J Balvin is clearing the air about his previous Latin Grammys comments. When the nominees were announced in September, there was major backlash from Latinx artists who believed there was a lack of representation in the main categories. The Colombian singer was one of many who publicly spoke out against the academy, but now he’s clarifying his remarks in his cover story for Rolling Stone.
“I’d like to humanize the artistic part. What I said about the Grammys wasn’t said with hate,” he explained to the publication, acknowledging the fact that he had been nominated the year before. “I’m not hurt. Last year, I was the most nominated artist. I do this for the culture and the movement.” The 34-year-old previously posted a picture of the Latin Grammy with the comment: “Sin reggaeton, no hay Latin Grammy.” He also added the caption, “For the culture and the movement.”
During his interview, the Mi Gente singer also talked about fellow reggaetonero Daddy Yankee, who was nominated in the best urban/fusion category, but not in any of the main categories like Record, Song or Album of the Year. “Looking back at Daddy Yankee’s 20 year career, I can feel how this is being taken for granted,” he said, adding that there’s also a gender issue. “And there’s still great gender discrimination in some sectors, and I think that needs to change.”
The singer, who is nominated twice this year—Best Urban Song for Caliente and Con Altura—questioned what the Latin Grammys would do without all of these artists attending the show. “It’s like organizing the Ballon d’Or without calling Cristiano [Ronaldo] or [Lionel] Messi,” the singer told the publication. “If they don’t call them, who are they going to call. They use us. But I want to see what happens to their ratings if we leave.”
The 2019 Latin Grammys will take place on Thursday, November 14 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.