“My heart breaks and I pray for the world,” the Colombian superstar gently sang as he opened up the sultry club song. “Rojo” is up for several nominations, including Best Urban Song. “Our hearts are bleeding. We all need to unite,” he says in Spanish. Donning a three-piece white suit, a bleeding heart appeared on his blazer midway through the song to represent love and solidarity in a time of global struggles during the pandemic.
Balvin became the first winner of the telecast, receiving the Best Urban Album for his 2020 album, Colores. He accepted the Latin Grammy wearing a mask, noting that Latin music “unites all of us and makes us human. This is our night.” The Medellín performer leads the 2020 Latin Grammy nominations, racking up a total of 13 bids, including a double nom for Record of the Year with “Rojo” and “China,” his collaboration with Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, and Karol G.
Last year, the reggaeton performer famously skipped the ceremony, protesting reggaeton’s lack of nominations. This year, all parties came together, with the Latin Recording Academy responding to the controversy by creating two new categories: best reggaeton performance and best rap/hip-hop song.
J Balvin continues to globalize the future of reggaeton. Earlier this year, the #LatinoGang purveyor appeared at the Super Bowl halftime alongside Jennifer Lopez and Shakira. “I want to keep making music and bringing in American artists – not only from the U.S., but from other places like Canada and so on – into our world [of Latin music],” he told Rolling Stone in 2017. “I just want to make a statement, and I’m going to keep singing in Spanish […] That’s actually one of my biggest dreams.”