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5 Women Essential To Reggaeton: Ivy Queen, Natti Natasha, Karol G, Ms Nina & Mariah Angeliq
In honor of Women’s History Month, GRAMMY.com spotlights the female artists who have helped shape reggaeton, while contributing to its unstoppable force
Historically, reggaeton has been somewhat of a boy’s club — much like the music industry as a whole, for that matter. Women in reggaeton have been a rare breed, particularly when the genre emerged, and it’s only been in the last decade that more female visibility is forming across global Latinx communities.
A female presence in reggaeton should be the norm, though, considering that the genre is bidding for global dominance. "¿Y dónde están las mujeres?," so yells the DJ in basically every single Latin party — yet as "Despacito" became the most watched music video in 2020 and Bad Bunny broke a 64-year-old record on the Billboard 200, reggaeton presented as male-dominated.
Pero las mujeres están aquí: Panamanian songwriter Erika Ender co-authored "Despacito"; Natti Natasha and Becky G slid their way into the billion views club; and Karol G became the first female reggaeton artist to perform at Colombia's historic Estadio Atanasio Girardot. Before such feats were possible, women had to fight their way through.
In the ‘90s, male Puerto Rican DJs created "old school" reggaeton — a robust concoction of Jamaican dancehall, Panamanian reggae en Español and New York Latin rap. The hard-hitting tropical sound was styled for the clubs and, more often than not, accompanied by crass and misogynist lyrics, and collectives like the Noise and DJ Playero delivered mixtapes by the plenty.
Ivy Queen, freshly returning from New York to her native Island, became the first lady of reggaeton, bringing her provocative rap game from abroad. At the turn of the decade, La Sista contributed her invigorating bars to the genre, providing a much needed feminine balance to the scene. A few years later, Puerto Rico-New York twins Nina Sky featured in "Oye Mi Canto," a timeless banger alongside Daddy Yankee and N.O.R.E.. But it would still take a resurgence for more women to represent and be represented.
Fast forward to reggaeton’s second coming of the ‘10s where the genre spread like wildfire in Miami, Colombia, Los Angeles, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and beyond. While male domination seems inescapable in some places, a formidable slew of females boldly stepped into the forefront and would prove their lasting power: Karol G, Becky G, and Natti Natasha. Then, more established singers came into the fore: Anitta from Brazil, Cazzu from Argentina, and Farina in Colombia, as well as rising new talent like Miami-based Boriqua RaiNao. And then there are the dames of neoperreo who formulated their own digitized iteration of the style: DJ Rosa Pistola, Tomasa Del Real, and La Goony Chonga.
By no means is this a comprehensive list, but a starting point to get to know five essential women of reggaeton, who cover sonic ground from various corners of pop culture.
Ivy Queen: The pioneering reggaeton rapper helped put the Caribbean-rooted genre on the global map
The O.G. La Caballota. Ivy Queen is the undisputable queen of reggaeton. As the first lady to join the ranks of the legendary collective the Noise, the singer/rapper instantly impressed the room when she stepped into genre-pioneer DJ Negro’s marquesina in the mid ‘90s and began to ferociously spit what would be her first hit song, "Muchos Quieren Tumbarme."
Alluding to a boxing ring, her power-charged lyrics of female empowerment shone startlingly bright.She unappologetically provided a feminist balance to reggaeton’s hedonistic counterpart. By the turn of the new millennium, she took the genre global with dancefloor anthem "Quiero Bailar" — a flirtatious but dignified track about never confusing perreo with a possible one night stand.
"When I entered the urbano genre to sing reggaeton, there were many lyrics similar to the ones we hear now [in trap] because they denigrated women too much. So the first thing that came out of my mouth was to give respect to the ladies. That was a blessing," she told Rolling Stone.
Decades later, Her Royal Reggaeton Highness still lives up to her name, as testified in 2019’s Llego La Queen, where her linguistic prowess continues to outshine plenty of genre peers. Ivy Queen continued in Rolling Stone, "I always followed lyrical content. I am content. I don’t want to be just a cover that people see on the outside. I want women to feel identified when they listen to me."
Natti Natasha: Reggaeton gets the Dominican treatment
Natti Natasha first broke the internet when she appeared as a love bandit in 2017’s "Criminal" alongside superstar Ozuna for a sizzling duet; its captivating music video has gone on to reach over 2.3 billion viewers. A year later, the Dominican provocateur passed the billion-streaming mark, this time with another female reggaeton powerhouse in tow, Becky G, in the salacious single "Sin Pijamas."
"This type of message is usually given by men," the singer told Deezer about the aforementioned song. "I feel that it was a moment where women felt no shame, in a good way, to say what men usually say."
Claiming influences from Lauryn Hill and Ivy Queen, Natti Natasha is armed with an irresistible smoky flow, and a voice that can turn fiery in an instant. She has become one of the world’s most-watched female artists on YouTube, and the rest is herstory. The singer recently stepped into Dominican dembow, reggaeton’s more hyperactive cousin, with fellow stars El Alfa and Chimbala, for a frisky tropical fête.
Karol G: A Colombian superstar praised as the new queen of Reggaeton
Karol G (née Carolina Giraldo Navarro) is perhaps the most successful female artist to rise from reggaeton’s resurgence. Billboard heralded her as "the Next Latina Queen," her millions of fans praise her as the new queen of reggaeton, and a Univision documentary named her "the warrior of the genre."
Just as Ivy Queen shattered misogynistic boundaries in the ‘90s and aughts within reggaeton, Karol G also stood high as a female powerhouse in a heavily male-dominated space at the start of reggaeton’s second wave. Owning her sexuality over mesmerizing, sensuous vocals, the Colombian artist is an unstoppable hitmaker, releasing timeless songs from the slinky, suggestive "Mi Cama" to the boss-b<em></em><em></em> anthem "Bichota," and the GRAMMY-nominated, violin-laden "Tusa," starring Nicki Minaj.
In 2018, the Medellín singer earned the coveted Best New Artist award at the Latin GRAMMYs. Last year, she dropped a 11x Platinum album, KG0516, which peaked at No. 1 on the US Top Latin Albums charts. "I always wanted to be the biggest in Latin America, and I thought that was the biggest I could get," she told Billboard. "But ‘Tusa’ shook me up. It came to tell me, ‘You’re ready for the world, not just Latin America.'"
Mariah Angeliq: Rising reggaeton star brings her deliciously 'toxic' Miami swagger to the game
With her insouciant vocal delivery, no short of sensuous, Mariah Angeliq is a rising star to watch in the ever-expanding música urbana scene. Proclaimed as La Princesa de Miami, the 22-year-old Cuban-Puerto Rican singer, made her big entrance next to Karol G in last year’s chart-topping smash hit "El Makinon," which earned the fiery duet a No. 1 slot on Latin Airplay.
Angeliq has performed alongside J Quiles, Luísa Sonza and Ludmilla, to name a few, but shows that she can also shine on her own in her latest bad grrl banger, "La Tóxica." With a 2020 EP out Normal, and a slew of sultry singles, the proud 305 artist is currently working on her full-length debut.
Ms Nina: The madam of neoperreo reps bold, sex-positive rap bars
A freakier spin-off to the Caribbean club genre, neoperreo is reggeaton’s digitized, weird cousin. Emerging from the underground of Latinx parties from around the world — with key members making noise in Chile (Tomasa del Real, a.k.a. La Reina del Neoperreo), Spain (Ms Nina) and Miami (La Goony Chonga) — this community of sex positive mostly-female rappers is a defiant presence against the misogynistic wordplay of various male reggaetoneros.
Born in Córdoba, Argentina, Ms Nina, née Jorgelina Andrea, built her music project in Madrid and has been making the rounds as one of the most provocative players of the scene. In 2019, she dropped Perrando Por Fuera, Llorando Por Dentro via Mad Decent and continues to release riveting singles across streaming platforms.
"It’s good to see more women making music now," Ms Nina told Indie Mag. "There’s a growing scene for women in Spain that are making music. They’re doing it really well which inspires more women to be active in making music, because normally they say reggaeton is very machista, and when a woman says equal things she is considered a slut. That’s why I’m trying to create equality for both. Women should feel comfortable being sexy when being out and partying."
Photos: (Top row) Jaime Nogales Medios y Media/Getty Images; Latin GRAMMYs/Getty; Erika Goldring/Getty Images; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Coachella; Mike Coppola/Getty Images (Bottom row) David Livingston/Getty Images; JOSE ALAVEZ
Listen To GRAMMY.com's Hispanic Heritage Month 2023 Playlist: Featuring Shakira, Peso Pluma, Karol G, Bad Bunny, Feid, & More
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, listen to 50 songs by groundbreaking artists from the U.S., Latin America, and Spain.
Latin music continues to make incredible strides, as language barriers between the world and music in Spanish and Portuguese become a thing of the past.
After going through a difficult chapter in her life, Shakira found healing and empowerment through her anthems, including her surprise collaboration with Argentine producer Bizarrap. Karol G made history in March when her album Mañana Será Bonito debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. She became the first woman to top the chart with an all-Spanish LP.
Regional Mexican music became a global force this year thanks to the success of acts like Peso Pluma, Eslabon Armado, Grupo Frontera, Fuerza Regida, and Yahritza y Su Esencia. Many of them argue that Mexican music is no longer regional. Also, Feid, Myke Towers, and Young Miko have become breakthrough stars with their music being streamed on the same level as heavy-hitters in English.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, GRAMMY.com is celebrating Latin music through the biggest and most impactful songs of 2023. Below, take a listen to 50 songs by Latin artists from the U.S., Latin America, and Spain —- including "BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 53" and "Ella Baila Sola" — on Amazon, Apple Music, Pandora and the Spotify playlist below.
Graphic Courtesy of the Latin Recording Academy
Latin GRAMMYs 2023: Hear The Album Of The Year Nominees
Here are the nominees for Album Of The Year at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, which will air Thursday, Nov. 16 from Sevilla, Spain.
The Latin GRAMMYs Album Of The Year category honors the work of both the established leaders and hottest rising stars in Latin music. The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs nominees for Album Of The Year include recordings by reggaeton and pop artists who are breaking down barriers in the music industry, alongside some of the most well-known and beloved singer/songwriters in Spanish.
These 10 albums were chosen to represent the most significant voices in Latin music for 2023: La Cu4rta Hoja (Pablo Alborán), A Ciegas (Paula Arenas), De Adentro Pa Afuera (Camilo), Décimo Cuarto (Andrés Cepeda), Vida Cotidiana (Juanes), Mañana Será Bonito (Karol G), De Todas Las Flores (Natalia Lafourcade), Play (Ricky Martín), Eadda9223 (Fito Páez), and Escalona Nunca Se Había Grabado Así (Carlos Vives).
Ahead of the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, officially known as the 24th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards — which will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16, in Sevilla, Spain — learn about the nominees for this prestigious category. Don’t miss the broadcast on Univision at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT).
La Cu4rta Hoja – Pablo Alborán
Pop singer/songwriter Pablo Alborán closed out 2022 with an explosion of optimism and carefree experimentation titled La Cu4rta Hoja.
Throwing off the isolation of the pandemic, the Spanish chart-topper found himself ready to collaborate. The album features bold duets with música Mexicana star Carín León and Argentinian singer María Becerra, providing Alborán with the opportunity to branch out into genres, such as flamenco, that he’d never flirted with before.
Evidently, he also felt like dancing as the normally ballad oriented artist stacked his album with breezy, playa-ready dance beats. Alborán has already been nominated for 24 Latin GRAMMYs, including a nomination for Best New Artist. He was nominated for Album Of The Year in 2013 for his sophomore album Tanto, making this his second Album Of The Year nomination.
A Ciegas – Paula Arenas
Colombian singer/songwriter Paula Arenas’ career has been defined by an independent spirit since its beginning. The unconventional pop artist sang covers in nightclubs until she scored a hit single with "Lo Que El Tiempo Dejó" (featuring alt-pop legend Esteman) from her self-released debut EP, and except for a brief period with Sony Music Colombia, when she released her debut album Visceral, all her other releases have been with smaller labels.
The indie darling’s roots are still showing on the clever, intimate A Ciegas, which finds her exploring a more stripped down version of her piano driven sound. Lead single "Puro Sentimiento," featuring fellow Colombian Manuel Medrano, shines with quirky-cool, ’80s inspired glamor. Being just a little different doesn’t seem to be holding her back: The video for "Puro Sentimiento" has more than 1 million streams on YouTube and counting.
De Adentro Pa Afuera – Camilo
Iconic, stylish, unforgettable — and we’re not just talking about Camilo's mustache. The mononymous pop singer with the disarming soprano already has a few Latin GRAMMYs to his name, notably album of the year for 2021’s Mis Manos. He’s written hits for Becky G and Bad Bunny, but solo work is where Camilo really lets his creativity off the leash.
The songs on his third studio album, De Adentro Pa Afuera, range from scruffy, loosely slung takes on reggaeton to bouncy folk pop jams that showcase his romantic side. It also hosts such diverse musical guests as Camila Cabello, Myke Towers and Grupo Firme. In the hands of a lesser artist it might be disjointed, but with Camilo at the controls it’s a masterclass in joyful chaos.
Décimo Cuarto – Andrés Cepeda
A master of the devastating love song made an exuberant return this year with help from a few equally formidable friends. Colombia’s Andrés Cepeda corralled the talents of such artists as Ximena Sariñana and Gusi for a delicately tropical, massively emotional album titled simply Décimo Cuarto.
Gentle danzón and milonga rhythms ("Le Viene Bien") and lyrics about love that defies time, space and reality ("En Otra Vida") are just a couple of the elements that make up the album's restrained, yet robust mix. Décimo Cuarto also includes sweeping power ballads with Reik and Joss Favela ("Tu Despertador" and "Si Todo Se Acaba," respectively). Cepeda previously won a Latin GRAMMY in 2013 for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for Lo Mejor Que Hay En Mi Vida.
Vida Cotidiana – Juanes
Loyal fans of Juanes’ rock side were rewarded for their patience when the Colombian superstar released Vida Cotidiana, an epic return to form complete with psychedelic flourishes and a healthy dose of funk and varied Caribbean influences.
Early pandemic quarantine found the artist with a lot of time at home with his family, which provided some of the inspiration for the album. He used the unanticipated pause to study poetry, take voice and guitar lessons, and record the numerous demos that would, in time, become Vida Cotidiana. Juanes said he considers it his best album, and the time and passion he put into it is obvious.
The legendary singer and songwriter has brought home 26 Latin GRAMMYs over the years and, with his 10th solo album he’s made a strong case for a 27th.
Mañana Será Bonito – Karol G
Musical powerhouse, reggaetonera and general bichota, Karol G is one major reason why all eyes are on Colombia. After establishing herself as a hit-making star in the adjoining worlds of reggaeton and Latin trap is clearly enjoying her success and savoring the moment.
As you might be able to guess from the sunshine and rainbows doodled on the album cover, Mañana Será Bonito was one of 2023' most fun albums, bubbling over with sass and unapologetic sexuality. Everyone is invited to the party: Mañana Será Bonito has features with Romeo Santos, Shakira, Carla Morrison and Sean Paul. It debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 200 making it the first all-Spanish language album by a female artist with that distinction.
De Todas Las Flores – Natalia Lafourcade
De Todas Las Flores is the first collection of completely original material from Mexican singer/songwriter Natalia Lafourcade since 2015’s critically acclaimed Hasta La Raiz (for which she received two Latin GRAMMYs).
Both Lafourcade and producer Adán Jodorowsky took a less-is-more approach on this new offering, which allowed for a subtle play of emotion on songs such as the aching title track. Famously a fan of Mexico’s rich musical heritage, De Todas Las Flores finds Lafourcade experimenting with stripped down cumbia and son, while also branching out into other regions of Latin America with bossa nova, samba and bolero. The understated arrangements perfectly complement the profound and profoundly personal tracks, which Lafourcade has described as "a musical diary."
Play – Ricky Martín
After winning a Latin GRAMMY for his 2020 EP Pausa, Ricky Martín returned in 2022 with the logical bookend: a second EP titled Play. The Puerto Rican icon made the first recording in response to the cumulative challenges in his home island, ranging from Hurricane Maria to the pandemic. It also tackled heavy issues and served as a kind of therapy for Martín, who had started suffering from panic attacks.
If Pausa was a held breath, Play is the satisfying exhale. More upbeat and even decidedly danceable in the case of the songs "Ácido Sabor" and "Paris in Love," it represents a return to life, if not a return to normal, and a focus on the romance and sensuality for which Martín has long been world famous.
Eadda9223 – Fito Páez
The Argentinian rocker’s latest full-length is a revisiting of his epochal El Amor Después del Amor, this time letting a few more folks in on the caper. Besides the aforementioned co-conspirators, Páez is joined by Ca7riel and many other Argentinian iconoclasts who no doubt owe something to the trailblazing rock en español singer/songwriter. Each track on Eadda9223 is reimagined: The new version of "Sasha, Sissí Y El Círculo De Baba" with Mon Laferte crackles with Tex-Mex electricity that bears no connection to the original, but is a perfect vehicle for Laferte’s vocal range and flair for drama.
Escalona Nunca Se Había Grabado Así – Carlos Vives
What happens when a legend offers a tribute to a legend? Escalona Nunca Se Había Grabado Así, the Carlos Vives album celebrating the music of vallenato composer Rafael Escalona answers that question with moving clarity.
Vives has brought the tropical sounds of Colombian vallenato to the world mixing them with pop and rock music, becoming a major star in the process. His deepest debt is to Escalona, who is remembered in Colombia as a storyteller and legendary personality.
Escalona Nunca Se Había Grabado Así updates the Escalona’s famous compositions while striving to preserve their inherent spirit. The album is also a celebration of Vives’ own career, which now spans three decades. In addition to his innovation and longevity, Vives is an extremely prolific artist whose many releases have brought him two GRAMMYs and 15 Latin GRAMMYs.
Graphic Courtesy of the Latin Recording Academy
Latin GRAMMYs 2023: Record Of The Year Nominees — Read Them Here
Here are the nominees for Record Of The Year at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, which will air Thursday, Nov. 16 from Sevilla, Spain.
The Latin Recording Academy has just announced the nominees for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, which air Thursday, Nov. 16, from Sevilla's Conference and Exhibition Centre (FIBES), marking the first-ever international telecast in the history of the organization and awards. This year, 11 performing artists and producers have a chance at one of the night's top awards: Record Of The Year. Christina Aguilera, Pablo Alborán, Paula Arenas with Jesús Navarro, Bizarrap with Shakira, Fonseca with Juan Luis Guerra, Karol G, Natalia Lafourcade, Lasso, Maluma with Marc Anthony, Rosalía, and Alejandro Sanz with Danny Ocean have been nominated in the category this year.
Below, get to know all of the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs Record of the Year nominees. Then, be sure to tune into the 24th Latin GRAMMY Awards on Univision at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT) to see who wins!
"No Es Que Te Extrañe" – Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera rounded out her self-titled Latin album last fall with "No Es Que Te Extrañe," one of her most personal songs. The pop icon highlighted her Latina heritage by embracing the music stylings of pasillo, a popular genre in Ecuador.
Aguilera's powerhouse voice soars as she sings about finding healing and closure from a traumatic childhood experience. The song builds from a vulnerable ballad to a moment of flamenco-infused catharsis.
"Carretera y Manta" – Pablo Alborán
Musical worlds collide in Pablo Alborán's "Carretera y Manta," in which the Spanish singer/songwriter blends '80s-inspired pop with elements of contemporary Latin urbano beats.
The standout single from his La Cuarta Hoja album, Alborán sings about not worrying about the destination, but instead enjoying the journey to get there. Alborán is known for big ballads and with this carpe diem anthem, he shows off a more upbeat and danceable side to his artistry.
"Déjame Llorarte" – Paula Arenas Feat. Jesús Navarro
Colombian singer/songwriter Paula Arenas explores the emotional depth of Latin pop music in "Déjame Llorarte," teaming up with Jesús Navarro, the powerhouse voice behind Mexican group Reik.
The heartfelt ballad is centered by Arenas and Navarro's sweet shared harmonies, which detail moving on from a breakup. Backed by piano and strings, the soulful collaboration was included on Arenas' A Ciegas album.
"Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" – Bizarrap Feat. Shakira
Shakira turned a difficult time in her personal life into a global moment of empowerment. The Colombian pop icon teamed up with Argentinian producer Bizarrap for "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53."
Bizarrap seamlessly blends elements of EDM and Latin urbano music, as Shakira unleashes her inner "She Wolf" once again. In her Bzrp session, Shakira gave women wronged by an ex a kiss-off anthem that is packed with plenty of punchlines. "Women no longer cry, women get paid," she sings in Spanish.
"Si Tú Me Quieres" – Fonseca & Juan Luis Guerra
Two giants in Latin music joined forces on the romantic "Si Tú Me Quieres." Colombia's Fonseca teamed up with Juan Luis Guerra, who hails from the Dominican Republic. The traditional vallenato sound of Fonseca's country is beautifully blended with the tropical music that Guerra is known for.
The dreamy duo serenade listeners around the world, trading verses about the power of love behind a kiss.
"Mientras Me Curo Del Cora" – Karol G
In addition to scoring further reggaetón hits from Mañana Será Bonito, Karol G also showed versatility to her artistry on her latest album.
The Colombian superstar sampled the feel-good classic "Don’t Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin in "Mientras Me Curo Del Cora." With a bit of reggaetón in the mix, she turns a dark moment in her life into Latin pop positivity and allows listeners get to know Carolina Giraldo Navarro — the woman behind Karol G.
"De Todas Las Flores" – Natalia Lafourcade
After paying homage to the music of Mexico and Latin America in her past few releases, Natalia Lafourcade returned last year with De Todas Las Flores, an album of all original music.
On the hypnotic title track, Lafourcade shows why she is one of Mexico's most exciting and innovative alternative acts. Lafourcade masterfully melds the sound of her guitar, folkloric Latin music, and jazz in the song where she mourns the memories of a past romance.
"Ojos Marrones" – Lasso
Last year, Lasso scored one of the biggest global hits that was outside the Latin urbano genre. The Venezuelan singer/songwriter channeled the spirit of '70s soft rock in "Ojos Marrones, citing Fleetwood Mac as one of his inspirations for the alluring love song.
With his raspy voice, Lasso sings about getting lost in his partner's brown eyes. Lasso continued to put a refreshing spin on the music of pop past throughout his album Eva.
"La Fórmula" – Maluma & Marc Anthony
To tap into the sound of salsa music, Maluma teamed up with one of the genre's giants. In "La Fórmula," the Colombian superstar joined forces with Nuyorican icon Marc Anthony for a charming duet.
The colorful and sweeping song was included on Maluma's Don Juan album. Backed by a full band and tropical beats, Maluma and Anthony sing about wanting to reignite the romance with an old flame.
"Despechá" – Rosalía
Rosalía continued to push Latin music to new places in the deluxe version Motomami, last year's Latin GRAMMY Album Of The Year winner.
This year, the Spanish pop star blended elements of merengue, pop, and house music in "Despechá." Instead of being bogged down by a breakup, Rosalía gets the mambo dance line started while singing about cutting loose with her close friends. The genre-bending track was Rosalía's fierce remedy for channeling spiteful feelings into a cathartic club experience.
"Correcaminos" – Alejandro Sanz Featuring Danny Ocean
Spanish pop icon Alejandro Sanz teamed up with rising Venezuelan star Danny Ocean for "Correcaminos." The sultry collaboration combines the alternative reggaetón sound of Ocean with flamenco influences from Sanz's home country.
Sanz and Ocean sing from the heart about winning over the women of their dreams. Whether that happens in this lifetime or the next, both singers are determined to make that happen in this magical duet.
Graphic Courtesy of the Latin Recording Academy
Latin GRAMMYs 2023: Song Of The Year Nominees — Read Them Here
Here are the nominees for Song Of The Year at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, which will air Thursday, Nov. 16 from Sevilla, Spain.
The Latin Recording Academy has announced the complete list of nominees for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, and the race for Song Of The Year is on.
The prestigious Category features this year’s most-nominated artist, Mexican American songwriter and producer Edgar Barrera, who earned an impressive 13 nods. It also includes three Colombian singers who have collaborated with Barrera — Karol G, Camilo, Shakira — the latter of whom set a record as the first artist to have three entries in Latin GRAMMYs' Song Of The Year Category.
The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs show will also make history, as the Thursday, Nov. 16, ceremony will be the first-ever international telecast in the history of the organization and awards, broadcasting from the Conference and Exhibition Centre (FIBES) in Sevilla, Spain.
Read on to learn more about the 10 bops nominated for Song Of The Year, and the artists and songwriters that penned them. (All lyrics noted below are translated from Spanish.)
"Acróstico" — Kevyn Mauricio Cruz Moreno, L.E.X.U.Z, Luis Fernando Ochoa & Shakira, songwriters (Shakira)
"Acróstico," the third lead single from Shakira's upcoming 12th studio album, is a heartfelt love letter to her young sons Milan and Sasha, in the wake of her split from their father Gerard Piqué. The tear-jerking ballad features her sons' vocals.
The track's Spanish title translates to acrostic, which is a poem where the first letter of each line spells out a word — and in Shakira's song, the opening lyrics spell out Milan. "This year Milan has written songs that have made me tear up, and Sasha has dedicated hours playing the piano and discovering his voice. Both have spent some time with me in the studio, and upon hearing this song, they've asked to be part of it," she wrote in Spanish in an Instagram post about the song.
Shakira co-wrote the song with a powerhouse team of Colombian gold:Keityn and L.e.x.u.z, of La Crème collective, and longtime collaborator Luis Fernando Ochoa, who first linked with Shakira back in 1995 on Pies Descalzos. (Keityn, born Kevyn Mauricio Cruz Moreno, also worked on two of Shakira's other big 2023 hits and Song Of The Year contenders: the record-breaking "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" with Bizarrap and "TQG" with Karol G.)
"Amigos" – Pablo Alborán & María Becerra, songwriters (Pablo Alborán Featuring María Becerra)
Spanish singer/songwriter Pablo Alborán linked up with Argentian reggaetónera María Becerra on "Amigos," a platonic love song to the friend that always has your back — and makes life a party. They wrote the sweet, vibey song together for his late-2022 album, La cuarto hoja.
"Amigos" opens with a chilled guitar instrumental, building up to an anthemic shout-it-with-your-bestie chorus: "I can see life in color/ the whole neighborhood looks at us/ We drink the hours as if it were liquor."
"De Todas Las Flores" – Natalia Lafourcade, songwriter (Natalia Lafourcade)
On "De Todas Las Flores," the title track of Natalia Lafourcade's first album of all original music in seven years, she beautifully paints the picture of a lost love. "Of all the flowers we plant/ There are only a few left/ Every morning they wonder/ When you will arrive to sing to them," she sings over sparse, tenderly melancholic instrumentation.
The backing vocals offer ethereal ooohs and ahhhs, like the fading memories shared with the lover no longer there. The Latin GRAMMY- and GRAMMY-winning Mexican singer/songwriter has always been a compelling storyteller, and it's a joy to hear her rich voice share new sonic poems on the project she's called an "extremely personal musical diary."
"Ella Baila Sola" – Pedro Julian Tovar Oceguera, songwriter (Eslabon Armado, Peso Pluma)
"Ella Baila Sola" (or, she dances alone) was written by 20-year-old Pedro Tovar, lead singer of Mexican regional band Eslabon Armado. It's about two friends noticing a pretty girl at a party, and one of them winning her affection.
The song features rapidly rising Mexican singer/rapper Peso Pluma, who is bringing Mexican corridos worldwide, fused with reggaetón and Latin trap. The dynamo pairing has helped "Ella Baila Sola" have a massive, record-breaking run; after it went viral on TikTok, it became the first regional Mexican song to reach the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 (reaching No. 4) and the first performed on late-night TV. It was also the most-streamed song globally on Spotify this summer, and second-most streamed song in the U.S.
"NASA" – Édgar Barrera, Camilo & Alejandro Sanz, songwriters (Camilo & Alejandro Sanz)
On "NASA," Latin GRAMMY-winning Colombian singer/songwriter Camilo teams up with Latin GRAMMY- and GRAMMY-winning Spanish star Alejandro Sanz to ask his lover for forgiveness for what he admits is unwarranted jealousy.
"I know/ That NASA has cameras rotating in space/ They spend day and night looking up and down/ And I'm about to call and ask for a job/ To see if I relax." It's a tender, vulnerable love song with playful lyrics exchanged back-and-forth by the two Spanish-language crooners, who also co-wrote the song together.
"Ojos Marrones" – Luis Jiménez, Lasso & Agustín Zubillaga, songwriters (Lasso)
"It's the first time/ I invited someone/ Since you left/ And I'm fine," Lasso opens on "Ojos Marrones," before revealing he's only kinda sorta fine. "Nothing is the same / Nothing is the same/ Nothing/ without your brown eyes," Lasso repeats empathetically in the chorus.
It's a sunset-hued pop rock heater with dreamy guitar licks reminiscent of those in Chris Issak's classic "Wicked Game." The Venezuelan singer/songwriter paired up Luis Jiménez and Agustín Zubillaga to pen the impactful track about trying — and failing — to get over an ex with a new lover, which is featured on his latest album, Eva. The track went viral on TikTok after a user compared its narrative to Justin Bieber's relationships, and its success spawned a remix with Sebastian Yatra.
"Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" – Santiago Alvarado, Bizarrap, Kevyn Mauricio Cruz & Shakira, songwriters (Bizarrap Featuring Shakira)
It's an understatement to say that Shakira has had a momentous year. As she went through a very public separation — and tabloids across the globe zeroed in on her every move and social media post — she proved yet again she's a global pop superstar at the top of her game.
She started the year off with the viral "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53," a sassy, synth-pop clap back at her ex. In just 24 hours, it garnered over 15 million streams on Spotify to top the platform's Top 50 global list, and the video saw over 55 million views on YouTube, the record for a Spanish-language track.
On it, she asserts herself and reclaims her power — who needs trashy gossip rags when Shakira is here to tell it like it is? "A she-wolf like me/ isn't for guys like you," the Colombian queen declares. "I was out of your league/ That's why you're/ With someone just like you," also coming for her ex's new girlfriend (the Casio he traded in for a Rolex, as Shaki put it). The fiery diss track came out of a session with forever-sunglassed Argentinan DJ and producer Bizarrap. They co-wrote the song with Keityn and Santiago Alvarado.
"Si Tú Me Quieres" – Fonseca, Yadam González & Yoel Henríquez, songwriters (Fonseca & Juan Luis Guerra)
It was a dream of Latin GRAMMY-winning Colombian singer/songwriter Fonseca to collab with Latin GRAMMY- and GRAMMY-winning Dominican superstar Juan Luis Guerra. "Si Tú Me Quieres" is a sweet tropical pop love song, a gorgeous result of Fonseca's dream brought to life.
It was co-produced by Colombian pop/rock king Juanes, and was co-written by Fonseca with two Latin GRAMMY-winning songwriter/producers: Puerto Rican Yoel Henríquez and Cuban Yadam González. When Fonseca finished the initial demo, he imagined Luis Guerra's distinctive voice on it, who quickly agreed to join in on it. They bring their voices, styles and homelands together for a joyful fiesta, with delightful touches of Colombian vallenato and Dominican bachata.
"Tqg" – Kevyn Mauricio Cruz, Karol G, Ovy On The Drums & Shakira, songwriters (Karol G Featuring Shakira)
Shakira and Keityn strike again — this time alongside Colombian reggaetónera Karol G, and her regular collaborator Ovy On The Drums.
On "TQG," Karol G and Shakira link up for the first time and come for their exes, reminding them who's on top. "You left and I went triple 'M'/ Much hotter, much tougher, much more class," Shakira sings defiantly.
"TQG" stands for te quedó grande, which roughly means too much for you to handle, and is featured on Karol's fourth album, MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO. When Karol saw the gossip fodder about Shakira, she knew she was the perfect collaborator to add fire to the reggaetón diss track,which she wrote with Keityn and Ovy during the same session of "Mamiii," her collab with Becky G.
"Un X100to" – Bad Bunny, Édgar Barrera, Marco Daniel Borrero & Andrés Jael Correa Ríos, songwriters (Grupo Frontera Featuring Bad Bunny)
With "un x100to," Grupo Frontera, a Texas-based regional Mexican band specializing in norteños, struck gold and brought regional Mexican music to the top of the charts. The song peaked at No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 — the fifth regional Mexican song ever to chart on it — with a little help from Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny.
Frontera lead singer Adelaido "Payo" Solis II and Bad Bunny sing passionately about trying to reconnect with an ex with a harrowing 1 percent battery left on their phone, on a playful romp that mixes norteño and cumbia. What makes the track even more remarkable is that Grupo Frontera didn't know Bad Bunny would be on the track until he appeared at the music video shoot — proving that sometimes the most impactful collabs can come from an unexpected pairing.