Latinx urban music stars like Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha, Nicky Jam and J Balvin speak out against the Latin Grammys, claiming that the recently unveiled nominations ignore many reggaeton artists.

Por Lena Hansen
Septiembre 25, 2019
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Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha, Nicky Jam, J Balvin, Karol G and Maluma have spoken out against the Latin Grammys, claiming that the recently unveiled nominations ignore reggaeton artists. On Tuesday, Daddy Yankee posted an image of a golden Grammy trophy with a big red “X” covering it, with the message, “Without reggaeton, there is no Latin Grammy.” The Puerto Rican singer added in his caption, “Even though I'm nominated, I don't agree with the way they treated our genre and many of my colleagues. Remember something very important: Your platform did not create this movement, this goes beyond any award. This is culture, credibility, pertinence and RESPECT.”

Nicky Jam posted the same image with the caption, “Greetings to my audience and to those who made me who I am today, my fans! For our culture and our movement,” and the hashtag #WithoutReggaetonThereIsNoLatinGrammy.” J Balvin posted the same image supporting this protest, even though he was nominated this year, along with other urban music colleagues like Ozuna, Bad Bunny and Anitta.

Karol G also supported the protest. “Last year I won a Latin Grammy,” she said on Instagram. “It was an incredible moment in my career and my gratitude is and will always be infinite. Today I want to thank Daddy Yankee for expressing publicly — in a respectful way and with the precise words — a feeling many of us share and to make it clear that my support for his words, regardless of being nominated or not, is without offending those who ARE nominated because it is their moment. They worked hard for it and deserve it. But I feel the need to support this initiative because it's the only way to send a message to the Academy to be more inclusive in coming years with a genre that works hard, makes an effort, evolves, and represents great achievements for our Latin community all over the world.”

Maluma also shared his heartbreak via Instagram. “Feel totally disillusioned not to have a single nomination to the @latingrammys,” he said. “So much effort, the best album I've made in my life, collabs with artists I always dreamed of, Madonna singing in Spanish, hits like “HP,” “11 PM,” a salsa song produced by the greatest Sergio George, and all the heart and devotion I put into 11:11 doesn't fit inside my chest. It definitely leaves you feeling confused and not knowing what to think. The only thing that is clear is that the biggest award is seeing your concerts filled to capacity and having an audience that loves you and can relate to you.”

Natti Natasha was also vocal about her discontent, sharing the image of the Latin Grammy Award crossed out with the hashtag #WithoutReggaetonThereIsNoLatinGrammy.

The Latin Recording Academy reacted to the controversy on social media with the following statement: “We respect and admire all the genres that compose the world of Latin music. In 2004, the Latin Recording Academy led the charge for recognizing reggaeton (urban) in several categories, adapting to the evolution of music. The Latin Recording Academy has followed a strict voting process for the past 20 years. The members, through their votes, select what they believe merits a nomination. The Academy has never influenced their decisions, have always honored, and respected their elections, even if there are people who do not agree with the results. Nevertheless, we hear the frustration and discontent. We invite the leaders of the urban community to get involved with the Academy, to get involved with the process, and to get involved with discussions that improve the Academy. At its core, the Latin Recording Academy belongs to its members, from all genres, and our doors are always open. Together we can all make it work. Let's do it!”