Observations and ideas about race, ethnicity and mixing.

Why Didn’t Despacito Receive a VMA Nomination?

Despacito is the rare Spanish track that has become a massive success in the U.S. and around the world. The hit song, which recently became the first video to hit 3 billion views on YouTube, has become the most streamed track of all-time and is spending its 14th week at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Despite its clear success, it didn’t receive a VMA nomination. Despacito missed out on  nominations such as video of the year, best collaboration, best editing and other more which it should have stood a fair chance at winning.  MTV said “Despacito was not submitted for consideration”  to The Associated Press because they never received a notice to submit the song. There is no concrete reasoning as to why it didn’t receive a nomination, but there’s a strong belief that race plays an underlying role. Despacito is the first Spanish song to hit #1 on U.S. charts and many believe it is due to the song’s lyrics being in Spanish and not English that it did not receive proper recognition . This language bias shows how race and biases are prominent in popular culture. The nominators hesitated to allow a foreign song to compete for song of the year despite the success. In 2018, this type of hostility should be recognized and criticized. The media should embrace the diversity and multiculturalism of pop culture and music and allow awards to be given regardless of tongue, being rather evaluated by  success and ratings.


Link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2017/08/14/despacito-vma-nomination/566969001/


  1. jimminkc

    When I went abroad last year it was interesting because it was when the song first came out because Justin Bieber was involved. Then when I got back to the U.S. the remix with Justin Bieber as released and the song was play 100 times a day. But of course it wasn’t the original version.

  2. yelda

    Despacito was indeed a song that was heard for months on end, but what it interesting about the Despacito story is that some would argue that Justin Bieber’s remix of the song propelled it to its popularity and not the original Hispanic version. I am not sure if I agree with this view, but I would not be surprised if his name tied to the Spanish song is what made it popular all over the US as it was the first Spanish song to hit #1 ever!!

  3. sarmiena

    I remember when Despacito first came out, it was really popular within the Hispanic and Latinx communities. When Justin Bieber’s remix came out, it then vastly spread to all different countries and cultures in the world. I was proud of the fact that Hispanic artists like Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee had achieved so much success, however it was disheartening to often times hear that Justin Bieber was the reason for its major triumph. When it’d be introduced on the radio, his name was always said first. The song was amazing with and without the remix and I cannot comprehend why it was not nominated when clearly, it remained the #1 song for weeks. It seems as if MTV is afraid of including different languages/cultures in its award shows.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2023 Mixing It Up

Academic Technology services: GIS | Media Center | Language Exchange

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑