Dua Lipa nominated for Crossover Artist of the Year at the Latin Music Awards
Bad Bunny Tops 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards Finalists: Complete List
Bad Bunny leads the finalist list with 22 nods. Maluma follows with 11, J Balvin with 9, and Karol G, Anuel AA and Black Eyed Peas with eight each.
By Leila Cobo
Bad Bunny leads the list of finalists for the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards, with 22 nods in 13 categories, including artist of the year, songwriter of the year, Hot Latin Songs artist of the year, top Latin rhythm album and top Latin album of the year -- with three of his releases up for wins.
It’s a stellar showing that caps a very good year for the Puerto Rican rapper, who was able to place three albums -- El Último Tour del Mundo, YHLQMDLG and Las Que No Iban a Salir -- atop the Billboard charts during the eligibility period for the awards (Feb. 1, 2020, through the Aug. 7, 2021, charts).
Following Bad Bunny in the double digits is Maluma with 11 nods, including artist of the year and Hot Latin Songs artist of the year, with his global hit "Hawái" up for six awards, including airplay song of the year and Hot Latin Song of the year.
Finalists and winners will be honored at the annual Billboard Latin Music Awards, which will broadcast live on Telemundo from the Watsco Center in Miami on Thursday, Sept. 23, and which will cover 59 categories across the major music genres of Latin pop, tropical, Latin rhythm and regional Mexican.
As evidenced by this year's finalists (see the full list below) -- which reflect performance on the Billboard charts -- reggaetón and urban music remain the dominant players in the Latin musical landscape.
Balvin and Anuel AA are both up for artist of the year in a category that also includes fellow reggaetón star Ozuna, who is up for seven awards. Balvin also garnered four nods for "Ritmo (Bad Boys for Life)," the blockbuster track with Black Eyed Peas, who are also four-time finalists with “Ritmo.”
Fellow Colombian Karol G is a four-time finalist for her smash "Tusa" (with Nicki Minaj), while Anuel is up for Hot Latin Songs artist of the year and Top Latin Albums artist of the year, primarily on the strength of his sophomore album, Emmanuel.
But while urban music continued to drive the beat of Latin music, regional Mexican music wasn’t far behind, thanks to a new crop of acts who are revamping the genre’s sound and branding.
Leading the way is the group Eslabon Armado with seven nods that include three of their albums: Corta Venas, Tu Veneno Mortal and Vibras de Noche. They’re followed by Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga with four nods, including song of the year for "Que Maldición," and Los Dos Carnales, who are up for three awards, including regional Mexican song of the year, where they compete against themselves with "El Envidioso" and "Cabrón y Vago."
Beyond the growing strength of regional Mexican, another highly visible trend in this year’s list of finalists is mainstream music’s growing interest in Latin acts. The leaders of the pack are the Black Eyed Peas, whose album Translation featured mostly Latin acts, and which has two tracks, “Mamacita” and “Ritmo,” up for awards in addition to the Peas’ nod in the crossover artist of the year category. In addition, The Weeknd has seven nods on the strength of “Hawái,” his collaboration with Maluma; Minaj has six on the strength of “Tusa” alongside Karol G; and Snoop Dogg is a finalist for regional Mexican song of the year for “Que Maldición,” his collaboration with Banda MS de Sergio Lizárraga.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards were not immune to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility for the awards, whose finalists and eventual winners are based exclusively on performance on the Billboard charts, was extended from its usual one-year period to 18 months (from the rankings dated Feb. 1, 2020, through the Aug. 7, 2021, charts), as the 2020 awards were delayed by the pandemic.
And this year, given the pause in touring of the past 18 months, there is no touring category.
But there is a live awards show that will be broadcast once again on the Telemundo network at 8 p.m. ET and preceded by the red carpet one-hour preshow “La Alfombra de Premios Billboard." The music special will also broadcast simultaneously on Spanish entertainment cable network Universo and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Telemundo Internacional.
The awards coincide with Billboard Latin Music Week, which returns to Miami from Sept. 20-25, with a roster of star speakers that includes Karol G, Daddy Yankee and Nicky Jam. For more information on Billboard Latin Music Week and to register, visit billboardlatinmusicweek.com.
BILLBOARD 2021 LATIN MUSIC AWARDS FINALISTAS
Artista Crossover del Año / Crossover Artist of the Year:
- Black Eyed Peas
- Dua Lipa
- Nicki Minaj
- The Weeknd