Bad Bunny shines at first Spotify Awards in Mexico
Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Bad Bunny was the most awarded artist in the first edition of the Spotify Awards on Thursday in Mexico City, in a ceremony marked by Julieta Venegas' emotional presentation dedicated to the feminist struggle.
"Thank you for having me here fulfilling a dream, I love you, Mexico, see you soon," said Bad Bunny, author of "Mia" and "Callaíta," as he received the top award of the night in the category Spotify Artist of the Year.
This award is given to the artist most listened to, most shared and added to playlists by Mexican users in 2019.
Bad Bunny, whose real name is Benito Martinez, also won in the categories of most listened to the artist and most added to the playlist.
The gala, which took place at the National Auditorium, had its most emotional moment when Mexican-American singer-songwriter Julieta Venegas unveiled her new song "Mujeres" after being introduced by Chilean-French singer-songwriter Ana Tijoux, who called for all women to come together.
"So that we are never again killed, raped, so that there is not one less alive we do not want! For Berta Cáceres, for Michelle Franco, Macarena Valdez, for Ingrid, María and Fátima", said Tijoux to give way to the voice of Venegas, who was accompanied by other Latin American singers.
The Mexican took the stage dressed in a simple lilac suit and her guitar hanging around her neck. She was accompanied by a dozen singers, including her compatriot Tessa Ia and Argentines Daniela Spalla and Sol Pereyra.
"Women are revealing themselves, men don't know what to do," says the chorus of the new song. At the end of the performance, the group of artists put their fist up with a green mask rolled up on their wrist.
The audience in the 10,000-seat auditorium also acclaimed Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin, who was a favorite in several categories but only won the award in the Most Shared Artist category.
In the category of most listened to female artist, the Colombian Karol G triumphed, who caught the audience's attention during her presentation.
According to Mia Nygren, managing director for Latin America, they chose Mexico because of the number of users, the diversity of the music and the time they spend on the application.
Mexico City concentrates the largest number of international users of Spotify and surpasses cities such as New York, Paris, and London.
It's essentially Spotify's in-house version of the Billboard Music Awards, for which most finalists and winners are based on sales, streaming and user-engagement data. The other big music-biz kudocasts are the industry-voted Grammy Awards and the American Music Awards, which are determined by open fan polling.
The goal of the Spotify Awards is pretty transparent: The company wants to encourage fans to vote with their ears, by streaming as much music by their favorites artists on the platform.
During the third quarter of 2019, Spotify's total monthly active users grew 30%, to 248 million. The company beat expectations on paid subscriber growth - up 31% year over year, to 113 million at the end of the period.