2023 Latin Grammy contenders to watch for: Karol G, Rauw Alejandro …

The Latin Grammys are arguably the highest recognition in Hispanic music around the world. This year the award show will likely host some of the biggest and most acclaimed Latin stars. With names like Shakira, Karol G, and Rauw Alejandro all in the mix, who will nab some noms come nomination’s day?

The biggest name in Latin music right now is Karol G. The Colombian singer has made history with her album “Mañana Será Bonito” becoming the first all-Spanish album by a female artist to top the Billboard 200. She is already a two-time Latin Grammy winner, and since she’s likely the biggest urban music star of the season, it’s likely she picks up a couple of awards in the field. However, I don’t know whether she will be able to take home a general field award. Bad Bunny couldn’t last year, and his album was undoubtedly bigger hit than Karol’s. But this year there may be less competition, so perhaps Karol has a chance. Her hit “TQG” with Shakira will also be a likely contender in a couple of categories.

And speaking of Shakira, she’s also had a standout year so far. Besides “TQG,” she could show up with her Ozuna collaboration, “Monotonía,” in the tropical categories. But perhaps her best bet is her Bizarrap collaboration, “BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 53.” The session went viral on its debut, achieving a top-10 debut on the Billboard Hot 100 and topping the global charts. The song might also get a lot of support given that it’s a big rebrand for Shakira, especially with all the controversy she’s faced in the past couple of years. Bizarrap himself is doing well for himself, and could be a double nominee for his global smash hit, “BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 52” alongside Quevedo. So there’s a case to make for both artists to get two nominations each, which is quite impressive, yet deserved.

The Album of the Year race might be between the aforementioned Karol G and Mexican singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade, a previous winner in the category who is currently the most awarded woman at the Latin Grammys and is looking to extend that record with her newest album, “De Todas las Flores.” The record was acclaimed and is currently enjoying some viral success with the song “El Lugar Correcto.” Plus, Lafourcade is the easy-listening choice that many voters might feel comfortable with, especially considering the anti-urban bias in the Latin recording academy. And an award for Lafourcade would also be deserved, as her album is one of the most lauded of the season so far and Lafourcade herself has been one of the most influential names in Latin music this century.

Of course, we can’t talk about the Latin Grammys without mentioning Bad Bunny and Rosalía. The Puerto Rican superstar will likely be absent from the general categories, but expect him in the urban field for one of his collaborations, likely his Arcángel-led hit “La Jumpa.” Likewise, Rosalía will probably be somewhere on the list for her collaborations with her fiancé Rauw Alejandro from their three-song EP, “RR.” Alejandro himself is probably going to be all over the urban categories with his record “Saturno,” which featured hits like “Lokera” and “Punto 40.”

A few names round out the list of possibilities. Manuel Turizo’s “La Bachata” was a huge hit globally, and is bound to get a couple of general field nominations. Camilo is back with his already-Grammy-nominated “De Adentro Pa Fuera,” which got a nomination for Best Latin Pop Album at the main Grammys. There’s also viral urban sensation Feid, whose “Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo Te Pirateamos El Álbum” featured multiple big hits like “Feliz Cumpleaños Ferxxo” and “Normal.” Feid was also a previous nominee in 2019 and 2020. Finally, watch out for pop singers like Humbe, Rozalén, and Kenia Os.

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