The Latin Grammys—the more lively alternative to the regular Grammys—happened on Thursday, and the women in the room were intentional about elevating other women. First off, Flamenco artist Rosalía won two of the five awards she was nominated for—Best Urban Fusion/Performance and Best Alternative Song—beating out two legends in the former category, Daddy Yankee and J. Balvin. “I want to give thanks to the women in the industry who have shown me that it’s possible,” she said, listing her inspirations, from Lauryn Hill to Björk. “I’m here thanks to all of you.”
The 27-year-old Colombian artist Karol G got her first Latin Grammy, for Best New Artist, and shared the accolade with “all the women who have done big things in the industry this year.” Later, she performed her most popular single, “Mi Cama,” while wearing boots I now feel like I need, even though I’d never get past a city block in them.
Other women who took a trophy home last night: Linda Briceño for Producer of the Year, Italy’s Laura Pausini for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, Maria Rita for Best Samba/Pagode Album, Anaadi for Best Portuguese Language Contemporary Pop Album, and Natalia Lafourcade for Best Folk Album.
While accepting his award for Best Urban Music Album, Balvin told everyone to “value the new blood that’s on the rise, because they are the future.” He should’ve repeated it for the people in the back, though—Natalia Lafourcade (Musas Vol. 2) and Monsieur Periné (Encanto Tropical) were both nominated for Album of the Year, but the award went to Latin America’s beloved uncle Luis Miguel, who didn’t show up, leaving our aging-immune tia Thalia, who was presenting and accepting the award on his behalf, to be drowned out by boos. Additionally, as Jezebel’s editor-in-chief Julianne Escobedo Shepherd pointed out while losing her shit during Bad Bunny’s performance, an embarrassing amount of people in the audience didn’t know El Conejo Malo or his music.
Despite the emphasis on familiar acts, there was some new blood. Ángela Aguilar, the 15-year-old daughter of the legendary Pepe Aguilar, sang a beautiful rendition of “La Llorona.” She was the youngest nominee in both of her categories this year, including Best New Artist and Best Regional Mexican/Mariachi album. She told the Los Angeles Times at the show, “I think it’s a great year for women because girls can do anything and can often do more than boys.”
In other news, Halsey was there. Don’t ask me why. (But if you did ask, I’d say it was likely a failed attempt to integrate a white artist into a night that’s supposed to highlight Latinx talent. Isn’t that what the entire other Grammys is dedicated to???) Halsey, who sings only in English, was brought on to sing Sebastian Yatra’s “No Hay Nadie Más,” followed by her single “Without Me,” as the show’s bilingual performance of the night. Why not just invite Drake to sing “MIA” with Bad Bunny?
Though the men still left more decorated overall, the women outshined them with their performances, and there was enough new talent to get excited about. The board (comprised of one woman and five men) and voting members couldn’t help but recognize their work this year. The Grammys, coming in February, should take a note or two.