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6 LGBTQIA+ Latinx Artists You Need To Know: María Becerra, Blue Rojo & More
From Argentina's María Becerra to Puerto Rico's Young Miko, get to know six rising LGBTQ+ Latinx artists who are bringing visibility to the community around the world.
Latinx artists who are also a part of the LGBTQIA+ community are breaking records and making waves within the Latin music scene. Since Puerto Rican superstar Ricky Martin kicked down the proverbial closet door by coming out in 2010, more LGBTQIA+ Latinx musicians have emerged louder and prouder than ever.
Into this decade, LGBTQIA+ Latinx musicians are continuing to proudly represent the community — while also breaking records and topping charts. Openly bisexual artist Kali Uchis scored one of year's biggest Latin hits of last year with the sensual "Telepatía." Brazilian superstar Anitta, who is also openly bisexual, shot to the top of Spotify 200 chart this year with the viral "Envolver." This year's Coachella saw the history-making debut of two Brazilian artists in the LGBTQIA+ community, Anitta and drag superstar Pabllo Vittar.
More and more LGBTQIA+ Latinx musicians across Latin America and the U.S. are stepping forward and letting their truths shine in their music. Mexico City's Blue Rojo is emerging a fresh queer voice in Latin pop. Colombia's LoMaasBello is speaking up on behalf of both the queer and Black communities through her powerful songs. Argentina's María Becerra is making strides across the globe as an openly bisexual artist.
Before this year's LGBTQIA+ Pride Month comes to a close, GRAMMY.com is spotlighting six queer Latinx artists on the rise.
María Becerra has become one of Argentina's top artists, and now she's extending her success across Latin America and the U.S. With the release of her debut EP 222 in 2019, Becerra opened up about identifying as bisexual. In the swaggering "Dime Como Hago," she sang about whisking her friend away from her unworthy boyfriend.
Last year, Becerra was nominated for Best New Artist at the Latin GRAMMY Awards, thanks in part to her debut album Animal. She also became the first artist to land four songs within the top five spots of Billboard Argentina's Hot 100 chart.
In 2022, Becerra has teamed up with J Balvin for the sexy "Qué Más Pues?" — which the pair performed together at the GRAMMY Awards in April — and Camila Cabello on the disco-pop anthem "Hasta Los Dientes." Her second album La Nena de Argentina is due later this year.
Blue Rojo is taking Latin pop music into the future. On his debut album, Solitario, the Mexican-American singer blends elements of electronica, punk, and reggaeton music into his deeply personal songs.
As an openly gay artist, Blue's sexuality directly influences how he writes his songs as well as how they come to life in video form. Throughout Solitario, he sings about his unrequited crush that he has on a straight man, with the heartbreaking "Después de la Pandemia Volví a Ser Católiko" calling him out directly. ("Diego, talk to me please," he pleads in Spanish.)
Blue later channels the rush of romance into his synth-pop anthem "No Te Kiero Olvidar," where he shares a sweet kiss with another man in the music video. He continues to push boundaries in the carnivalesque and sexy "Soy Tu Payaso Papi 3000."
Like Kali Uchis and Omar Apollo, Ambar Lucid is a U.S.-born artist who is embracing her Latinx roots in her music. Like her peers, she also openly embraces her queer identity by singing about her guy and girl crushes in her music.
She lives up to her Lucid name with psychedelic R&B anthems like "Get Lost in the Music" and "Fantasmas." In her dreamy single "girl ur so pretty," Lucid flexes in Spanglish about how she can treat her friend better than her boyfriend. "Forget your boyfriend/ Let me set you free," she sings.
Lucid is kicking off a new era in her career with her alter ego Estrella. "Estrella is stepping in to inspire and radiate new energy," she said about this new era in career. "[She's] less fear-based, more confident, and I'm having more fun with what I do."
LoMaasBello is emerging as a strong Black and queer voice in Colombia. Since the release of her defiant single "ShutUp" in 2019, the Bogotá-based singer and rapper — who identifies as a non-binary trans woman — has spoken out for the trans and Black communities in her music.
LoMaasBello sounds transcendent in the love song "Pensándote" and later she lets her rap flow run wild in the bedroom banger "Rico." Like her EP title, LoMaasBello also calls herself "Marica Negra" (a reclamation of "marica," a queer slur in Spanish) and she embraces that title proudly in the empowering "QBBK."
She is very much a visual artist as well. Her powerful music video for "Vivas" to dedicated to "the memory of all the murdered women and trans people in Colombia and the world." LoMaasBello's message adds, "To be trans shouldn't cost us our lives."
After serving as a backup dancer for gay icon Britney Spears, Willie Gomez is now breaking out as a singer himself. In 2017, the Dominican-American artist formally launched his music career with the alluring "Mojados." In follow-up singles like "Salvaje" and "Borracho De Tus Besos," Gomez has continued to embrace his Caribbean roots by blending reggaeton beats with elements of pop.
At the same time, Gomez is also expressing his love of dance through his colorful music videos. Like the times he's danced with Britney, he brings the heat and passion of his moves into his steamy choreography.
The openly gay musician is working on his debut album with George Noriega, who has helped Ricky Martin and Shakira achieve crossover hits. Gomez's latest tease of his LP is the smoldering single "Vicio." As Gomez has said himself, he's felt the love from the LGBTQIA+ community during his work with Spears and now in his own music career.
"It makes me feel very proud of who I am, of who we are," he recently told Remezcla. "To get that support from the entire community is very special for me."
Young Miko is emerging as a strong queer voice in the Latin rap scene. Hailing from Añasco, Puerto Rico, the rapper/singer only started releasing music a year ago, but has already generated enough buzz to play shows around the world and earn playlist spotlights on Apple Music and Spotify.
Last year, Young Miko made her debut with the sassy "105 Freestyle," which has recently gone viral on TikTok in Puerto Rico. She followed that up with fierce "Vendetta" alongside fellow Puerto Rican star Villano Antillano, a knockout collaboration from two rappers in the LGBTQIA+ community.
Young Miko is continuing to shine with her swaggering and laid-back bangers "Puerto Rican Mami" and "Standard." She also teamed up with Puerto Rican singer Alejo for the sensual love song "Un Poquito." Young Miko's career may just be beginning to take off, but she — along with every artist on this list — is already blazing a trail forward for LGBTQIA+ Latinx representation.
Photo: Medios y Media/Getty Images
8 Latinx Rappers To Know: Eladio Carrion, Young Miko, Akapellah & More
African American, Caribbean and Latinx people were all present at the birth of hip-hop in 1973. In the five decades since, hip-hop has gone global, and Latinx people are shaping the genre.
Hip-hop is not only a global phenomenon, but a multi-lingual expression. There are many Latinx rappers who have contributed to the genre's legacy with Spanish-language music, and others who form the larger fabric of hip-hop history.
Hip-hop was born on Aug. 11, 1973 at a back-to-school party in the Bronx, which included African American, Caribbean and Latinx attendees. While Latinx people have helped shape the genre in the years since, Nuyoricans such as Angie Martinez, Fat Joe, and his collaborator Big Pun left an indelible Latinx mark on rap in the ‘90s. At the same time on the West Coast, the Latin Alliance formed and led to breakout careers of Chicano rappers Kid Frost and Mellow Man Ace, who both largely rapped in Spanglish. Cypress Hill and Ozomatli later emerged in their wake. Cuban American rapper Pitbull would soon crossover in the rap mainstream into the next decade.
On the island of Puerto Rico, rappers nurtured the emerging genre of reggaeton in the ‘90s and 2000s as another medium where they could flex their Spanish flow. Pioneers like Daddy Yankee, Tego Calderón, and Don Omar unleashed their rhymes over dembow-driven rhythms. Ivy Queen and Lisa M blazed a path for women in the male-dominated genre. N.O.R.E.'s hit "Oye Mi Canto" would later help globalize reggaeton in 2005. That decade also saw the rise of Puerto Rican group Calle 13, which was led by rapper Residente, who has since become the most-awarded artist in Latin GRAMMY history. Cardi B and Bad Bunny are now representing Latinx rappers on a global level. Those are just a few names of many Latinx trailblazers.
In honor of hip-hop's 50th anniversary, GRAMMY.com highlights eight artists from the next generation of Latinx rappers.
Since the release of his breakthrough album Bien O Mal in 2022, Trueno has become the rap artist to watch out for in Argentina. In his songs like the empowering "Argentina" featuring Nathy Peluso or the poignant "Tierra Zanta" alongside Argentine folk artist Victor Heredia, he celebrates the culture of his country while embracing the sounds and influences of American rap.
Trueno went global after the Gorillaz invited him to perform "Clint Eastwood" with them at the Quilmes Rock festival in Argentina. Earlier this year, he got a co-sign from Latinx rap group Cypress Hill, who remixed Trueno's socially-conscious banger "F— The Police." More recently, Trueno is having fun with his rhymes in his recent feel-good singles like "Tranky Funky" and "Ohh Baby."
"My mission in life is to take Argentine rap as far as we can go," Trueno told Infobae this year.
Eladio Carrion is proving that his explosive rap flow can't be contained to one genre. The Puerto Rican rapper has made a name for himself thanks to his series of Sauce Boyz albums, which first launched in 2020. Carrion largely dominates the Latin trap scene, but he has also made his mark in drill with the "Tata" remix featuring J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, and Bobby Shmurda, even experimenting in Mexican corridos with Peso Pluma in "77."
Carrion's latest album, 3men2 Kbrn, features collaborations with rappers that he idolized. Future joins him in the swaggering "Mbappe" remix, Lil Wayne appears on the triumphant "Gladiador" remix, and "Si Salimos" features 50 Cent. The all-Spanish LP debuted at No. 16 on the Billboard 200 chart in March.
"I just keep trying to build that bridge between Latin and American culture because I’ve been influenced so much by American hip-hop, but you know I do Latin music," Carrion told Uproxx this year.
Villano Antillano is making a mark for both women and the LGBTQ+ community in the Latin hip-hop scene. The Puerto Rican rapper — who identifies as transfemme and nonbinary — has proudly represented who she is within her fierce anthems. Antillano teamed up with Spanish rapper Ptazeta for the girl power anthem "Mujerón" and empowered trans women in "Muñeca" with nonbinary artist Ana Macho.
Antillano made a global impact last year when she featured on Argentine producer Bizarrap’s hit "BZRP Music Sessions #51." Over trap beats with an electronica edge, she unleashed fiery flow about how she is running the Latin rap game. Villano then released her debut album La Sustancia X where celebrated women's resilience alongside Residente's sister iLe in "Mujer" and paid homage to La Delfi and Celia Cruz in "Cáscara De Coco."
"I hope that from seeing me and hearing my music, more people can live authentically in their everyday lives," she told MTV News in 2021.
Young Miko is also breaking down barriers for the LGBTQ+ community in the Latin hip-hop scene. The queer Puerto Rican rapper has proudly dropped bars about her love for other women in her songs, like this year's global hit "Classy 101" with Colombian singer Feid, as well as the swaggering "Lisa."
Young Miko has become one of the most in-demand collaborators in today's Latin music scene, proving that she can shine in any genre. In 2023, she featured g on Marshmello's house-infused "Tempo" and Bad Gyal's reggaeton banger "Chulo Pt. 2" with Dominican star Tokischa.
"This generation is tired of the same," she told Popsugar this year. "They're accepting and receptive to something new. Maybe [my lyrics] are not how I feel but how I'd like to feel."
In Latin rap, J Noa is proudly carrying her country of the Dominican Republic on her back. The teen phenom released her debut EP Autodidacta earlier this year. In the somber "Betty," J Noa shined a light on the pressures that Dominican teens face in underserved neighborhoods. In the explosive "Autodidacta," she unleashed her mind-blowing rap skills.
A triumphant moment on the EP is empowering "No Me Pueden Parar." The self-proclaimed "La Hija del Rap," or "the daughter of rap," spit inspirational bars about not allowing any obstacles to get in the way of achieving her dreams. J Noa has a knack for mixing social truths with fierce rhymes. Back in July, she wowed hip-hop pioneers DMC, Grandmaster Caz, Mighty Mike C, and Sha-Rock with a freestyle rap in the Bronx.
"I can keep rap going by staying on the path that I am on," she told Refinery29. "Real rap is about social protests and history."
Akapellah is proudly representing the hip-hop scene in Venezuela, releasing songs that are both playful and socially-conscious In 2020, the hard-hitting "Condenados," he dropped bars about the plight of the Venezuelan people following the country's economic collapse.
Instead of letting his size be anyone else's punchline, Akapellah boasted about the benefits it gives him in the smooth "Gordo Funky." For his feel-good rhymes, he received multiple Latin GRAMMY nominations for Best Rap/Hip Hop Song. Akapellah made headlines this year when he released a tiraera, or diss track, against Residente called "No Eres Rapero." Understanding it's a part of hip-hop culture, Residente took the shot in stride and later named Akapellah one of his favorite Latinx rappers.
"My [success] has been very organic and like a hybrid," he told La República newspaper. "I have had my peaks of hype, but [my career] has always remained stable."
Nanpa Básico is a proud exponent of Colombia in the Latin rap scene. The Medellín native has made waves with his street-conscious lyrics and romantic flow, first breaking through in 2017, with the guitar-driven ballad "Sin Ti Estoy Bien" and the haunting "Ya Para Qué."
This past year, Básico has gone global while exploring different genres. Alongside Mexican singer Ximena Sariñana, he tackles a whimsical pop sound in the dreamy "Nunca Tuve Tanto." Básico's slick rap flow met R&B in the soulful "Ya No Se Mueve" with Leon Leiden. Básico's latest album, HECHO M13RD4, boasts features from Mexican rappers Gera MX and Santa Fe Klan, regional Mexican music star Adriel Favela, and Colombian reggaeton singer Ryan Castro.
"I studied social work so I said I don't want to continue glorifying the problems, but on the contrary, very cool things happen in the hood too, that people sometimes don't talk about," he told Rolling Stone En Español.
Gera MX is making Mexico's rap scene go global. In 2021, he blended trap and mariachi music with Christian Nodal in the genre-bending hit "Botella Tras Botella." They made history with the first regional Mexican song to enter the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Last year, Gera MX continued to push boundaries for Latin rap in his two albums, No Teníamos Nada, Pero Éramos Felices and Ahora Tengo Todo Menos A Ti. In explosive "Hagan Ruido," he teamed up with Mexican American rapper Snow Tha Product where they proudly boasted about their roots. Colombian reggaeton singer Blessd joined Gera MX in the feel-good "One Love." This year, Gera MX brought together the worlds of Latin trap and corridos in the fiery "Feria En El Sobre," featuring Peso Pluma and Herencia De Patrones.
"Mexican hip-hop has gained a lot of respect and popularity," he told Remezcla. "I don’t know if it’s the Golden Age, but it’s a good time."
Photo: Courtesy of The Latin Recording Academy/Kevin Winter, Getty Images © 2023
Watch: Pablo Alborán And Maria Becerra Honor "Amigos" With An Astonishing Performance At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
The Spanish and Argentine stars brought their Song Of The Year-nominated hit to life with a roaring collaboration on the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs stage.
Pablo Alborán and Maria Becerra served up a big moment for LGBTQIA+ representation at the 2023 Latin GRAMMY Awards. The pair — who are openly gay and bisexual, respectively — came together for a vital performance of their hit "Amigos."
Alborán opened the performance of “Amigos” on an acoustic note by himself. His voice soared as he sang the opening lines of the feel-good song. Then Becerra joined him shortly after and the music kicked in. The duo put on a captivating performance of their collaboration. Becerra also got a chance to shine solo when she performed her song “Ojala.” She stripped away the reggaeton beats and added an orchestral arrangement. Becerra belted her heart out while singing the love song. Alborán and Becerra’s joint performance was a dreamy highlight of the night.
The sultry song earned the Spanish and Argentine stars a 2023 Latin GRAMMYs nomination for Song Of The Year, one of Alborán's five nominations and Becerra's four. Alborán also received nods for Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for La Cuarta Hoja, Record Of The Year for "Carretera y Manta," and Best Pop Song for "Contigo." Becerra earned nominations for Best Reggaeton Performance and Best Urban Song for "Automático," as well as Best Urban Fusion/Performance for "Ojalá."
"She's so much fun!" Alborán told GRAMMY.com in December 2022 about working with Becerra. "She's very hard-working. She's very spontaneous. I love how she sings and the way she moves."
Judging by the vibrant energy in their performance of "Amigos," it's no doubt those feelings are mutual.
Photos Courtesy of the Artists
2023 Latin GRAMMYs Performers Announced: Rauw Alejandro, Alejandro Sanz, Christian Nodal, Feid, Maria Becerra & More
The first wave of performers for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs also includes current nominees Bizarrap, Kany García and Carin León.
The Latin Recording Academy has announced the first wave of performers for the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, officially known as the 24th Latin GRAMMY Awards. The lineup includes current nominees Maria Becerra, Bizarrap, Feid, Kany García, Carin León, Christian Nodal, Rauw Alejandro, and Alejandro Sanz. More performers at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs will be announced in the coming weeks.
Maria Becerra has four nominations, including Song of the Year, Best Reggaeton Performance and Best Urban Song, while Bizarrap is nominated in six categories, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Producer of the Year. Feid has five nominations, including Best Reggaeton Performance, Best Urban Music Album and Best Rap/Hip Hop Song. Kany García is nominated for Best Regional Song, and Carin León is in the running for Best Norteño Album. Christian Nodal also has two nominations, for Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album and Best Regional Song. Rauw Alejandro is a Best Urban Music Album nominee, and Alejandro Sanz is nominated in two categories, Record of the Year and Song of the Year.
The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs will broadcast live from the Conference and Exhibition Centre (FIBES) in Sevilla (Seville) in Andalucía (Andalusia), Spain, on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT) on Univision, UniMás and Galavisión in the U.S., and at 10:30 p.m. CET on Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE) in Spain. Additional international broadcasting partners and local airings will be available soon. This year’s awards show will be the first-ever international telecast in the history of the Latin GRAMMYs and the Latin Recording Academy.
The Latin GRAMMY Premiere, where the majority of the categories are awarded, will precede the telecast; additional details about this annual event full of special Latin GRAMMY moments will be announced at a later date.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.
Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.
A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.
This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system.
"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."
He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.
"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.
To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."
Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes.