Photo : Noam Galai/Getty Images for MTV/Paramount Global
"From Puerto Rico To The World": 5 Moments From Bad Bunny's Historic Yankee Stadium Show
It’s the era of the Bunny and we're all living in it. For two consecutive nights, the Puerto Rican superstar brought the "World’s Hottest Tour" to NYC, with guests Romeo Santos, Chencho Corleone, Jowell & Randy, the Marías, Arcángel, and Tony Dize.
It’s bewildering when you know you’re in the presence of history in the making. That’s the kind of energy that Bad Bunny brought to Yankee Stadium during the weekend of Aug. 27 and 28.
More than 50,000 people attended the two consecutive performances, and the GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning artist testified his unmatched star power tenfold with equal parts grit and charisma. On Sunday, he even took home a MTV Video Music Award for Artist of the Year from the Bronx stage — the first Spanish-language artist to win that category in the award's 37-year existence. "Since day one, I always knew that one day I could be the biggest star in the world without having to change my culture, my language, my genre. I am Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, from Puerto Rico to the world," he said in Spanish.
Although this was my fifth time seeing the star live (yes, I’m a huge fan, like nearly everyone else), it hit differently this time as Benito has skyrocketed to unfathomable heights in the last few years. With his utterly impressive hit-making, chart-topping and record-breaking streak, it’s unarguable that El Conejo Malo’s astronomical ascent is the stuff of legends. It’s the era of the Bunny and we are all living in it.
He is a modern musical shapeshifter who is fervently beloved by the masses — and that love was on full display at the historic stadium and beyond. The D train commute transported elated crowds shouting his songs, while sound systems blared his hits, and countless people sported bunny ears. It truly was a monumental occasion for anyone in attendance, especially considering that the city has the largest population of Puerto Ricans in the country outside of P.R. itself.
Here are five times Bad Bunny’s World Hottest Tour performance at Yankee Stadium testified he is a riveting artist for the ages.
Nearly Every Song He Performed Is A No. 1 Single
The year isn’t over yet, but Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti is on its path to becoming the biggest album of 2022. It’s the second all-Spanish-language album to peak the Billboard Global 200 chart — the first being his own El Último Tour del Mundo from 2020. With a staggering seven No. 1 singles on his fourth solo release and counting — and loads of memorable bangers throughout his six-year career — fans were treated to an evening of non-stop thrills and chills.
The moment Bad Bunny stepped foot on stage, and the captivating notes to "Moscow Mule" began to play, concert-goers visibly lost their minds. He was armed with an arsenal of hit after hit after hit: the whirling "Dakiti," the feelgood party-starter "Estamos Bien," the wildly viral "Me Porto Bonito," Cardi B’s salsa-trap number "I Like It," the Latin GRAMMY-nominated "Vete," and the beat goes on.
But who in the world could have imagined a sold-out Yankees Stadium mass singing in unison: "¡Shorty tiene un culo bien grande!" (Or "Shorty has a big butt!," lyrics to "Yonaguni")?
He Invited An All-Star Lineup Of Legendary Guests
Reggaeton trailblazer Chencho Corleone is experiencing a fruitful second wave of fame, but this time it’s on a global scale. Fresh from performing at Mexico’s Baja Beach Fest the previous weekend, the Plan B alum made his way to the East Coast to revel in Nueva Yol pride — and Corleone did not disappoint. When his high-pitched, dancehall-tinged lilt comes in on the earworm-y "Me Porto Bonito" verse, the vibe got undeniably littier, inspiring perreo moves throughout the stadium.
Genre veterans Jowell & Randy brought serious heat too, especially when the wickedly hard-hitting beats to "Safarea" began to play. The Puerto Rican pair co-led the way to some nasty old school reggaeton, and the crowd absolutely loved it. They even played a few of their own hits from 2020’s Bad Bunny-produced Viva El Perreo, including "Se Acabó la Cuarentena." "¿Dónde están los que hacen lo que les dé la gana?," Bad Bunny shouted at some point, or "where are those who do whatever they want?," a reference to YHLQMDLG.
Arcángel also made a striking appearance during Bad Bunny’s Latin trap segment — which included the risky "La Ocasión" and "Me Acostumbré" — and provided his signature nimble vocal delivery. Then the Marías front crooner María Zardoya showed up to sing the soulful "Otro Atardecer" off Bunny’s new album. Seasoned reggaetonero Tony Dize also popped up to join the on stage party.
Romeo Santos' Performance Was Both Epic And Humbling
The moment that the Bachata King stepped foot on stage, the hordes of ecstatic, wholly surprised people collectively knew that this was another one for the books. Romeo Santos’ presence was a sight to behold, and he stood in awe to hear the roaring crowd. Clad in all white and a touch of lime green, the Aventura frontman shouted "Puerto Rico! Republica Dominicana!" and kicked off with the insatiable "Volví."
Last August, Aventura featuring Bad Bunny released the sprightly banger which earned the bachata group their first No. 1 song in over a decade, and it felt timeless as two of the hottest superstars on the planet performed it side by side, followed by a hug of mutual respect.
Santos’ return to Yankee Stadium was also noteworthy considering that the Bronx native has a large, local and fervid fanbase. (He sold out Yankee Stadium in 2014.) The Puerto Rican-Dominican artist sang his own hit, the slinky "Propuesta Indecente" a capella, but when the two icons busted out Don Omar’s "Ella Y Yo," with Bad Bunny singing Omar’s parts, all hell broke loose. "¡El rey de la bachata!," Bad Bunny shouted, as the King made his exit with guns blazing.
His Uplifting Tropical Vibes Are Far-Reaching
Bad Bunny has influenced city dwellers around the world to bask in a summer groove — regardless of season and well beyond the tropical archipelago. That optimistic energy was alive and well this weekend as diverse crowds of Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Colombian and other New Yorkers repped their native countries on the train to Yankee Stadium.
Many not only sported beachy attire, but they channeled a joyous attitude accompanied when one goes on vacation, and Un Verano Sin Ti captures that contagious carefree spirit — a stark contrast from his previous apocalyptic-themed El Último Tour del Mundo. It’s a feeling we so dreadfully missed during the pandemic, and Bad Bunny was a ray of sunshine beaming through, warming up our hearts and lighting up our spirits.
His Embrace Of Latinx Culture Is Transcendental
Aside from delivering one of the most exhilarating performances I’ve had the honor of attending, Latinx pride and culture was at full throttle. New York City has a long history of nurturing the Latinx community and was one of the first major U.S. cities that embraced Bad Bunny when he emerged in 2017. He paid that respect back in multiple ways — songs by legendary New York’s salsa crew Fania All-Stars also resonated throughout the venue prior to his entrance. Ray Barretto, Héctor Lavoe, and Willie Colón tunes were a welcoming reprise, but so were the multitude of crowds waving their own flags with pridefulness.
Bad Bunny shed a spotlight on traditional genres like Dominican dembow, Puerto Rican salsa, merengue, and other Caribbean rhythms alongside contemporary urbano beats, setting the mood for Latinx solidarity. Near the end of his concert, his backup dancers also lofted a Puerto Rican flag with the words "Está bien cabrón" (or "Is the shit") written on it, which was followed by a deafening roar from the audience. It was in fact the first time the legendary Yankee Stadium housed a reggaeton-heavy showcase of this caliber. When you consider that only a few years ago the Boricua star worked at a local grocery store, it makes his impressive feat even more magnificent.
For a borough like the Bronx, which is heavily populated by the Latinx diaspora, having a Puerto Rican performer reign over the Yankee Stadium for a weekend marked a triumphant moment. When Spanish-language music was often overlooked by mainstream American media just a decade ago, Bad Bunny’s success is our success. And his music has transcended as a way to celebrate Latinidad.
Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Roc Nation
How Bad Bunny Took Over The World: From Urbano Upstart To History-Making GRAMMY Nominee
Bad Bunny is the most streamed artist on Spotify for three years and his 'Un Verano Sin Ti' is the first Spanish-language LP nominated for an Album Of The Year at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Yet Benito's taste and distinctive vocals have remained unchanged.
In 2017, Puerto Rican rapper, songwriter and actor Bad Bunny was one of many up-and-coming artists in the hugely competitive field of urbano hitmaking, a newcomer looking for a break. Just a couple of years later, he would become one of the world's biggest pop stars.
It began with a few crucial collaborations. In May of 2017, he released "Ahora Me Llama," an atmospheric Latin trap single recorded with future Colombian star Karol G. Weeks later, he dropped "Mayores," a bouncy reggaetón smash in tandem with American pop sensation Becky G.
While Bad Bunny's star was on the rise, the creative traits that would define his success were already apparent. His prolific work ethic, genre-bending taste, and a distinctive vocal persona — unfailingly genuine, charismatic, occasionally somber — have remained unchanged on his path to global fame. Today, Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio is the most streamed artist on Spotify for a third consecutive year, and a two-time GRAMMY winner with an additional nine Latin GRAMMYs to his credit.
His latest opus — a quirky, nostalgic ode to the afterglow of summers past titled Un Verano Sin Ti — is currently the first Spanish LP nominated for an Album Of The Year at the 2023 GRAMMYs. And in October of 2022, his World’s Hottest Tour across the U.S. and Latin America became the highest grossing tour in history by a Latino artist. True to his cultural superhero achievements, Bad Bunny will also star in his own Marvel movie, El Muerto, scheduled for a January 2024 release.
"Bad Bunny has something for everyone," says Eddie Santiago, Head of US Latin, Artist Partnerships with Spotify. "At the root of his music and brand messaging is inclusivity. Benito appeals to groups that, for the most part, have been ignored by the mainstream media, especially in the Latin space."
Benito first demonstrated this inclusivity — or lack of regard for the status quo — on 2020's YHLQMDLG (Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana or "I Do Whatever I Please”), which on Best Latin Pop or Urban Album at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards. He has maintained that attitude on all subsequent works, while some of his intriguing aesthetic decisions — like walking onstage wearing a dress and high heels — have left a further mark on the mainstream.
"I’m taking advantage of this moment in my life when I can do whatever I want and wear what I want, so I get to live life more authentically,” Bad Bunny told Harper's Bazaar in a rare interview. “People on the outside can think that I have a strategy or I wear this to call for attention, but in reality I just know who I am."
"When an artist steps in front of the microphone and expresses himself with utter conviction, people believe in him — and you can certainly go places if you happen to have that gift," says Argentine rapper Tiago PZK. At 21, Tiago has made quite a name for himself in the urbano genre through a poignant session with visionary producer Bizarrap, as well as collaborations with high-profile Puerto Rican singers such as Ozuna and Myke Towers.
"What’s remarkable about Benito is that even though his level of success is off the charts, he is still able to generate songs that ordinary people can identify with," Tiago continues. "Bad Bunny has revolutionized Latin music because, no matter how big he is, you still identify closely with everything he says."
Then there’s the matter of his staggering artistic growth. Benito’s epic 2020 album El Último Tour Del Mundo, which took home a golden gramophone for Best Música Urbana Album at the 64th GRAMMY Awards, had already confirmed him as someone eager to embrace strands from multiple genres. Un Verano Sin Ti ventured even further into the exciting hues of unknown sonic territory — edgy alternative rock, synth-pop, R&B, even a reggaetón duet with Rosalía.
From the childlike cover art featuring a broken heart and dolphins on a tropical beach to his unusual choice of collaborators — Colombian electro-cumbia hipsters Bomba Estéreo, fellow post-reggaetón tastemaker Rauw Alejandro and indie-pop darlings the Marías, to name a few — Un Verano Sin Ti managed the near impossible feat of sounding both intimate and recklessly experimental at the same time.
A sprawling record made up of 23 tracks, it features the expected reggaetón danceathons, then veers into bossa nova chillout ("Yo No Soy Celoso") and idealized reggae ("Me Fui De Vacaciones.") A mega-hit like the kinetic masterpiece "Tití Me Preguntó," on the other hand, blends a bachata guitar line with dembow riddims before fading away on a hallucinatory flash of sheer psychedelia.
"His sound and aesthetics resonate on a global scale," reflects Spotify’s Santiago. "Thanks to streaming, an artist like Bad Bunny can connect instantly with millions of fans."
It is no coincidence that the mixmaster of this pan-Latin revolution hails from Puerto Rico. La isla del encanto has demonstrated time and again an uncanny ability to transcend borders — from the bolero velvet of Tito Rodríguez in the ‘60s to the salsa revolution of El Gran Combo and Héctor Lavoe in the ‘70s, the poppified merengue grooves of Olga Tañón in the ‘90s and the reggaetón explosion ignited in the early 2000s by the likes of Daddy Yankee, Tego Calderón and Don Omar. Ozuna, Anuel AA and Rauw Alejandro stand alongside Benito as the stars of a current Boricua wave taking the world by storm.
"I had the pleasure of visiting Puerto Rico," adds Tiago PZK. "It’s a small island where everyone knows each other. You go to a place called la placita at night and an insane party rages on - there’s loud music everywhere. You can see Bad Bunny at one bar, and Daddy Yankee sitting next door. Puerto Rico has generated a musical school of its own, and you can go from 0 to 100 in a minute, because everybody is working on something and they are all open to collaborating with each other. Music is the option of choice for kids who want to get out of the barrio. The hunger to escape has the power to transport you to unimaginable heights."
Bad Bunny plans to take a much needed sabbatical from music during 2023, and it remains to be seen what his return to touring and recording will look like. But his influence on how Latin sounds are perceived around the world will linger for a long time to come.
"Spanish is a world dominant language, and Latin beats tell a story in themselves, whether you understand the language or not," says Santiago. "In the end, the Latin music experience cuts through the noise, and it came to a point where mainstream media could no longer ignore it."
Photos Courtesy of the Artists
2023 GRAMMYs Performers Announced: Bad Bunny, Lizzo, Sam Smith, Steve Lacy, Mary J. Blige & More Confirmed
The first wave of 2023 GRAMMYs performers has been announced: Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Steve Lacy, Lizzo, Kim Petras, and Sam Smith. Catch them all on Sunday, Feb. 5, on CBS, Paramount+, and live.GRAMMY.com!
We all knew Music's Biggest Night would be explosive this year. Now, GRAMMY night just got bigger! The first round of performers for the 2023 GRAMMYs has been announced. Taking the GRAMMY stage will be current nominees Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Steve Lacy, Lizzo, Kim Petras, and Sam Smith.
Live from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and hosted by Trevor Noah, the 2023 GRAMMYs will be broadcast live on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the CBS Television Network and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.
Prior to the Telecast, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will be broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater at 12:30 p.m. PT and will be streamed live on live.GRAMMY.com. Additional performers will be announced in the coming days.
On GRAMMY Sunday, fans can access exclusive, behind-the-scenes GRAMMYs content, including performances, acceptance speeches, interviews from the GRAMMY Live red-carpet special, and more via the Recording Academy's digital experience on live.GRAMMY.com.
Learn more about the 2023 GRAMMYs performers and host here and below:
Two-time GRAMMY winner Bad Bunny is up for three GRAMMY nominations: Album Of The Year (Un Verano Sin Ti), Best Pop Solo Performance ("Moscow Mule") and Best Música Urbana Album (Un Verano Sin Ti).
Nine-time GRAMMY winner Mary J. Blige is nominated for six GRAMMY Awards: Record Of The Year ("Good Morning Gorgeous"), Album Of The Year (Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe)), Best R&B Performance ("Here With Me"), Best Traditional R&B Performance ("Good Morning Gorgeous"), Best R&B Song ("Good Morning Gorgeous"), and Best R&B Album (Good Morning Gorgeous (Deluxe)).
Six-time GRAMMY winner Brandi Carlile is nominated for seven GRAMMY Awards this year: Record Of The Year ("You And Me On The Rock"), Album Of The Year (In These Silent Days), Best Rock Performance ("Broken Horses"), Best Rock Song ("Broken Horses"), Best Americana Performance ("You And Me On The Rock"), Best American Roots Song ("You And Me On The Rock"), and Best Americana Album (In These Silent Days).
Luke Combs is up for three GRAMMY nominations: Best Country Duo/Group Performance ("Outrunnin' Your Memory"), Best Country Song ("Doin' This") and Best Country Album (Growin' Up).
Steve Lacy is up for four GRAMMY nominations: Record Of The Year ("Bad Habit"), Song Of The Year ("Bad Habit"), Best Pop Solo Performance ("Bad Habit"), and Best Progressive R&B Album (Gemini Rights).
Three-time GRAMMY winner Lizzo is nominated for five GRAMMY Awards: Record Of The Year ("About Damn Time"), Album Of The Year (Special), Song Of The Year ("About Damn Time"), Best Pop Solo Performance ("About Damn Time"), and Best Pop Vocal Album (Special).
First-time nominee Kim Petras is up for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance ("Unholy").
Four-time GRAMMY winner Sam Smith is nominated for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance ("Unholy").
Keep checking back here on GRAMMY.com for more details on the 2023 GRAMMYs — and tune in on Sunday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT to watch who takes home GRAMMY gold. And head to live.GRAMMY.com for a dynamic and expansive online experience where you can explore Music's Biggest Night in full.
Photos (L-R): Scott Dudelson/Getty Images for Coachella, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Harry Styles, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, LUFRÉ, Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic
The Official 2023 GRAMMYs Playlist Is Here: Listen To 115 Songs By Beyoncé, Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Kendrick Lamar & More
Get to know this year's nominees with the official 2023 GRAMMYs playlist, presented in partnership with Amazon Music, which features 115 GRAMMY-nominated songs across pop, rap, country, and beyond from today's stars.
With the 2023 GRAMMYs less than a month away, excitement is bubbling over in the music community.
Whether you're rooting for innovative newcomers like Wet Leg and Omar Apollo or beloved legends like Beyoncé and ABBA, there is an abundance of spectacular talent to be celebrated this year. And the 2023 GRAMMY nominees are not only leading music, but they’re creatively transforming genres, from rap to alternative to reggae — and beyond.
To let the music speak for itself, stream the official 2023 GRAMMYs playlist, presented in partnership with Amazon Music, which features 115 GRAMMY-nominated songs across pop, rap, country, and beyond from today's stars, including BTS, Harry Styles, Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo, and many, many more.
Get to know this year's nominees by listening to their biggest hits and GRAMMY-nominated works on this immersive Amazon Music playlist — and tune in to CBS and Paramount+ on Sunday, Feb. 5 to experience Music's Biggest Night live.
Press Play On GRAMMY U Mixtape: New Year, It’s Poppin'! Monthly Member Playlist
The GRAMMY U Mixtape is a monthly, genre-spanning playlist to quench your thirst for new tunes, all from student members. GRAMMY U celebrates new beginnings with fresh pop tunes that will kickstart 2023.
Did you know that among all of the students in GRAMMY U, songwriting and performance is one of the most sought after fields of study? We want to create a space to hear what these students are creating today!
The GRAMMY U Mixtape, now available for your listening pleasure, highlights the creations and fresh ideas that students are bringing to this industry directly on the Recording Academy's Spotify and Apple Music pages. Our goal is to celebrate GRAMMY U members, as well as the time and effort they put into making original music — from the songwriting process to the final production of the track.
Each month, we accept submissions and feature 20 to 25 songs that match that month’s theme. This month we're ringing in 2023 with our New Year, It's Poppin'! playlist, which features fresh pop songs that bring new year, new you vibes. Showcasing talented members from our various chapters, we felt these songs represented the positivity and hopefulness that GRAMMY U members embody as they tackle this upcoming year of exciting possibilities.
So, what’s stopping you? Press play on GRAMMY U’s Mixtape and listen now on Spotify below and Apple Music.
Want to be featured on the next playlist? Submit your songs today! We are currently accepting submissions for songs of all genres for consideration for our February playlist. Whether you write pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, or classical, we want to hear from you. Music must be written and/or produced by the student member (an original song) and you must be able to submit a Spotify and/or Apple Music link to the song. Students must be a GRAMMY U member to submit.
About GRAMMY U:
GRAMMY U is a program that connects college students with the industry's brightest and most talented minds and provides those aspiring professionals with the tools and opportunities necessary to start a career in music.
Throughout each semester, events and special programs touch on all facets of the industry, including the business, technology, and the creative process.
As part of the Recording Academy's mission to ensure the recorded arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, GRAMMY U establishes the necessary foundation for music’s next generation to flourish.
Not a member, but want to submit to our playlist? Apply for GRAMMY U Membership here.