandiloquent gesture that rock is in need of more than ever before. — E.L.
Swedish House Mafia, Paradise Again
Release date: TBA, ships April 15
When GRAMMY-nominated Swedish House Mafia announced they were getting back together (and this time for good), fans were cautiously optimistic. The trio of DJ-producers — Steve Angello, Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell — promised a host of new music to mark their return, and so far they've kept to their word. The comeback began with the dark, guest-free "It Gets Better," which deviated from the big-room EDM sound championed by the Swedes up to their split in 2013.
From there, the trio delivered "Lifetime," featuring Ty Dolla $ign and 070 Shake, and "Moth to a Flame," featuring The Weeknd, which became their first major hit of the new era. This flurry of activity sets the stage for Swedish House Mafia's first full album, Paradise Again. As Ingrosso told NME, the album will combine their trademark "Scandinavian melodies with dark production and hard sounds." Starting July 2022, the DJs embark on their first tour in a decade, playing 44 dates throughout the US, UK and Europe. — J.T.
Jason Aldean, Georgia
Release date: April 22
Jumping on country music's 2021 double album trend, Jason Aldean issued Macon, the first half of his own two-disc set, Macon, Georgia, in November. The title is an homage to his hometown, which he refers to as a "melting pot" that shaped his music, according to Country Now. Yet, the 30-song project expands on Aldean's signature country-rock sound without steering too far away from what fans have grown to love, as evidenced with both Macon and Georgia's crooning lead single, "Whiskey Me Away."
Like its predecessor, Georgia will include 10 new songs and five live recordings of his biggest hits, essentially creating Aldean's first-ever live album.With the aptly titled track "Rock and Roll Cowboy" to boot, Georgia helps make Macon, Georgia a career highlight for Aldean. — T.W.
Machine Gun Kelly, Born with Horns
Release date: TBD
The upcoming sixth studio album from enigmatic rocker Machine Gun Kelly, ominously titled Born with Horns, was rumored to drop on New Year's Eve 2021, but it seems Kelly had a change of heart tweeting "See you in 2022." While the release date continues to be murky, there is some solid information about the highly anticipated fresh slate of music from the multi-hyphenate rockstar.
For one, the album is produced by fellow rock luminary Travis Barker and includes the decidedly dark single "Papercuts." "It feels more guitar-heavy for sure, lyrically it definitely goes deeper, but I never like to do anything the same," Kelly said of Born with Horns in an interview with Sunday TODAY, noting it'll also mark a personal evolution. "I'm not scared anymore, there's nothing holding me back from being my true self — and my true self can't be silenced, can't be restrained." — R.L.
Camila Cabello, Familia
Release date: TBD
There's perhaps never been a better advertisement for an album than Camila Cabello's edition of NPR's Tiny Desk. Released last fall, the session begins with three old songs and ends with two Familia cuts strong enough to bowl you over. In just 20 minutes, the former Fifth Harmony singer genuflects at the altar of pop's past while steering its ship into the future.
"Don't Go Yet" brims with the promise of comfort as it opens with a warm flamenco guitar. "La Buena Vida" is a Mariachi-based explosion of emotion and evocation, anchored by Cabello's arresting vocals. Whereas her prior albums sought to cement the 24-year-old amidst her contemporaries, the uber-personal Familia seems likely to propel her into a whole new pedigree of artistry. — B.C.
Release date: TBD
In 2018, Rosalía's cinematic El Mal Querer signified a before-and-after for the music of Spain and Latin America. A visionary blend of flamenco, hip-hop and confessional torch song, the album introduced her to the world as an intellectual, musicologist and pop diva wrapped up into one slick sonic package. Subsequent singles (2019's "Haute Couture" was a gorgeous slice of electro-pop) demonstrated that Rosalía's path to global domination relies on a voracious curiosity for disparate styles and high-profile collaborators such as Billie Eilish and Bad Bunny.
Titled MOTOMAMI, Rosalía's much anticipated release includes "LA FAMA," a deliciously distorted bachata duet with The Weeknd. We can only imagine what other wonders Rosalía's remarkable imagination has dreamed up for this, her first full-length album since becoming a cultural icon. — E.L.
Saweetie, Pretty Bitch Music
Release date: TBD
Saweetie is set to finally release her debut album, Pretty Bitch Music, this year. After first announcing the project in 2020, the Bay Area native's star power has exploded, reaching new heights last year with major endorsements, her first GRAMMY nominations and a "Saturday Night Live" debut. Pretty Bitch Music was initially slated to arrive in 2021, but Saweetie postponed the effort for some additional fine-tuning.
"I'm just living with it to ensure it's perfect," she told Hollywood Life in August. "I'm really challenging myself and I just want to ensure that I put out a body of work that [will] symbolize art."
Pretty Bitch Music is expected to include Saweetie's 2x Platinum-certified collaboration with Doja Cat, "Best Friend" and her single "Tap In" with production by Timbaland, Lil Jon and Murda Beatz, among other heavy-hitters. — V.M.
Kid Cudi, Entergalactic
Release date: TBD
Three years after it was announced, Kid Cudi's animated music adventure for Netflix is set to arrive this summer, as the rapper declared during his set at Rolling Loud California in December. "I got some tasty surprises," he told fans before offering a snippet of unreleased music that may be on the soundtrack.
Not much else is known about the project, which takes its title from a song on Cudi's 2009 debut Man on the Moon: The End of Day, and which co-creator Kenya Barris referred to as "the most ambitious thing" in a 2019 interview with Complex.
Entergalactic might not be where Kid Cudi stops in 2022, either: Amid his Rolling Loud teases, he said, "I want to drop another album before [Entergalactic]... I really am excited about all this new s, this new music to give to you guys. So that's why I'm teasing this s now, 'cause it's comin' out soon." — M.R.
Beach House, Once Twice Melody
Release date: throughout 2022
Nearly four years since the release of their seventh studio album aptly titled 7, Beach House is slowly unveiling their latest record Once Twice Melody. But instead of dropping all 18 tracks at once, the dreamy indie duo has been giving fans a taste of their new sound in four chapters.
Once Twice Melody is a significant shift as it's the first album produced in full by the band. Beach House also thought about its structure completely differently than they had in the past. "It didn't just feel like a regular, like another album of ours, it felt like a larger, newer kind of way of looking at our music," singer Victoria Legrand told Apple Music. Instead, they view it as "cinematic" and "literary." What fans can expect, they say, is "a lot of love" and "a sacredness of nature." — I.K.
Kendrick Lamar, TBA
Release date: TBD
One of our most celebrated artists of his generation may make his triumphant return this year. Although it's been nearly five years since Kendrick Lamar released his GRAMMY- and Pulitzer Prize-winning album DAMN, Lamar has remained busy. In 2018, Lamar curated the Black Panther soundtrack and he's also made guest appearances on tracks by artists as varied as Nipsey Hussle, Anderson .Paak, U2 and his cousin, Baby Keem.
But Lamar has been mostly mum about his own music, save for an August blog post titled "nu thoughts." "Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family," he wrote, adding that his next album will be his last with Top Dawg Entertainment. It's the sort of thoughtful, precise announcement (and perhaps a hint to his album's content) that fans have come to expect from the notoriously private rapper. Lamar will thankfully make an appearance at this year's Super Bowl in February. — Britt Julious
Cardi B, TBA
Release date: TBD
Despite the slow-burning success of her single "Bodak Yellow," few could have predicted the popularity of Cardi B'sdebut album, Invasion of Privacy. A critical and commercial success, "Invasion of Privacy" won Best Rap Album at the 61st Grammy Awards, making Cardi the first woman to win in the category. That's why anticipation for her sophomore record is so high.
Cardi's brand of hip-hop is provocative and fun, and her two singles (possibly from the record) seem to confirm that same mood is still present in her music. In 2020, she dropped "WAP," a cultural reset of a collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion, and in 2021, she released "Up," which later inspired a viral TikTok dance challenge. As with many artists, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the release of Cardi's new album. But late last year on Instagram Live, Cardi said she has "lots of jobs now" and one of them is to "put out this album next year." Hopefully fans won't have to wait too long. — B.J.
Release date: TBD
If Koffee's latest single is any indication, the youngest GRAMMY Award winner for Best Reggae Album is planning a glorious homecoming in 2022. Sung with a wide smile you can nearly hear, "West Indies" is a dancehall love letter to the islands and an upbeat promise for what the singer has in store on her first full-length.
"I want to speak of a solution and of a way that we can come together and get along, even when things are going wrong," Koffee told Rolling Stone.
Although the pandemic halted her album recording and nixed her first Coachella performance, Koffee defies the dour attitude of much of the past two years. On "West Indies," Koffee assures that she's partying and having the time of her life — her as-yet-untitled album will likely soundtrack yours while you do the same. — Jessica Lipsky
Read More: The Women Essential To Reggae And Dancehall
Girl Ultra, TBA
Release date: TBD
Few musical experiences are as uplifting as listening to a singer/songwriter's follow-up to a brilliant debut, where they enhance the scope of their craft with new influences and sounds. Nuevos Aires, Girl Ultra's first full-length album, was just that – a breath of fresh air for Latin R&B, anchored on the purity of her voice and collaborations with Ximena Sariñana and Cuco (for the languid hit "DameLove.")
Following that 2019 release, the artist also known as Mariana de Miguel returns with a new EP. Lead single "Amores de Droga" evokes the sophistication of Everything But The Girl, combining smoldering vocalizing with cool electro grooves. A study in contrasts, it finds the Mexico City chanteuse reaching a pinnacle of inspiration. — E.L.