Pedro Capó took home the Song of the Year award at the Latin Grammys on Thursday for “Calma,” a soothing reggae single that has become popular around the world. “Calma” was by far the most commercially successful track to earn a nomination in this category: The video is closing in on a whopping 1.7 billion YouTube views.
Song of the Year is a companion category to Record of the Year: The former award honors the writers of a particular single, while the latter celebrates the performer. Those might be the same people, as in the case of Alejandro Sanz’s “No Tengo Nada.”
Capó’s competition this year was formidable. He was battling with Sanz, who was nominated for two different songs, plus the veteran Dominican star Juan Luis Guerra, the versatile bandleader and composer Rubén Blades, and the Latin Grammys Person of the Year, Juanes. Other nominees included Fonseca and Sebastián Yatra.
While it sometimes seems easy to predict the winners in some categories at the Latin Grammys — Album of the Year, for example, tends to be awarded to experienced veterans — Song of the Year is more of a wildcard. Sometimes the honor is handed to artists behind a massive global hit: Enrique Iglesias’ “Bailando” in 2014, Carlos Vives and Shakira’s “La Bicicleta” in 2016, Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” in 2017.
In other years, voters have looked away from international dancefloors and chosen instead to elevate pretty ballads like Natalia Lafourcade’s “Hasta la Raíz” and Jorge Drexler’s “Telefonía,” which won in 2018. However, on Thursday, the Academy chose to celebrate a global smash.