Bad Bunny and Anitta Make History at the 2022 Video Music Awards
Two Latinx stars made history at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards and it seems like it’s time for the show’s 38-year history. The 2022 ceremony aired on Sunday, August 28 and marked two big wins for Puerto Rican reggaetonero Bad Bunny (aka Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio) and Brazilian singer-songwriter Anitta. Bad Bunny, who just released the record album A Verano Sin Ti, is no stranger to making history, whether it’s breaking numerous Spotify records, winning awards, and becoming the first Latino to helm a Marvel movie. Now 28, he once again made history by winning Artist of the Year, becoming the first non-English speaking artist and Latin (Spanish) artist to receive the VMA award.
“I said it and I always believed from the start that I could make it big,” he said in Spanish during his acceptance speech. “That I could become one of the biggest stars in the world without having to change culture, language, jargon. I am Benito Antonio Martínez from Puerto Rico to the whole world. Thanks!”
He had also been nominated for a host of other awards, including Song of the Summer for his song “Me Porto Bonito” featuring Chenco Corleone, Album of the Year for his album. A Verano Sin Ti, and better Latin. He performed “Tití Me Preguntó” via live stream from Yankee Stadium as part of his two-night World’s Hottest Tour in New York City in 2022.
Anitta (née Larissa de Macedo Machado) was also nominated for Best Latin, marking the first time in 19 years that a Brazilian artist has been nominated for a VMA award, according to Variety. The Brazilian singer-songwriter, actress and dancer has been in the business since the 2010s but rose to international fame in 2013 with the release of her single “Show das Poderosas”. Like El Conejo Malo, she has also racked up an impressive list of awards and records, including the most streamed song in a single day of 2022 on Spotify. She won the Best Latin category for “Envolver,” marking the first time a Brazilian artist has won an award in VMAs history, prompting an emotional acceptance speech from the singer.
“I just want to say, for who doesn’t know, tonight the story, the first time of Brazil here,” she said at the ceremony. “This is the first time my country has received such an award, and I want to thank my family and friends. And tonight I performed here a rhythm that for many years in my country has been considered a crime. I was born and raised in the ghetto of Brazil, and for anyone born there, we would never have thought this was possible. So thank you very much.
These were incredible times for both artists, as well as the Latinx community as a whole. Seeing artists embrace their roots, culture and languages through music gives their fans much-needed representation and confirmation that we can succeed in any industry and that our voices matter. Hopefully even more Latin artists will continue to make history and innovate at next year’s ceremony.