Fans of Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee were not pleased after last night’s Grammy Awards. Their monster hit “Despacito” got zero love at the awards show, in spite of being 2017’s indisputable monster hit. The song broke barriers and records, went diamond and dominated the charts for most of the summer. The Youtube video is still racking up views in the billions.
The song lost to Bruno Mars’ “That’s What I Like,” in the Best Song category and Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic” for Record of the Year.
Fans and critics alike are crying foul over the snub, accusing The Recording Academy of being dismissive of the contributions of Latin artists. Some had stronger language for what happened, calling the Recording Academy’s snub racist.
El Grammy para mejor canción del año era para #Despacito. La Academia super racista.
— Karina Ortiz (@KarynitaOrtiz) January 29, 2018
But Luis Fonsi was still pleased with the opportunity to present his song to English-speaking audience. He announced on Twitter the day after the show: “We aren’t leaving emptyhanded. Breaking language barriers and uniting the world with a song is the best prize you could win. We continue to share our culture and Latin music with the entire world. Thanks for supporting us. This is only the beginning.”
No nos vamos con las manos vacías esta noche. Romper la barrera del idioma y unir al mundo con una canción es el mejor premio que uno puede ganar. Sigamos compartiendo nuestra cultura y nuestra música latina con el mundo entero. Gracias por apoyarnos, esto es solo el comienzo. #Grammys
A post shared by Luis Fonsi (@luisfonsi) on Jan 28, 2018 at 8:12pm PST
In spite of the snub, watching Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi take over the Grammys stage and perform their mega-monster hit was was a treat. Probably because for many it was the first time we have seen the two perform the song on stage at an awards show.
“Songs have their moment and have to evolve,” he told Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Día. “That’s not to say we stop singing them, but a song like that (‘Despacito’), has to evolve, and in my case, that is what I think.”
Daddy Yankee didn’t want to perform the 2017 earworm at the Latin Grammys, apparently, because organizers wouldn’t let him perform newer material.
The rumors about bad blood between Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi started in the summer when Fonsi landed an endorsement deal for Puerto Rico’s tourism board. The same offer was not extended to Daddy Yankee, though “Despacito” was used as part of the deal.
Daddy Yankee’s wife added gas to the fire, posting on her instagram “Tourism chooses Fonsi, who lives in Miami, as embassador for Puerto Rico. Bravo Tourism!”
A post shared by Mireddys (@mireddys) on Aug 17, 2017 at 3:57am PDT
But last night, Daddy Yankee did join forces with Luis Fonsi – beef or no beef – to bring down the house. The lively performance included former Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera, who starred in the video.
Perhaps Daddy Yankee decided to revisit “Despacito” because he, like fans, thought the song stood a good chance of winning.
At the end of the performance, Fonsi and Daddy Yankee gave each other a bro hug.
Whatever misunderstanding they had was obviously less important than a chance to bring Latin music to the world’s stage on its own terms.