Recording Academy Announces Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Virtual Programming


Recording Academy Announces Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Virtual Programming

This series of panel discussions will honor the past, celebrate the present, and recognize the future of the Latinx community and its impact on music

GRAMMYs/Sep 28, 2020 - 08:35 pm

The Recording Academy has announced seven Hispanic Heritage Month virtual programs that will feature members of the Academy, alongside music journalists and other music industry professionals. 

The panels will be hosted on the Academy’s official YouTube channel, and across select social media platforms. The first event kicks off Tuesday, September 29, 2020. Each program will premiere on the Recording Academy’s official YouTube and Facebook pages at 3 pm PT / 6 pm ET on the listed date. 

Check out the full schedule:

9/29 — GRAMMY U Masterclass with Maria Elisa Ayerbe – Powered by Mastercard® 
10/5 — Quick Conversation: The History & Globalization of Latin CCM   
10/7 — Quick Conversation: How Political Uprisings & Their Influence on Latin Music 
10/9 — Bringing La Cultura to the Masses 
10/12 — Writing OURstory: The Journalists Covering The New Latinx Musical Explosion 
10/13 — Industry Insights: Building the Right Team with Snow Tha Product 
10/14 — Care for the Culture: Afro-Latinas in Music 

GRAMMY U Masterclass with Maria Elisa Ayerbe – Powered by Mastercard®
Recording Academy Florida Chapter Governor and audio engineer Maria Elisa Ayerbe demonstrates how to record quality audio with accessible gear in a home environment. 

The History & Globalization of Latin Contemporary Christian Music 
In this Quick Conversation presented by the Recording Academy’s Washington, D.C. chapter, Latin GRAMMY nominated singer Lucía Parker shares the heritage, influence and evolution of worship music in Latin America and Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. 

How Political Uprisings & Their Influence on Latin Music
Licensed clinical social worker and therapist, Cecilia Esquivel, LCSW-C, explores the role of music in the social injustice movements of Latin America in this installment of the Quick Conversation series presented by the Recording Academy’s Washington, D.C. chapter. Esquivel, who is also the co-owner of Maryland-based InTune Recording Studio, will also explore the intersection of Latin music and social activism in the United States.

Bringing La Cultura to the Masses
Being in the room is one thing, but having a seat at the table is another. Latinx music industry executives have trail blazed various areas of the industry and continue to shape the landscape of Latin music around the world. So, as technology creates room for the rise of the independent artist, what is their role and how are they pushing the evolution of Latin music forward? This conversation will also provide insight on the different perspectives of the “Latinx experience,” industry trends, support groups and resources. 

Writing OURstory: The Journalists Covering the New Latinx Musical Explosion
We are living in one of the most exciting eras for Latin music. As technology is helping Latin artists break barriers like never before, Latinx journalists are helping break barriers in music journalism and media as well. This candid conversation will gather some of the storytellers covering the cultural moments shaping Latinx music and media today. The panelists will also share their experiences navigating predominantly white publications and industries, and the unique skills they bring to the industry as multicultural journalists. 

Industry Insights: Building the Right Team with Snow Tha Product
Whether you’re an indie artist or a signed artist, building the right team to support the business of your artistry is an important decision. Rapper Snow Tha Product, along with members of her team, sit for a candid conversation to chat about the importance of aligning with a manager, publicist, and agent that understands your culture, goals, and vision. The event will be moderated by media personality Jessica Flores.

Care for the Culture: Afro-Latinas in Music
Presented by the Recording Academy’s Florida Chapter, this conversation will feature a panel of Afro-Latina artists as they dive into the history and culture of Afro-Latinidad, and share how their identities empower and shape their careers in music.

Luis Fonsi To Maluma: Who Will Win Record Of The Year Latin GRAMMY?


Photo: C Flanigan/Getty Images


Luis Fonsi To Maluma: Who Will Win Record Of The Year Latin GRAMMY?

Cast your vote. Who will voters choose for Record Of The Year at the 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards?

GRAMMYs/Oct 1, 2017 - 08:57 pm

Including the likes of Shakira and Carlos Vives to Natalia Lafourcade, Marc Anthony, Jesse & Joy, and Alejandro Sanz, the previous Latin GRAMMY winners for Record Of The Year reads like a who's who of Latin music. This year's nominees are no different.

With Rubén Blades' sensual "La Flor De La Canela," Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee's song of the summer "Despacito," Residente's impactful "Guerra," Ricky Martin with Maluma's Vente Pa' Ca," and Jorge Drexler's "El Surco," among others, this year's class of 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards nominees for Record Of The Year is loaded.  

Which song do you think will take home the Latin GRAMMY for Record Of The Year? Cast your vote below.

Remember When? Marc Anthony's "I Need To Know" Nets Latin GRAMMY

Marc Anthony

Photo: Todd Plitt/Hulton Archive


Remember When? Marc Anthony's "I Need To Know" Nets Latin GRAMMY

Singer/songwriter takes home the first Latin GRAMMY ever awarded for Song Of The Year

GRAMMYs/Sep 24, 2017 - 08:00 pm

Thanks to the crossover popularity of Latin artists such as Ricky Martin, Enrique Iglesias and Shakira in the late '90s, salsa master Marc Anthony was soon to join the Latin hot flash with his first English crossover album, which was self-titled.

The result of Marc Anthony was not only his first Billboard Hot 100 Top 5 hit, "I Need To Know," but it also landed the singer his first-ever Latin GRAMMY Award, and the distinction of earning the very first Latin GRAMMY for Song Of The Year in 2000 for the Spanish version of the catchy tune, "Dímelo."

Anthony has gone on to win an additional four Latin GRAMMYs and two GRAMMY Awards. In 2016 he was honored as the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year for his outstanding achievements as an artist and for his philanthropic work.

How Bad Bunny Is Putting Latin Trap On The Map

Bad Bunny

Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images


How Bad Bunny Is Putting Latin Trap On The Map

The young Puerto Rican rapper is bringing Latin trap to the mainstream with countless hits, many of them big collabs, all before putting his first album out

GRAMMYs/Oct 13, 2018 - 03:16 am

There's a lot of buzz around Bad Bunny, whose been putting out hit after hit the last two years, several alongside pop heavy hitters, and has successful toured across the U.S., all before releasing a debut album. The Puerto Rican rapper born Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio is taking on the world by storm with his punctuating deep voice, playful style and ultra-catchy brand of Latin trap, a Spanish-language take on Atlanta-born trap music.

Bad Bunny has put out several solo hit songs of his own, but his raps, all of which are in Spanish, can be heard all over, including on Cardi B's No. 1 hit—and one of the biggest songs of the summer—"I Like It." The 24 year old star is clearly a master collaborator, with the lists of artists he has worked with ever-growing, he will keep spreading his sound and his name far and wide.

It almost seems as if Bad Bunny has magically appeared center stage over the last few months, taking over the U.S. airwaves with no prior warning, gaining new fans and new collab partners at blazing speed. The truth is that he has been putting out plenty of hit songs, primarily with Spanish language artists since 2016, primarily in the Latin trap and reggaeton spaces, but it was his feature on GRAMMY-nominated rapper Cardi B's "I Like It," which also features Latin GRAMMY-winning reggaeton star J. Balvin, that really put Bad Bunny center stage in English-language music market.

The song, released in May as the 4th single from Cardi B's debut album, Invasion of Privacy, earned all three stars a No. 1 hit, and has remained on the Billboard Hot 100 for the past 26 weeks. The hit may have been the first time many English-speaking Americans were exposed to Bad Bunny, and the collab has no doubt helped grow his English-language fan base. The rapper is growing momentum at a time where Spanish-language music has been increasingly penetrating American pop music, as we saw with "Despacito" in 2017. Now that he has gotten everyone's attention, Bad Bunny is not slowing down.

The buzz around the rapper started in 2016 when one of the self-produced songs,"Diles," he uploaded to his SoundCloud, gained popularity and launched a loyal following, including from Puerto Rican reggaeton artist DJ Luian, who signed him to his label Hear The Music. After getting signed, he released a remix of the track featuring established reggaeton artists Arcángel, Farruko and Ñengo Flow, along with up-and-comer Ozuna.

Bad Bunny continued to gain momentum in the Spanish-language market, working with more heavy-hitters, including GRAMMY nominee and Latin GRAMMY winner—and all-around reggaeton-legend—Daddy Yankee, on Yankee's 2017 DJ Luian-produced track, "Vuelve." Bad Bunny has been at the forefront of the growing Latin trap and reemerging reggaeton music scenes, with the music continuing to gain popularity among both Spanish speaking and non-Spanish speaking music listeners in the U.S. and around the world.

On Sept. 27 Marc Anthony, Will Smith and Bad Bunny formed a somewhat-unlikely yet very enticing trio with their upbeat single "Está Rico." The song features passion-filled Spanish language singing from GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY winner Anthony and playful English language rapping from GRAMMY winner Smith, parsed with Bad Bunny's deep baritone Spanish language raps. This song is fun and playful and shows not only the versatility of Bad Bunny, but that everyone, even long-established artists like Anthony and Smith, want to work with him. It also made fans hope for more collabs with the Latin trap star.

On Oct. 11 many dreams came true when Bad Bunny released a track, "Mia," with the one and only GRAMMY winning rapper Drake. Just a day after its release the song is already trending big, with over 2.5 million views for the music video on YouTube. Drake surprised fans by delivering his ever-smooth raps all in (impeccable) Spanish, making the song completely Spanish language. We will have to wait and see if "Mia" can earn Bad Bunny another No. 1 hit, but it seems like signs point towards yes.

It is quite impressive how much momentum the young Latin trap star has made without having released his debut studio album yet. And while it feels like pretty much everyone wants to collab with him now, he is a strong, vibrant artist in his own right, and has put out several big solo songs, including his breakout hit "Diles" and "Estamos Bien," which he released this June. "Estamos Bien," which translates to "we're good" is a triumphant, celebratory track that gained almost 100 million views in several weeks.

In September he performed the song on the "Tonight Show" with Jimmy Fallon and dedicated it to the Hurricane Maria victims in his native Puerto Rico, asking others to follow him in supporting the still-recovering island. Even as Bad Bunny rises to the top he stays 100 percent himself, standing proudly in his Puerto Rican and Latino identity, paving the way and making space for other young Latino rappers.

1999: The Year Latin Pop Conquered America

Jennifer Lopez



1999: The Year Latin Pop Conquered America

1999 saw an unprecedented dominance of Latin pop sounds in American music, opening the public's ears to multilingual songwriting

GRAMMYs/Oct 7, 2017 - 02:15 am

The U.S. music scene in 1999 saw an unprecedented surge in the popularity of Latin pop.

Hispanic artists and various elements of Latin sounds dominated the charts to such an extent that by the end of the year even artists with no Latin heritage to speak of were looking to capitalize on the movement by recording Spanish-language versions of their singles in hopes of activating the crossover market.

Sure, there were prior Latin crossover rumblings — remember Dru's Hill's 1998 Latin-inflected Top 3 hit "How Deep Is Your Love" from Rush Hour? But most argue that it all started with Ricky Martin.

Ricky Martin

"It was completely sudden, and it had a lot to do with Ricky. After his performance at the GRAMMYs, everyone was on alert, so to speak, and expecting his new album. The first hit, of course, was "Livin' La Vida Loca" with that sensational video. I think that was the beginning." — Leila Cobo, executive director of Latin content and programming, Billboard

As a young man, Martin came to prominence between the ages of 12 and 17 as a member of the GRAMMY-nominated boy band Menudo. The Puerto Rico native was also a successful actor and solo recording artist before he burst onto the U.S. music scene in 1999. In the '90s, he acted in TV series such as "General Hospital" and "Getting By," telenovelas and stage plays, and he'd released four successful Spanish-language albums.

Martin won his first career GRAMMY — Best Latin Pop Performance for Vuelve — at the 41st GRAMMY Awards in 1999, but it was his show-stopping performance of "La Copa De La Vida" that same year that made it clear something big was on the horizon.

Martin's "Livin La Vida Loca" was released one month after his spectacular GRAMMY performance, and quickly became his first-ever No. 1 charting single, holding the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks. 

The singer's self-titled fifth solo album — his English debut — was released two months later, and hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 almost immediately. The most successful album of Martin's career, it has gone on to sell well over 15 million copies worldwide. Needless to say, 1999 was a big year for the Puerto Rican pop star.

Leila Cobo, executive director of Latin content and programming for Billboard, was working as Miami Herald's pop music critic at the time, recalls one event that served as an interesting tell sign.

"I went to cover [the signing] and found a line of hysterical girls at 11 a.m. on a school day that went on for blocks," she says. "I had never seen anything like this, ever."

Writing for Billboard roughly a month after "Livin La Vida Loca" hit store shelves, Michael Paoletta, now executive producer, A&R and music supervision for Comma Music, commented prophetically, "In the weeks since [the GRAMMYs], it seems like every record label exec has been in a heated search for the next Latin hottie."

Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez had worked as a successful dancer and actress during the '90s, notably appearing as a Fly Girl on Keenan and Damon Wayans' sketch comedy and variety show "In Living Color." In 1997 Lopez earned a huge breakthrough in the leading role as GRAMMY-winning Tejano singer Selena in the titular biopic about her life and tragic death. The Bronx native's performance in the film was lauded by critics and fans alike, putting her in the entertainment spotlight and at the same time making her ripe to become the breakout female star to help propel the Latin pop movement.

Lopez's debut single, "If You Had My Love," was released in May 1999, just a week before Martin's self-titled album hit the shelves, arriving at the perfect time to sate the appetites of stateside listeners. The single climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of the best-selling singles in the U.S. for 1999. Lopez's first studio album, On The 6, released a few weeks later, also skyrocketed, debuting at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and ultimately earning triple-platinum status.

"Waiting For Tonight," the second radio single from On The 6, would go on to be nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 42nd GRAMMY Awards.

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The same month that saw Lopez release On The 6 also saw another well-established Latin pop star blow up in the U.S.

Enrique Iglesias

Enrique Iglesias had previously won his first GRAMMY for Best Latin Pop Performance for his first self-titled 1995 studio album. The Spanish singer also came from an impressive musical pedigree, being the son of GRAMMY-winning Latin pop crooner Julio Iglesias.

"Bailamos," the junior Iglesias' inaugural English language release, was selected for the 1999 blockbuster action flick Wild Wild West, thanks in part to a request from GRAMMY winner Will Smith. The single would top the Billboard Hot 100 and become an immense success, eventually selling more than 5 million copies worldwide.

Almost certainly the biggest success story of the 1999 Latin pop explosion, however, was to be the eponymous band led by then-52-year-old guitar god Carlos Santana.


"We connected with hip-hoppers. … We connected with middle white America, we connected with Latin America, Africa, Asia, Australia. It's like the Champs-Elysées in Paris: This CD is connected to all the streets." — Carlos Santana on Supernatural, 1999

When Santana's 17th studio album, Supernatural, was released in 1999, the group had been playing live together for longer than the likes of Martin, Lopez and Iglesias had been alive. The album's lead single, "Smooth," featuring Matchbox 20's Rob Thomas, was an absolute phenomenon that year. It spent an astonishing 12 weeks in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, marking Santana's first chart-topping song.

Supernatural would net Santana a total of eight GRAMMYs at the 42nd GRAMMY Awards, including Album Of The Year and Best Rock Album, with "Smooth" taking home Record Of The Year, Song Of The Year and Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. Commercially, Supernatural would eventually sell more than 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time. Due to its equally strong chart performance, "Smooth" would be the final song of the decade to stand atop the Hot 100.

The Latin GRAMMY Awards

Following the incredible explosion of Latin pop music in 1999, the year 2000 heralded the inception of the Latin GRAMMY Awards, hosted by the Latin Recording Academy, which was established in 1997 as a counterpart to the Recording Academy.

Nuyorican Marc Anthony would become the first artist to take home the inaugural Latin GRAMMY for Song Of The Year, Record Of The Year and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "I Need To Know (Dímelo)," from his Top 10 1999 self-titled album.

While some later argued that the 1999 Latin explosion was a brief high-gloss blip on the pop culture radar, its impact cannot be underestimated. The 2000s and beyond have seen a steady stream of Latin artists dent the Billboard charts — including Shakira, Juanes, Luis Fonsi, J Balvin, and Nicky Jam, among others. The past year has seen the continuing dominance of Latin sounds in the modern pop scene, with crossover hits such as Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" serving as but one example.

And the Latin GRAMMY Awards has emerged as The Biggest Night in Latin Music, honoring top Latin music talent and featuring top-shelf performances that thrill millions worldwide — a testament to the staying power of Latin music.

"To have a song in Spanish, and to be in the top of the Hot 100, that's something that rarely happens," Fonsi told CNN regarding "Despacito." "I'm just very proud that Latin music has grown so much and people are just really connecting to it."