First, congratulations to Mexican Natalia Lafourcade who tied with Juanes for the Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album with De Todas Las Flores, and props to Mexican Peso Pluma who won Best Música Mexicana Album for Génesis. Sadly, the prolific Mexican songwriter and producer Edgar Barrera was edged out by Theron Thomas for Songwriter of the Year, denying Mexico a trifecta.
Also congratulations to my friend Guatemala-born Gaby Moreno for earning the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album for X Mí (Vol. 1.) And special congratulations to Karol G who won the first Grammy of her career for the category of Best Música Urbana Album for Mañana Será Bonito.
The Latino list did not stop there. Rubén Blades, Gustavo Dudamel, 123Andrés, Miguel Zenón and Luis Perdomo also walked away with the golden gramophone. They are the tip of the spear driving what the music industry bible Chartmaster reports is the surging global expansion of Latin Music, driven by Latinas. Chartmaster reports that “ Latinas are already breaking records and disrupting the global music scene.” After Shakira’s breakout success with her single “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53”,” Karol G debuted Mañana Sera Bonito, at the #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. A sign of much more to come
But the real story at the Awards – and in music in general worldwide – is that women are dominating the music scene. Six of the 10 top global performers rated by Chartmetric are female – Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Rohana, Shakira, Karol G, and Miley Cyrus. And the next 4 are also female – Selena Gomez, Beyonce, Billie Eilish, and Nicki Minaj. The #1 Spotify streaming album in 2023 was Karol G’s Mañana Será Bonio. Yep, girls rule.
Sunday’s Grammys marked this turning point in the music industry with a bang. Women were nominated for 7 of the 8 top categories, and 5 of the 8 nominations for Best New Artist (which was won by a woman). All four top prizes went to women – Taylor Swift, for Album of the year – her fourth, Billie Eilish for Song of the Year, Miley Cyrus for Record of the Year, and Victoria Monét for best new artist.
And just to make the point that the times they are a-changin’, the most moving performance of the night was a duet with country singer Luke Combs and Tracy Chapman, singing her 1988 song “Fast Car”, which has racked up 376 million streams for Combs. This was after an effusive video by Combs honoring Chapman as one of the greatest songwriters ever and his friend – not something you would have heard in the past from a white male country singer about a black female artist.
Final note about another woman, the global phenomenon known as Taylor Swift. She won her fourth Album of the Year Award, the only artist to achieve that milestone. (Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, and Paul Simon have each won the award three times.) The other milestone she achieved recently is billionaire – Forbes put the 33-year old’s net worth at $1.1 billion. And she made it all with her music – no side businesses like clothing lines, alcohol, or cosmetics. Unlike the many male CEO/billionaires who made their money through hidden fees, jacked up drug prices, exploiting workers, and killing off competition, she earned her billion by making people happy. We could use a lot more like her in business as well as in music.
Banner photo: (L-R) Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Julien Baker of Boygenius, winner of the “Best Rock Performance” award for “Not Strong Enough”, the “Best Rock Song” award for “Not Strong Enough”, and the “Best Alternative Music Album” award for “The Record”, in the press room during the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Crypto.com Arena on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy. Printed with permission of the Recording Academy)
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