From Bad Bunny to Encanto, the 2023 Grammy Latino Moments You Don’t Want To Miss

On the left, Bad Bunny holding his Grammy award for Best Música Urbana Album. On the right, a still from the movie "Encanto" showing the Madrigal family.

Just three years ago, reggaeton artists were boycotting the Latin Grammys after major continued snubs of the genre. Fast forward a few years to the 65th Annual Grammy Awards, and the artist Bad Bunny made history with his album of the year nomination for “Un Verano Sin Ti.”

This broke 64 years of Grammy English-only history when “Un Verano Sin Ti” became the first Spanish album to be nominated for the biggest award of the night.

While that was major in many ways, the history and the wins for Latinos and Latino culture didn’t end there.

Bring the Sazón (Porque les Falta)

Kicking off the Grammys with a high-energy homage to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Bad Bunny had everyone dancing merengue while putting Latino culture and sazón in the spotlight like hadn’t been seen since the “Latin explosion” of the 90s that chased cross-over hits, more than it leaned into unabashed culture as we are seeing now.

Fans did not let it go unnoticed that after years of high-key and low-key Latino erasure, El Conejo Malo opened up the ceremony with a song that included his infamous line, “ahora todos quieren ser Latino, no, ey, pero les falta sazón.”

While the Latin trap king didn’t win Album of the Year, he did take home the award for Best Música Urbana Album for his record-breaking album "Un Verano Sin Ti." The album sold over 2 million copies, making it one of the best-selling non-English albums in U.S. history. Meanwhile, fans are debating if Harry Styles, the actual winner of the award, even deserved to be in the category.

*Wins in non-English*

The lack of representation in the awards ceremony is a long-recognized problem and has sparked a much-needed conversation about the need for all voices to be properly represented and celebrated in the U.S. music industry.

This became painfully evident when Bad Bunny’s electrifying performance had everyone on their feet, but the closed captioning on the TV sets in true lazy and uncaring fashion displayed, "SINGING IN NON-ENGLISH," rather than accurately captioning the Spanish-language lyrics.

The bi-lingual captioning missteps weren’t just culturally offensive but also deprived the entire hearing-impaired Grammy at-home audience of the opportunity to partake fully in the performance.

Encanto Continues its Success Streak

After a winning streak that saw the 2021 “Encanto” movie smashing records and winning nominations and awards from the Golden Globes to the Oscars, the beloved movie that did more to open up conversations about difficult Latino family dynamics than any movie had done in the past, added even more wins to their award list.

More than a year after its November 2021 release, the movie won Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, and Best Song Written for Visual Media - “We Don’t Talk About Bruno”

The Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media also made history when Mexican-American Germain Franco became the first woman of color to win the category.

Happy 50th, Hip Hop!

It’s undisputed that hip-hop has a massive cultural impact on Latinos in the U.S., and the genre finally got its moment of recognition as the genre celebrated its 50th birthday. Legends of the game and fresh faces alike hit the stage to pay homage to the birthplace of hip-hop - the famous party at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx on August 11, 1973, hosted by none other than the legendary DJ Kool Herc, the founding father of hip hop.

LL Cool J, the original Def Jam Records rapper, set the tone for the celebration as the host, with the tribute being produced and directed by the one and only Questlove. From solo emcees to rap crews, Lil Wayne, De La Soul, Missy Elliott, Rakim, Nelly, and Salt-N-Pepa brought the house down, leaving the audience in awe.

The stage was also graced by the likes of Run D.M.C., Scarface, Public Enemy, Too $hort, Ice-T, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Big Boi, Future, Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio/Ethiopian King, Method Man, the Lox, Lil Baby, and the one and only Queen Latifah.

It was a night to remember and a fitting tribute for a genre that has changed the world.

Latino Category Wins:

Urban Music Album
“TRAP CAKE, VOL. 2” — Rauw Alejandro
“Un Verano Sin Ti” — Bad Bunny (WINNER)
“LEGENDADDY” — Daddy Yankee
“La 167” — Farruko
“The Love & Sex Tape” — Maluma

Tropical Album
“Pa'lla Voy” — Marc Anthony (WINNER)
”I Want to See You Happy” — La Santa Cecilia
“Side A Side B” — Víctor Manuelle
“Legendario” — Tito Nieves
” Latin Images” — Spanish Harlem Orchestra
“Cumbiana II” - Carlos Vives

Regional Mexican Music Album (including Tejano)
“Abeja Reina” — Chiquis
“Un Canto por México - El Musical” — Natalia Lafourcade (WINNER)
“La Reunion (Deluxe)” — Los Tigres Del Norte
“EP #1 Forajido” — Christian Nodal
“Que Ganas de Verte (Deluxe)” — Marco Antonio Solís

Latin or Alternative Rock Album
“El Alimento” — Cimafunk
“Tinta y Tiempo” — Jorge Drexler
“1940 Carmen” — Mon Laferte
“Alegoría” — Gaby Moreno
Los Años Salvajes” — Fito Paez

Latin Pop Album
“AGUILERA” — Christina Aguilera
“Pasieros” — Rubén Blades & Boca Livre (WINNER)
“De Adentro Pa Afuera” — Camilo
“VIAJANTE” — Fonseca
“Dharma +” — Sebastián Yatra

Latin Jazz Album
“Fandango At The Wall In New York” — Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Featuring The Congra Patria Son Jarocho Collective (WINNER)
“Crisálida” — Danilo Pérez Featuring The Global Messengers
“If You Will” — Flora Purim
“Rhythm & Soul” — Arturo Sandoval
“Music of the Americas” — Miguel Zenón

Click here for the full List of 2023 Grammy Winners courtesy of the LA Times.