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Year of Explosive Growth for Latin Music

The top nominee at Thursday’s 23rd Annual Latin Grammy Awards is Puerto Rican superstar Bad Bunny, with 10 nominations for “Un Verano Sin Ti,” his chart-topping, streaming-dominant release that’s the most popular LP of the year. But for the broader Latin music business, Bad Bunny caps an exceptional year of streaming services and touring from the likes of Colombian singers Karol G and Brazil’s Anitta; cross-genre innovators like Spanish pop disruptor RosalĂ­a; and regional Mexican bands such as Grupo Firme. Latin music, long considered a niche area, continues to expand into new markets, with streaming platforms helping artists reach a broad new audience, which in turn is purchasing hundreds of millions of dollars in concert tickets. “Latin music is having a moment,” said Gary Gersh, a longtime music executive who is president of global tours and talent for concert company AEG Presents. “But it won’t go away. The doors were blown away.” In the first half of 2022, sales of Latin music recordings in the United States hit $510 million, a new high, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, and could surpass $1 billion by the end of the year. Of that, 97 percent came from streaming — indicating a young and technologically connected audience. According to Spotify, half of its users around the world stream at least one Latin song every month.

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