Latin Grammy Nominations: Residente, Maluma Lead as "Despacito" Earns 4 Nods

11:37 AM 9/26/2017

by Leila Cobo, Billboard.com

While the Latin Grammys have long struggled to find a balance between what’s commercially successful and what’s critically acclaimed but obscure, this year the awards seem to have found middle ground.

It was not business as usual for the Latin Grammys, with two urban acts -- Residente and Maluma -- leading the list of nominees, each in unprecedented fashion. Residente garnered his nine nominations from many songs in multiple categories, while Maluma took six of his seven nominations from only two categories. Both paths highlight an eclectic list of nominations where collaborations and fusions were more relevant than ever and where very commercial product -- including the now-fabled "Despacito," up for four awards -- coexisted with lesser-known, more niche-driven projects. 

Residente, who parted ways with Calle 13 to launch an adventurous solo project based on his DNA, is the lead nominee for the 2017 Latin Grammys, with a grand total of nine nods. They include album of the year for Residente, his first solo album, and song and record of the year for "Guerra."

In a departure, particularly for an album that had no radio singles, Residente also has different tracks up for best urban/fusion performance (“Dagombas en tamale”) best urban song (“Somos anormale”) and best tropical song (“Hijos del cañaveral”), while the ethereal music video to “Desencuentro,” a rare love song, is up for best short form music video. 

Following Residente in number of nominations is Colombian star Maluma, who, in what may be a first for the Latin Grammys, has the same three recordings competing in both record and song of the year. “Felices los 4,” “Chantaje” (where he is featured on Shakira’s track) and “Vente Pa’Ca” (where he is featured in Ricky Martin’s track) are all up for record of the year; because Maluma has co-writing credit in all three tracks, he also garners nods in the song of the year categories, which are given to the songwriters. “Chantaje” is also up for best urban fusion performance, giving Maluma his seventh nod. 

Following Maluma with six nominations is Shakira, garnering three of those with “Chantaje,” her track with Maluma while her album El dorado is also up for album of the year and best contemporary pop vocal album. 

Juanes, Mon Laferte and producer/engineer/songwriter Kevin Jimenez ADG, who works with Maluma, have five nominations each. Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, the artists behind "Despacito," are up for four awards each for the track: song of the year (as writers), record of the year, best short form music video and best urban fusion performance, where they’re nominated for the “Despacito” remix that features Justin Bieber.

On his end, Juanes is nominated for album and best pop/rock album of the year for his “visual” album, Mis planes son amarte, which is also up for best long form video. 

While the Latin Grammys have long struggled to find a balance between what’s commercially successful and what’s critically acclaimed but obscure, this year the awards seem to have found middle ground. 

“I obviously think [the “Despacito” nominations] are sensational,” says Gabriel Abaroa, president/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. “How could I explain had it not gotten nominated?” he said with a laugh. 

The fact that this year’s nominations seem more commercially inclined, says Abaroa, could be explained by the fact that there’s a new generation of younger voting members. “They come with new thoughts and new music but they still recognize the traditional music that represents our roots,” he says, citing nominated product that blends old and new by the likes of Ruben Blades and Natalia Lafourcade

Because the main categories  -- record, album and song of the year -- all have 10 nominees, there’s ample space for different tastes. The Album of the year category, for example, includes albums by Shakira, Nicky Jam, Ruben Blades and Danay Suarez, a young veteran of Cuba’s new hip hop movement. 

Likewise, nominees for Song of the year include Natalia Lafourcade’s “Tu si sabes quererme,” “Ella” by superstar singer/songwriter Ricardo Arjona, and and Mon Laferte’s “Amárrame” featuring Juanes competing alongside “Despacito” and “Chantaje.”

For Abaroa, the highlight of the nominees was “the quality of most of the best new artists. I think the business is becoming very dynamic and there new artists who are taking new risks and defending their music. I feel there’s a lot of opportunity.”  Of more than 500 submissions for best new artist, an award that has tended to shun big successes, the 10 nominees include at least seven signed to major labels: CNCO, Sebastian Yatra, Sofía Reyes, Martina La Peligrosa, Vicente García, Danay Suárez and Mau y Ricky

As ever, there are inexplicable absences. Ozuna, who currently has a record 11 songs on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, is not a nominee for best new artist, for example, nor are any of his songs up for awards even though a handful were released by the Latin Grammy deadline. 

Nominees to the Latin Grammys were chosen in 48 categories from over 10,000 total submissions and are voted upon by members of the Latin Academy who also vote for the winners. 

This year’s Latin Grammys will air live on the Univision Network on November 16 and will be produced by a new team that includes Jose Tillan and Terry Lickona, longtime producer of Austin City Limits.

For a full list of nominations, go to LatinGrammy.com

This story first appeared on billboard.com

Find key nominations below: 

  • Album Of The Year

    Salsa Big Band — Rubén Blades con Roberto Delgado & Orquesta
    Obras Son Amores — Antonio Carmona
    A La Mar — Vicente García 
    Fénix — Nicky Jam
    Mis Planes Son Amarte — Juanes
    La Trenza — Mon Laferte
    Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos, Vol. 1) — Natalia Lafourcade
    Residente — Residente
    El Dorado — Shakira
    Palabras Manuales — Danay Suarez

     

  • Record Of The Year

    "La Flor De La Canela" — Rubén Blades
    "El Surco" — Jorge Drexler
    "Quiero Que Vuelvas" — Alejandro Fernández
    "Despacito" — Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee
    "El Ratico" — Juanes featuring Kali Uchis
    "Amárrame" — Mon Laferte featuring Juanes
    "Felices Los 4" — Maluma
    "Vente Pa' Ca" —  Ricky Martin featuring Maluma
    "Guerra" — Residente
    "Chantaje" — Shakira featuring Maluma

     

  • Song Of The Year (A Songwriter's Award)

    "Amárrame" — Mon Laferte, songwriter (Mon Laferte featuring Juanes)
    "Chantaje" — Kevin Mauricio Jiménez Londoño, Bryan Snaider Lezcano Chaverra, Joel Antonio López Castro, Maluma and Shakira, songwriters (Shakira featuring Maluma)
    "Desde Que Estamos Juntos" — Descemer Bueno and Melendi, songwriters (Melendi)
    "Despacito" — Daddy Yankee, Erika Ender and Luis Fonsi, songwriters (Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee)
    "Ella" — Ricardo Arjona, songwriter (Ricardo Arjona)
    "Felices Los 4" — Mario Cáceres, Kevin Mauricio Jiménez Londoño, Maluma, Servando Primera, Stiven Rojas and Bryan Snaider Lezcano Chaverra, songwriters (Maluma)
    "Guerra" — Residente and Jeff Trooko, songwriters (Residente)
    "La Fortuna" — Diana Fuentes and Tommy Torres, songwriters (Diana Fuentes featuring Tommy Torres)
    "Tú Sí Sabes Quererme" — Natalia Lafourcade, songwriter (Natalia Lafourcade featuring Los Macorinos)
    "Vente Pa' Ca " — Nermin Harambasic, Maluma, Ricky Martin, Mauricio Montaner, Ricky Montaner, Lars Pedersen, Carl Ryden, Justin Stein, Ronny Vidar Svendsen and Anne Judith Stokke Wik, songwriters (Ricky Martin featuring Maluma)

  • Best New Artist

    Paula Arenas
    CNCO
    Vicente García
    Martina La Peligrosa
    Mau y Ricky
    Rawayana
    Sofía Reyes
    Rosalía
    Danay Suarez
    Sebastián Yatra

     

  • Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album

    Hijos Del Mar — David Bisbal
    Rompiendo Fronteras — Alejandro Fernández
    Flora Y Faῦna — Camila Luna
    El Dorado — Shakira
    Extended Play Yatra — Sebastián Yatra

     

  • Best Urban Fusion / Performance

    "Si Tu Novio Te Deja Sola" — J. Balvin featuring Bad Bunny
    "Despacito" (Remix) — Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber
    "El Amante" — Nicky Jam
    "Dagombas En Tamale" — Residente
    "Chantaje" — Shakira featuring Maluma

     

  • Best Alternative Music Album

    Jei Beibi — Café Tacvba
    Apocalipsis Zombi — El Cuarteto de Nos
    La Trenza — Mon Laferte
    La Promesa De Thamar — Sig Ragga
    Palabras Manuales — Danay Suarez

     

  • Best Regional Song (A Songwriter's Award)

    "Compromiso Descartado" — Espinoza Paz, songwriter (Leonardo Aguilar)
    "Ganas De Volver" — Horacio Palencia, songwriter (Horacio Palencia)
    "Sentimiento Emborrachado" — Raúl Jiménez E. and Chucho Rincón, songwriters (Santiago Arroyo)
    "Siempre Es Así" — Juan Treviño, songwriter (Juan Treviño featuring AJ Castillo)
    "Vale La Pena" — Edgar Barrera, Martín Castro Ortega and Alfonso Lizárraga, songwriters (Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga)

     

  • Best MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) Album

    Dos Navegantes — Edu Lobo, Romero Lubambo, and Mauro Senise
    DNA Musical — Alexandre Pires
    Silva Canta Marisa — Silva
    Até Pensei Que Fosse Minha — António Zambujo
    Zanna — Zanna

     

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