From Bad Bunny to Xtina: Here Are the Contenders to Watch at the 2022 Latin Grammy Awards

With superstars like Bad Bunny and Rosalía up in multiple races, this year’s Latin Grammys on Nov. 17 in Las Vegas promise to be a big draw. A vast array of genres and artists from all over the world, ranging from legends to rookies, graced the nominations list this year.

Rauw Alejandro scored a record of the year nod alongside Shakira for their reggaeton banger “Te Felecito,” plus Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo and Noah Goldstein earned their first-ever Latin Grammy noms this year for their work on Rosalía’s “Motomami.”

But there are plenty more notables and surprises scattered throughout the list, here are a few:

It’s All About Bad Bunny

Fueled by his summer blockbuster “Un Verano Sin Ti,” the reggaeton titan dominated over the Latin Grammy nominations list with 10 nods – including album of the year and record of the year for the leading single “Ojitos Lindos,” featuring Bomba Estéreo. And when it comes to records, Bad Bunny has broken a few — like having the year’s top-seller and the first all-Spanish language to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. This year, he also became the only artist in history to put on two separate $100-million tours in less than 12 months with his “El Último Tour Del Mundo” and “World’s Hottest Tour,” which more than doubled the gross of the latter.

The prolific reputation of “Un Verano” has many speculating it will also earn a nomination for album of the year at the “gringo Grammys” (as Bunny himself has dubbed the mainstream competition).

Xtina’s Triumphant Return

With seven nominations, including the prestigious album of the year prize for “Aguilera,” the Ecuadorian-American pop idol comes full circle with the awards ceremony – and Latin music in general. The last time Aguilera was nominated for a Latin Grammy was in 2001 for her Spanish-language album “Mi Reflejo” which won best female pop vocal album. The new set sees the singer exploring entirely new vocal territories from guaracha and reggaeton to rancheras, evocative ballads and more. The album’s leading single — the anthemic “Pa Mis Muchachas,” featuring Becky G, Nicki Nicole and Nathy Peluso — also earned a nod for record of the year. At the time of this article’s publication, the song’s theatrical music video boasts over 31 million views on YouTube.

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Ra Ra Rosalía

The night’s most-recognized female artist, with eight nods, Rosalía continues to defy convention with her genre-agnostic “Motomami,” which earned a triple-crown of noms for album, song (“Hentai”) and record of the year (​​”La Fama”), the latter’s infectious bachata and electro-pop rhythms boosted by a feature from the Weeknd.

The Spanish singer also helped TikTok score its first Latin Grammy nomination for best long-form music video. The video, which came a day after “Motomami’s” release, was a collaborative live stream brought together by TikTok, Columbia Records, and Rosalía’s go-to creative production team at Canada. The nearly 30-minute performance featured 14 out of the 16 songs from the album.

Per the singer’s directions, the performance was filmed entirely on mobile phones and since its premiere, has been used as stage design for her “Motomami” world tour.

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Barrera Brings the Secret Sauce

Mexican-American record producer and composer Edgar Barrera comes into the ceremony with nine nominations, including producer (he won the prize in 2021), record (“Pegao”) and song (“Índigo”) of the year — both collaborations with his long-time collaborator, Camilo. “I’m very grateful to Camilo because he involves me in the creation of the album from start to finish,” Barrera tells Variety. “We write together even if it has to be through Zoom and then we spend months producing and polishing every detail until we can put out something we’re proud of.” Barerra’s additional credits include work with Christian Nodal, Camila Cabello, Ed Sheeran, Grupo Firme and Ariana Grande.

Best New Artist Standouts

Multiple standout firsts this year came from the best new artist category. In the past, the regional Mexican genre has been entirely left out of contention, but that changed this year with a nod for emerging act Yahritza Y Su Esencia. Fronted by a 16-year-old Yahritza, the trio of siblings blew up on TikTok with their first single, “Soy El Unico.”

Plus, 95-year-old Angela Álvarez became the oldest musician nominated in the category following the success of her self-titled debut album in 2021. The 15-track set is made up of songs re-discovered by her grandson and film composer Carlos Jose Álvarez, who urged their release decades later. Álvarez also made her film debut this year in the movie “The Father of the Bride,” starring Andy García and Gloria Estefan, where she sings “Quiéreme Mucho.

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