A white reggaeton artist was named ‘Afro-Latino Artist of the Year’ and that’s a problem

Published by
The San Diego Union-Tribune

The decision to award reggaeton artist J Balvin as Afro-Latino Artist of the Year last month is a familiarly puzzling and frustrating story. The musical genre — created by Afro-Panamanians and initially known as “reggae en espanol” — is a popular and profitable style of music originating in Black Latin and Caribbean communities. As was the case with jazz, rock and hip-hop before it, reggaeton has morphed from its association with Black artists who’ve had to struggle to break into the mainstream music industry to white artists raking in millions and becoming the face of reggaeton. J Balvin, a w…

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