The year 2023 was a memorable one for Latin music, as artists from different countries and genres achieved remarkable feats and faced unprecedented difficulties. From awards to festivals, from collaborations to controversies, Latin music showed its strength and resilience. Here are some of the highlights of the year:
In January, Shakira and Bizarrap broke the record for the most-streamed Spanish-language song on YouTube in a single day with their collaboration “Shakira“.
In February, a notable music collaboration titled “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53” was released, featuring Shakira’s distinctive vocals and Bizarrap’s signature beats. The song achieved remarkable success by garnering over 100 million views within a record-breaking time of just nine hours. This achievement surpassed the previous record set by the “Despacito (remix)” from Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, which also featured Justin Bieber.
Also in February, Blanca Paloma emerged as the winner of the Benidorm Fest with her infectious and upbeat pop song called “Eaea.” The song, co-written by Álvaro Tato, Blanca Paloma Ramos, and Jose Pablo Polo, granted her the privilege of representing Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Liverpool. Impressively, she secured a place in the top 10, making it Spain’s best Eurovision result since 2014.
In March, the Viña del Mar International Song Festival made a long-awaited return. The event had been canceled for three consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making this year’s festival all the more significant and anticipated. The festival, which is one of the most prestigious and popular music events in Latin America, featured performances by artists such as Maluma, J Balvin, Mon Laferte, Camila Cabello, and many others. The festival also honoured Daddy Yankee with a special tribute for his contribution to Latin music.
In April, Rosalía won her first Grammy Award for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album for her album Motomami. The album, which showcases Rosalía’s fusion of flamenco, pop, and urban sounds, was also nominated for Album of the Year and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Rosalía dedicated her award to all the women who make music and inspire her.
In May, Bad Bunny released his fourth studio album Un Verano Sin Ti (A Summer Without You), which became his third consecutive number-one album on the Billboard 200 chart. The album, which features collaborations with artists such as Drake, Karol G, Ozuna, and Nicky Jam, explores themes such as love, heartbreak, nostalgia, and happiness.
These are just some of the examples of how Latin music shone in 2023. With more artists emerging and experimenting with different styles and genres, Latin music is expected to continue to grow and impress in the coming years.