News / Trending

J Balvin Responds To Being Named ‘Afro-Latino Artist Of The Year’ AT AEA

J Balvin

J Balvin is one of the biggest Latin American artists, but of late, his career has been mired in controversy, which continues to haunt him. The artist is catching flack again, even though not because of his own doing.

On Dec 27, the artist was announced as the AEA Afro-Latino Artist of the year, which led to an uproar on social media because Balvin is far from Afro. The singer previously got into trouble for his song “Perra,” which was labeled racist for using African models as dogs on leash. Many called out the artist for the racist trope.

Since then, J Balvin has managed to keep things quiet until the announcement on Monday, which placed him in the spotlight negatively.

Born José Álvaro Osorio Balvín., the Colombian singer/rapper was dragged for the music award. Many took to social media as they pointed out that Balvin was a white Latino.

Several threads on Twitter discussed the artist’s race and ethnicity, while others suggested that the award was for his Afrobeats music, a genre that developed from African and stems from Jamaican Dancehall music.

“Gonna need the African Entertainment Awards to gatekeep blackness a Lil more coz how [the f###] they gave J Balvin white as s### ass [an Afro-Latino] Artist Of The Year award. Sech and Ozuna are right there? And are Black?” a person tweeted, while another said that “J Balvin, a white Latino, shouldn’t have accepted this award over actual [Afro-Latino] artists.

“J Balvin won an award on Blackness by using Black Caribbean music, dialect, rhythms, and wardrobe. While actual Black folx who have higher streaming numbers, better lyricism, better everything, and who are actually BLACK lost,” a third person chimed in.

Later, the star reacted to news clarifying that he is not Afro-Latino, but he is nevertheless thankful for the recognition.

“I’m not an Afro-Latino, but thank you for highlighting my contributions to the afrobeat music and its community.”

Later, AEA USA released a statement clearing up the controversy where it said that the award is for any artist who contributes to African music.

“The Afro Latino category…is for any artist based in Latin American that is contributing to the African culture especially the Afro-beats globally. It is not based on race but more importantly based on pushing the African Culture forward on the world stage. This is the first year we introduced this category to include our Latin brothers and sisters who have embraced Afrobeats music within their platforms.”

The AEA went on to say that the category was fan-voted, which means that fans of Balvin voted for him to win.

Despite the statement by AEA, many persons called out the organization for not only naming Balvin but artists Nacho, and Bad Bunny, which many felt should not be in the category as they do not identify as Afro-Latino.

Many called on J Balvin to decline the award so it could be given to an Afro artist. However, Balvin has not done so.

The AEA later updated their post, saying that they changed the name of the category after the backlash.

“After listening to the concern of our audience we have decided to maintain the purpose of the award but changed the name to Best Latin Artist Of the year. The Best Latin Artist category is for any artist based in Latin America that is contributing to the African culture especially the Afro-beats sound globally. It is not based on race but more importantly based on pushing the African culture forward on the world stage. This is the first year that we introduced this category to include our Latin brothers and sisters who have embraced Afrobeats music within their platforms. The winner of this category has demonstrated that and is deserving of this award based on the fans votes,” the organization’s edited Instagram post read.

The AEA also took note of the criticisms on J.Balvin and said that “Please remember the nominees in this category had no say in their nomination or influence on the award show. Instead of voicing dissatisfaction, let us encourage these artists to continue bridging the gap between Africa and Latin America. We are asking for your continued support, assistance and guidance in the nomination process for 2022. We thank you for your understanding and looking forward to an open dialogue. We apologize to the people who where offended by this category #oneafrica #newafrica #unityisourstrength @jbalvin.”