Rapper and singer Bad Bunny didn't even prepare an acceptance speech before walking in to the Latin GRAMMY Awards in Las Vegas in 2019. Even though he was nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Urban Music Album for his studio debut, X 100pre, he was confident he wasn't going to win the golden gramophone.
So when his name was called as the winner in said category, it came as a huge surprise, and the artist delivered a heartfelt, off-the-cuff speech celebrating his supporters and repping the reggaeton style from the GRAMMYs stage.
In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, turn back the clock to 2019 at Vegas' MGM Grand Garden Arena, where the 20th Latin GRAMMY Awards were held, to revisit Bad Bunny's victory. The singer born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio took time to hug every member of his crew before walking up to the stage, drink still in hand — and admitted he was feeling pretty flustered as he stepped up to the microphone.
"I've never been more nervous in my life," the singer told the crowd, before launching into a litany of thank-yous.
"Grateful to God, before anything. My family, who's always there for me. They're the ones responsible for the young man I am today," Bunny began. "And despite how high people will take me, because people are the ones who lift me up, I remain with my feet on the ground."
He also thanked his team, who rose to their feet in the audience to watch his acceptance speech, as well as his producer and all the musicians who played on his album.
But as he reached the conclusion of his speech, Bunny had one more important thing to add: He stressed that reggaeton, the style endemic to his native Puerto Rico that has become such a large part of his global career, is an intrinsic and essential piece of the Latin music genre.
"Reggaeton is part of Latin culture. And it's representing, just like lots of other music genres," Bunny said, to roaring applause from the crowd. "I tell my colleagues from reggaeton, 'Let's make an effort, let's bring back creativity and sincerity. The genre has become about views, numbers. Let's turn things around and do genuine things and different things for the people."
With that, Bunny shared his love and left the stage. While his 2019 win for Best Urban Music Album was his first Latin GRAMMY, it certainly would not be his last.
In the years since, he's picked up three more trophies at the ceremony, including another award in the Best Urban Music Album category for his El Último Tour Del Mundo. At the upcoming 2022 Latin GRAMMY Awards, he is nominated in a whopping seven categories, including for Album of the Year.
Press play on the video above to revisit Bad Bunny's first-ever Latin GRAMMY win, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for more episodes of GRAMMY Rewind.
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