Most Viewed Stories

The 2023 Grammys: surprises and disappointments

My smiles and frowns from the Grammys 2023

I spent last Sunday afternoon and evening watching the Grammys. I know, I know, I should have been down in Christina Park listening to the music of local Mexican bands, but hey – I am music critic and it was the Grammys.  I will make up for it by catching Mary’s Island this month here in Ajijic Mexico where I live.

I was watching carefully for the Grammys’ recognition of the influence and growth of Latin and Mexican music. I was a little disappointed on that score, but since this was the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip Hop, it stands to reason that Latin music would not be front and center. And, having been raised in Los Angeles, during the birth of Hip Hop, I did enjoy the tribute to Hip Hop and the performances by singers and groups that were hot when I was in high school. And I loved that the producers included the women of Hip Hop like  Salt n’ Pepper, Missy Elliot and Queen Latifa.

I also loved the Fans Award and the introduction of the Academy- selected group of fans and the last moments of the show when Host Trevor Noah let the Harry Styles fan read the Grammy of the Year Award – for Harry Styles. A big Harry Styles hug for her followed ,which she will never forget.

Another happy surprise at the Grammys tonight was the statue that went to Sam Smith and Kim Petras, Kim being the first trans artist to win a Grammy. Another surprise – especially to her – was Bonnie Raitt winning Best Song of the Year for “Just Like That”, a song she wrote honoring organ donors. I loved it. I was sad  however, when Wet Leg did not win Best New Artist. Those two women are incredible! So is the winner, Samara Joy, but….

Oh, and Beyoncé broke the record for the most Grammy wins. No surprise, but still happy.

 So, what happened to Latin and Mexican music? It was there, and the producers of the Grammys highlighted it, but the Academy voters didn’t. Fewer nominees and fewer winners.

The show kicked off with Bad Bunny and a rocking Latin dance number to two songs from his album Un Verano Sin Ti, “El Apagón” and “Despues la Playa.” Bad Bunny was nominated for Album of the Year but he was aced out by Lizzo – whom I love too- but his album did win the Best Musica Urbana category.

My biggest disappointment was that Marc Antony took the Best Tropical Latin category, beating out my friends La Santa Cecelia whose song “Quiero Verte Feliz” – is much better in my opinion. But I may be biased since I know the lead, El Marisol and they are a hometown LA band for me.

Closer to home, a happy surprise was Natalia Lafourcade taking the Best Mexican Regional Music category with “Un Canto por México — El Musical.”  (I love it that there is a category for Mexican Regional Music.)  

Much closer to home, if you watched the Grammy Premiere Ceremony on YouTube like I did (and you still can) you would have seen a beautiful red-headed woman singing and dancing her heart out behind Carlos Vives in a wild Cuban number. That talented woman is Alih Jey, long time friend, Grammy nominee,  and more important, niece of a local Ajijic resident and singer Johannys Jimenez-Hartog. That was a very happy surprise.

Patrick O’Heffernan



Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids

IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.

Go to to learn more, Donations can be made at – Any Amount will help!

Support Our Publication

About Patrick O'Heffernan, Music Sin Fronteras (428 Articles)
Patrick O’Heffernan, PhD., is a music journalist based in Mexico, with a global following. He focuses on music in English and Spanish that combines rock and rap, blues and jazz and pop with music from Latin America, especially Mexico like cumbia, banda, son jarocho, and mariachi. He is also edits a local news website and is a subeditor of a local Spanish language newspaper. Check out his weekly column Music Sin Frontera on Sunday nights.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: