Story by Lucas Villa
In the music business, there is an inextricable connection between acclaimed albums and live success, which is very much the case with this year’s Latin Grammy Awards nominees. The artists with this year’s most nominations are also among the top live Latin acts, whose touring histories tell interesting stories: Superstar Bad Bunny, who leads with 10 nominations, followed by Rosalía, Rauw Alejandro, Jorge Drexler and Christina Aguilera.
Bad Bunny made history in May when his latest LP, Un Verano Sin Ti, became the second all Spanish-language album to top the Billboard 200 chart. His 2020 album, El Último Tour Del Mundo, was the first to do so. The top 2022 Latin Grammy nominee leads a cultural shift that his album helped ignite as it explored genres from the Caribbean. His Latin Grammy nominations include a nod for Album of the Year and Record of the Year for the dreamy track “Ojitos Lindos,” featuring Colombian group Bomba Estéreo.
While Bad Bunny has the second best-selling album in the U.S. this year behind Taylor Swift’s Midnights, his tour has the potential to do something no other artist Latin or otherwise has ever done: set a record as the all-time highest grossing tour in a single year.
Though Bad Bunny came in at No. 3 on Pollstar’s Q3 charts with a gross of nearly $163.6 million from 46 concerts, they were primarily arena performances from the early months of the year along with his first three “World’s Hottest Tour” stadium dates, which is booked through early December.
His schedule of concerts that occur after the Q3 deadline includes 27 more stadium shows. Counting his previous shows for the final year-end chart tallies, and after averaging almost $10 million per show at the stadium dates already played this year, rough estimates of his potential for the full chart year point to a jaw-dropping gross of approximately $400 million.
A box office haul in that range during a single year would land him in the company of only Ed Sheeran, who topped Pollstar’s 2018 Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours chart with a record-smashing $432.4 million gross amidst his “Divide Tour.” No other artist has ever passed the $400 million threshold in a single year, according to archived box-office data. We’ll have to wait and see if Bad Bunny can hit that mark.
Following Bad Bunny’s 10 Latin Grammy nods is Spanish pop star Rosalía with eight nominations.
Her album Motomami also earned an additional nod for Best Engineered Album, with the LP’s engineers, mixers and mastering engineering named as nominees.
Since releasing Motomami in March, it has become one of the most-critically acclaimed albums of the year. Rosalía pushed pop into an experimental electronica territory while proving there’s no language limits to the genre. Motomami is also nominated for Album of the Year. Additionally, she garnered a nomination for Record of the Year for “La Fama,” featuring The Weeknd and a nomination for Song of the Year for “Hentai.” Showing that she’s hands-on in all aspects of her career, Rosalía was also nominated for Best Recording Package for helping design the artwork for Motomami.
Rosalía is bringing the performance art aspect of her music to life on the “Motomami World Tour,” with production that’s been compared to something worthy of a contemporary art museum. According to Pollstar Boxoffice reports, Rosalía has a massive average show gross of $1.36 million with an average of 11.5K tickets per show.
She’s on her way to becoming an arena act with recent grosses that include $3.6 million before 10.1K at Santiago, Chile’s Movistar Arena on Aug. 28, 2022 and an even bigger haul at Madrid’s WiZink Center earning a massive $4.7 million for two shows before 29.1 thousand adoring fans.
In the U.S., she sold-out two Radio City shows on Sept. 18-19 before 11.5 thousand attendees, grossing $1.2 million. While performing at the YouTube Theater in Inglewood, Rosalía was surprised onstage by her boyfriend, Rauw Alejandro.
He also received eight nominations this year. Last year, Alejandro released one of the biggest Latin albums of the year, Vice Versa. The Puerto Rican singer revamped reggaeton music with an electronic edge. The LP was overlooked by Latin Recording Academy, though he was still nominated in the major categories for his featured appearances.
He is up for Record of the Year for “Te Felicito” with Shakira and Song of the Year for “Agua” alongside Daddy Yankee and Nile Rodgers. Alejandro’s Trap Cake Vol. 2 EP earned a nomination for Best Urban Music Album.
On the live front, the album was well received with Alejandro’s “Vice Versa Tour.” The tour kicked off on a great start in October 2021 when he sold out the Coliseo de Puerto Rico with four concerts in a row.
According to Pollstar Boxoffice reports, “El Zorro Raulito” has an average per show gross of $991,000 with 12,400 tickets sold per show He, too, could be on his way to becoming a stadium act with recent grosses that include $1.5 million before 13,000 at Inglewood’s Kia Forum on April 16, 2022, and another sold-out show at Rosemont, Illinois’ Allstate Arena, earning a massive $1.49 million for 13,000 more fans. Last week, he released his new Saturno album, which means another tour will be in the works.
The Latin veteran of the group is Jorge Drexler. The Uruguayan rocker also earned eight nominations.
He is most known for winning an Academy Award in 2005 for his song “Al Otro Lado Del Río” thatwas featured in the movie “The Motorcycle Diaries.” Drexler has previously won seven Latin Grammy awards.
This year, he is up for Album of the Year for his latest LP, Tinta y Tiempo. His collaboration “Tocarte” with Spanish rapper C. Tangana is nominated for Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
Drexler is more known for playing intimate theater concerts in the U.S. According to Pollstar Box Office reports, he has an average show gross of $40,000 with about 1,200 tickets sold per show. Earlier this month, Drexler launched a U.S. tour that visited theaters in New York City, Miami, and Puerto Rico.
Christina Aguilera received seven nominations this year. The pop star made a triumphant comeback to the Latin market this year with Aguilera, an album where she embraced her Ecuadorian roots.
Her last Latin album was 2000’s Mi Reflejo. Instead of remaking her hits into Spanish, Aguilera co-wrote and recorded original Spanish-language tracks that explored Latin genres like guaracha, reggaeton, and Mexican ranchera music. Aguilera proved that her powerful vocal prowess is not limited to one language.
Aguilera is nominated for Album of the Year for her self-titled LP. She also received Song of the Year and Record of the Year nominations for “Pa Mis Muchachas,” her Latina girl power anthem featuring Becky G, Nicki Nicole, and Nathy Peluso.
On the road, Aguilera’s Pollstar Box Office data dates back to September 1999 when she opened for 98 Degrees along with L.F.O. and Desmond Child with a massive career gross of $115,349,316 on 188 Boxoffice reports with an impressive average gross of $613,000 and 9,855 average tickets sold.
Back in June, Aguilera embarked on a summer tour of arenas across Europe and the United Kingdom. She performed her greatest hits and a number of Spanish songs from her Aguilera album this summer in a number of European arenas like the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool and London’s O2 arena.
The Latin Grammy Awards will celebrate the best in Latin music as Spanish-language music continues to grow and fill venues around the world.