A new, investigative analysis by Somos Ruidosa takes a magnifying glass to the dearth of female nominees in three internationally-primary Latin American music awards during the year 2017. Looking at the Latin Grammys, Billboard Latin Music Awards and Premios 40 Principales, Somos Ruidosa uncovers that out of 504 nominations throughout the Spanish-speaking music industry, a mere 68 women were nominated. Of those nominated, even less actually won.
“This means that nominations to women correspond to 14% of the total,” states the pro-female publication. “These figures decrease when it comes to seeing who actually wins the prizes, because of 117 winners, only 14 were women.”
While the Latin Grammys respond to an academy made up of members from around the world who participate in the music industry (from engineers and producers, to artists and record labels), and Premios 40 Principales uses the popular vote among its listeners, Billboard Latin Music Awards’ nominees are determined by the numbers, taking into consideration their popularity in radio and sales both physically and digitally.
At the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards, only one woman won a prize: Jennifer Lopez, in the category of social artist of the year. Meanwhile, Mexican singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade, Brazilian singer and composer Bruna Viola, Brazilian Aline Barros, Brazilian jazz musician Eliane Elias, female mariachi band Flor de Toloache, Puerto Rican artist and multiple award winner Olga Tañón, Mexican-American singer-actress Lila Downs and Colombian pop empress Shakira made up the nine women who took home Latin Grammys in 2017. Spanish singer and composer Vanesa Martín, Camila Cabello, Shakira and Haim won during last year’s Premios 40 Principales.
Needless to say, we have a profound problem of female representation at Latin music award shows, participation and diversity. However, Somos Ruidosa believes the heart of the problem lies not in the lack of female winners, but the low number of nominations women receive to begin with. Which begs the ultimate question: How do we make women “considered” in the same way in these categories?