Latin Grammy Awards: J Balvin, Karol G Among Best Performances

The 21st Annual Latin Grammys featured both recorded and live virtual performances from all over the world last night on Univision including performances from Bad Bunny, Karol G, J Balvin, and Ivy Queen

J Balvin Latin Grammys

MIAMI, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 15: In this image released on November 19, 2020, J Balvin performs at the 2020 Latin GRAMMY Awards on November 15, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The 2020 Latin GRAMMYs aired on November 19, 2020. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy )

The 21st Annual Latin Grammys featured both recorded and live virtual performances from all over the world last night on Univision including performances from Bad Bunny, Karol G, J Balvin, and Ivy Queen. The musical event was hosted by Yalitza Aparicio, actor-singer Ana Brenda Contreras, and salsa singer Victor Manuelle, who replaced singer Carlos Rivera after he said he was exposed to the coronavirus. Grammy, Emmy, and Tony winner Lin-Manuel Miranda kicked off the show speaking in Spanish and English about the importance of Latin music, saying it “unites all of us and makes us human” adding, “This is our night.”

The show was full of memorable performances and some surprising wins including Natalia Lafourcade taking home the prize for album of the year over Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Ricky Martin. Last year Rosalía made history when she became the first solo female performer in 13 years to win the award. Meanwhile, J Balvin made the  Guinness World Records with 13 nominations but walked away with only best urban album for “Colores.” Bad Bunny received nine nominations including album of the year for his mega-successful “YHLQMDLG” but only won for best reggaeton performance for “Yo Perreo Sola“. Both artists did light up the stage with their performances featured in this roundup alongside artists including Pitbull and Lupita Infante.


​Bad Bunny Repped Puerto Rico

Reggaetonero Bad Bunny opened with hit “Bichiyal” cruising his hometown of San Juan in style in a Bugatti. He then performed “Si Veo A Tu Mamá,” at Hiram Bithorn Stadium backed up by an all-female band, a colorful stage and keeping it just as flashy with pyrotechnics.


Héctor Lavoe Tribute

The late Puerto Rican salsa singer Héctor Lavoe was honored with a tribute featuring Ivy Queen, Rauw Alejandro, Ricardo Montaner, Victor Manuelle, Jesus Navarro, and Sergio George performing his song “El Cantate”. “Can you imagine? It’s a great honor for me,” Manuelle told Billboard. “The opening will allow us to relive Héctor Lavoe’s music, the music that is in our blood, that makes us so proud and is part of our musical history and culture.”


Tributes for Pedro Infante, Julio Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, and Roberto Carlos

Lupita Infante performed “Amorcito Corazón” to celebrate her grandfather, Pedro Infante, accompanied by Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández. Natalia Jiménez, Carlos Rivera, Leslie Grace, Prince Royce and Juanes paid tribute to icons Julio Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra and Roberto Carlos, respectively.


J Balvin’s Bleeding Heart on Stage

In what has become one of the most talked-about moments from the whole show, J Balvin performed with a literal bleeding heart while singing “Rojo”. He sang under a giant sculpture of two hands coming together, created especially for the show and weighing 2.6 tons. Before his performance, they showed footage of current events including Black Lives Matter protests, he then took the stage wearing an all-white suit with a red heart painted on. “Although the world feels dark, and our fears torment us, I think it is the moment that our hearts are bleeding, they have a meaning again,” Balvin said midway through the performance. “Let’s all unite and continue to fight for our dreams and a better future.”


Karol G Brings Girl Power

Colombian songstress Karol G performed “Tusa” with an all-female band and dancers though Nicki Minaj was unable to join her, Karol did give the rapper — who raps in both English and Spanish on the track — a shoutout. The stage recreated the Athens-inspired aesthetic of the video, which has more than a billion views. She was nominated for four awards and left empty-handed but her performance was a visual winner and a highlight of the night.


Pitbull’s Performance with Frontline Workers

Mr. Worldwide aka Pitbull released “I Believe That We Will Win” amid the pandemic to provide a message of hope and for his performance he shared the stage with frontline workers. Major Frank Fernandez (drums), physician’s assistant Debi Kuiper-Tomas (bass), Captain Eddy Alarcon and Lieutenant Troy Maness (guitar), background vocals by Sergeant Liz Bremer, labor and delivery registered nurse Kim Fleurinord, firefighter Adrian Ballard, and registered nurse, firefighter, paramedic, and retired U.S. Air Force Major Marlon Ferdinand

“They dreamed of being rock stars playing full stadiums, they represent a large group of individuals all around the world who day after day sacrifice their lives for a safer world,” Pitbull said. “We gonna live it tonight.” “WE WILL WIN” appeared onscreen behind the performers at the end of the song.

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Bad Bunny Best moments Latin Grammys J. Balvin Karol G latin grammy
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