MTV announced the nominees for the Video Music Awards on July 16. With the undeniable impact of Latin music on the globe, the new Best Latin category was introduced this year. Shakira, Maluma, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi and Jennifer Lopez have the chance to take home the first mainstream Moonman award for a Spanish-language music video.
Thanks to the massive success of Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito," Latin artists have been making strides on music charts around the world. Oddly, the aforementioned music video - the most watched in the world at the moment - was shut out of last year's ceremony due to technicalities from both MTV and Luis' label. (The remix with Justin Bieber was later nominated for Song of the Summer.) The Video Music Awards are now righting that wrong and the major oversight with the Best Latin category.
Latin artists like Ricky Martin and J.Lo have been nominated at past Video Music Awards, but Shakira broke the mold for Spanish-language music in 2005 when "La Tortura" with Alejandro Sanz was put up for main categories like Female Video, Best Dance Video and Viewer's Choice Award. MTV also took note of reggaeton's initial breakthrough with Daddy Yankee's "Gasolina" nabbing a nomination for the MTV2 Award. The following year Yankee's "Rompe" made it in the Best Hip-Hop category. It would be a few years before Wisin & Yandel's "Abusadora" competed for Best Pop Video at the 2009 ceremony.
Despite all those nominations, a Spanish-language music video has never won a Video Music Award in a main category. From 2006-2013, MTV was quietly awarding Best Latino Artist on sister channel MTV tr3́s and later during Spanish-language rebroadcasts of the award show. Technically, Wisin & Yandel's "Zun Zun Rompiendo Caderas" is the only fully Spanish music video to win a Moonman in 2011's Best Latino Artist category. This year's Best Latin nominees have a chance to make VMA history with their win.
Three of the nominees have crossed over 1 billion views on YouTube: J Balvin and Willy William's colorful call to unity "Mi Gente," Maluma's wet and wild "Felices Los 4" and Fonsi and Demi Lovato's celebratory "Échame la Culpa." Shakira and Maluma's sexy "Chantaje" sits at 2.2 billion views while strangely being the oldest of the bunch (even older than last year's snubbed "Despacito"). Daddy Yankee's "Dura" is nearing 1 billion views thanks to the #DuraChallenge sweeping Instagram and Jennifer Lopez has this year's most nominated artist in her corner, Cardi B, on the bilingual banger "Dinero" with DJ Khaled. Latin's music biggest acts are representing and going head-to-head for that historic win.
You can vote for this year's MTV Video Music Awards nominees here.