Alejandro Sanz, who has unwaveringly stayed the path of the singer/songwriter with gravitas, pathos and melodies, even in the face of urban trends and single releases, is the top artist nominee for the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards.
Sanz is up for eight awards, including album of the year and best contemporary pop vocal album, for #Eldisco (#Thealbum). Ironically, Sanz gave it that name, he told Billboard earlier this year, "because it's almost an endangered species."
Aside from the album itself, two of its tracks — "No Tengo Nada" and "Mi Persona Favorita" (featuring Camila Cabello) — are competing against each other in the song and record of the year categories.
In terms of sheer number of nominations, Sanz's closest competition is fellow Spaniard Rosalía, up for five awards. Rosalía's groundbreaking flamenco set El Mal Querer will go head to head against Sanz, her countryman and advocate (Rosalía sang at Sanz's Person of the Year tribute in 2017) in the album of the year and best contemporary pop vocal album categories.
Rosalía also has three separate singles, only one of them from her album, competing in different categories: "Aute Couture," is up for record of the year; "Con Altura" with J Balvin, and featuring El Guincho, is up for best urban song; and "Pienso en tu Mirá" (from El Mal Querer) is up for best pop song. Surprisingly, none of Rosalía's stunning videos garnered nominations, but El Mal Querer is up for best engineered album and best recording package. El Guincho, Rosalía's co producer, is also up for five awards.
Rosalía is most certainly an outlier in terms of genre definitions and also in terms of nominations that skewed pop and alternative, with urban totally absent from the main categories (save for Rosalía's genre-bending fare). It almost felt as a rebuke against a global trend that has seen Latin urban music in all its forms gather record-breaking views on YouTube, streams on Spotify and Apple and positions on the Billboard charts.
Instead, artists like Bad Bunny (with two nominations), Ozuna and Daddy Yankee (with only one each), were found only in the urban categories. The most nods in the urban/reggaeton realm went to newcomer Sech, with three, including his multi-artist "Otro Trago," which competes in the best urban song category against Ozuna ("Baila Baila"), ChocQuibtown's "Pa Olvidarte"; Rosalía and J Balvin's "Con Altura"; and De La Ghetto's "Caliente" featuring J Balvin.
Following Rosalía, veterans Juan Luis Guerra, Fonseca and Andrés Calamaro are up for four awards each, as is percussionist and bandleader Tony Succar. All have nominations in the main categories, with Fonseca, Calamaro and Succar all vying for album of the year. Meanwhile, Guerra’s delightfully sexy "Kitipún," a slow bachata with jazz undertones, is up for song and record of the year.
Beyond the artists, sound engineer Jaycen Joshua is up for eight awards for his work mixing tracks and albums for a wide array of artists, including Juanes, Rosalía, Luis Fonsi and Sebastian Yatra. Mastering engineer David Kutch is up for six awards, as are producers Andres Torres, Mauricio Rengifo and Julio Reyes Copello, all up for producer of the year (with Torres and Rengifo competing as a team).
As for the urbanos, they were also absent from the producer of the year category. And in video of the year, the representation came in the form of social commentary from Brazil (via Criolo’s “Boca du Lobo,” a harrowing look at Brazil's societal crisis) and Spain (with rapper Nach’s “Los Zurdos Vienen Antes”).
As ever, the best new artist category is exciting. This year, it includes Argentine trap star Paulo Londra; Colombian rising star Greeicy; and Nella, a Venezuelan jazz singer from Berklee College of Music.
Nominations to The Latin Grammys were selected from approximately 15,500 submissions across 50 categories, of recordings released during the eligibility period (June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019).
The Latin Grammys will air live Nov. 14 from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Univision.
A partial list of nominees is below.
This first appeared on Billboard.com.