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CNCO Is Breaking Up After Nearly 7 Years: ‘We’re Ready to Try New Things’



CNCO announced at the 2022 Premios Juventud on Thursday (July 21) they are disbanding after nearly seven years as a group. The news came as a surprise to many, including their fans, since the announcement comes a bit over a year after Joel Pimentel shared his departure from the boy band on May 9, 2021.

Billboard was able to catch up with the remaining CNCO members, Christopher Velez, Erick Brian Colon, Richard Camacho, and Zabdiel de Jesus just a day before they would break the news at the awards show. “We are feeling nervous but at the same time, we feel excited, anxious,” Colon exclusively tells Billboard. Adding that the decision to split was amicable.

“We always thought that if we split, it had to be natural, and that’s how it happened,” De Jesus elaborates. “We’ve lived many things together, and grew together in this industry, and we’re ready to try new things to expand our careers. We’re very excited.”

The Latin boy band, which formed in December 2015 after winning the Univision competition show La Banda, is behind multiple Billboard hits including “Reggaeton Lento,” “Hey DJ,” and “Se Vuelve Loca.” Three of their albums have hit No. 1 on the Latin Pop Albums chart, including Primera Cita, which spent eight weeks at the top in 2016. They have nabbed seven Billboard Latin Music Awards, including the new artist of the year in 2017.

But after a successful run that spanned short of a decade, the boys are parting ways.

“It hurts us because it’s a big step in our lives that’s going to lead us to our solo careers but exciting at the same time because we’re willing to experiment and try to find our own sound and individuality,” Velez notes. “Just because we’re splitting doesn’t mean we’re going to stop seeing each other, we’re simply trying out new, challenging things. I know we will see each other in the way, of composing or working together. We have faith that the outcome will be great.”

Although the group announced its split, CNCO will continue for another year and a half, promising more new music, an album, a tour, and their upcoming series on Disney+.

“CNCO opened the doors for us in the industry and now we have more opportunities to keep writing and meet other people, get into the studio and create new vibes,” Camacho explains. “In the end, we have a lot of love and want to make sure everyone feels part of this family because everyone contributed and without you, we’re no one. This is not negative at all, it’s very positive. At the end of the day, we want to grow and enjoy life. Maybe in the future, we’ll come back. Who knows?”

As for their loyal fandom, the CNCOwners, Velez expresses: “They know that we love them from the beginning. Without them, this wouldn’t be possible. I know they’re going to follow our solo careers and support us. The love is always going to be mutual. We’re going to become better artists to deliver the best music. They know we love them.”

CNCO, who is signed to Sony Music Latin and managed by Walter Kolm, is currently making the rounds with their Kenia OS-assisted single “Plutón.”

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Grammys 2023: Who’s Performing, Attending and Skipping Music’s Biggest Night



At a time when nothing feels normal anymore, the first “normal” Grammy Week in three years is shaping up to be even more action-packed than the pre-Covid years. Starting Wednesday, nearly every day and night is jam-packed with parties, showcases, brunches, lunches and happy hours like it was 2019 all over again.

Amid all the hubbub, we’re still awaiting the full lineup of performers for the Feb. 5 show at Los Angeles’ arena, which the Grammys have been announcing unusually late in the game this year — and literally during a game, as was the case when Harry Styles was revealed as a performer in a commercial that aired during the fourth quarter of the Chiefs-Bengals AFC final on Sunday night.

Below is a rundown of the artists we know are performing (18 performance slots are planned), ones we know are not, ones who are attending but probably not performing — and ones we hear just might be… All of which is to say, subject to change and updates.

Who’s Performing: Already announced are Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Luke Combs, Steve Lacy, Lizzo and Sam Smith with Kim Petras. Variety also hears that DJ Khaled will take the stage, possibly with Jay-Z — “GOD DID,” their collaboration with Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, John Legend and Fridayy, is up for three awards including song of the year.

Also expected are several all-star tributes: Kacey Musgraves will pay homage to the late Loretta Lynn with “Coal Miner’s Daughter”; Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood and Bonnie Raitt will honor Christine McVie with “Songbird”; and Maverick City Music and Quavo will perform “Without You” in memory of Takeoff.

Fifty years of hip-hop will get its own tribute curated by Questlove. LL Cool J will introduce the segment, perform and give a dedication to hip-hop, while the Roots provide music and Black Thought narrates. Confirmed performers include Big Boi, Busta Rhymes with Spliff Star, De La Soul, DJ Drama, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Missy Elliott, Future, GloRilla, Grandmaster Flash, Grandmaster Mele Mel & Scorpio/Ethiopian King, Ice-T, Lil Baby, Lil Wayne, The Lox, Method Man, Nelly, Public Enemy, Queen Latifah, Rahiem, Rakim, RUN-DMC, Salt-N-Pepa and Spinderella, Scarface, Swizz Beatz and Too $hort.

As for the big three — let’s just say it: Adele, Beyonce and Taylor — the status is still uncertain. Adele has Las Vegas residency concerts on the two nights before the Grammys, which makes a performance at the big show possible (she could rehearse as late as Thursday) but less likely. She did, however, seemingly confirm her attendance at a recent Vegas date.

Beyonce performed an elaborate set at the grand opening of the Atlantis the Royal hotel in Dubai earlier this month — for a reported $24 million — so she’s certainly rehearsed. And her Wednesday announcement of a world tour bodes well for an appearance.

Swift, Variety hears, will not perform.

Who’s Attending: All the best new artist nominees — Anitta, Omar Apollo, DOMi & JD Beck, Samara Joy, Latto, Måneskin, Muni Long, Tobe Nwigwe, Molly Tuttle and Wet Leg — are expected to be in attendance but so far none have been offered a performing slot. Doja Cat, up for six nominations, will also walk the red carpet and sit inside, but she’s not expected to perform. Same with Future, who’s up for best rap album among multiple other nods. Zach Bryan, up for best country solo performance, will be in attendance but not booked to perform.

Who’s Skipping: Lady Gaga, up for two awards for “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick” is not expected to attend as she is currently filming; Finneas, nominated for best song written for visual media, is on tour in Australia; Drake is up for several collaborations in 2022, including with Future and Jack Harlow, but his attendance at these ceremonies is rarely confirmed ahead of showtime.

The 65th annual Grammy Awards are produced by Fulwell 73 Productions for the Recording Academy. Raj Kapoor serves as showrunner and executive producer, alongside Ben Winston and Jesse Collins as executive producers. Phil Heyes joins for the first time as director, Eric Cook as co-executive producer with Tabitha Dumo, Tiana Gandelman, Patrick Menton, and David Wild as producers. 

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Who Will Win the Latin Categories at the 2023 Grammys? Our Predictions



Who will win in the Latin categories at the 2023 Grammy Awards?  Each year, Billboard offers its analysis of who will win, or who should win, in those categories, which include best Latin pop album, best música urbana album, best Latin rock or alternative album, best regional Mexican music album (including tejano) and best tropical Latin album.

Leading up to Sunday’s 65th annual Grammy Awards, we’ve gathered our Latin editorial team and embarked on a lively discussion, with educated guesses based on the marketplace and past voting behavior (not endorsements). Our participants are Leila CoboBillboard’s Chief Content Officer, Latin/Español; Jessica RoizBillboard‘s Latin assistant editor; Griselda Flores, Billboard‘s senior Latin writer; Ingrid Fajardo, social media manager & Latin’s staff writer; Sigal Ratner-Arias, Billboard Español’s deputy editor; and Isabela Raygoza, Billboard Español’s associate editor.

Hosted by Trevor Noah, the 2023 Grammy Awards will be held at the Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday (Feb. 5) and will air live at 8p.m. ET. on CBS. Here are our predictions for the Latin music categories:

Best Latin Pop Album
AGUILERA, Christina Aguilera
Pasieros, Rubén Blades & Boca Livre
De Adentro Pa Afuera, Camilo
Dharma+, Sebastián Yatra

GRISELDA FLORES: The front-runners for me are Camilo, Christina Aguilera and Sebastián Yatra, because all three albums received both critical acclaim and had commercial success. Last year, Camilo was nominated for Mis Manos and it was a big upset that he didn’t win, so this time he might take the award. Having said that, Christina Aguilera’s AGUILERA was a big deal, as it marked her return to Spanish-language music. It’s a really solid album.

LEILA COBO: I think this is a really tough category. I agree that those are the front-runners, but out of those I’m leaning more toward Camilo and Yatra, who has gotten notoriety with Encanto and “Dos Oruguitas,” and now this song with Rita Wilson, “Til You’re Home.” Although it’s not a nominated song, it still has put him in the eye of the mainstream, which gives him a slight edge. But Camilo has been touring all over the states, he has a song with Camila Cabello, and he can be a favorite among the Latin voters of the Academy.  

SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS.: Christina Aguilera’s album is a beauty. Sebastián Yatra just won his first Latin Grammy, so I’d love to see him win this one as well.  

ISABELA RAYGOZA: I did like Christina Aguilera’s album. I thought that the way she utilized her bravado with rancheras translated beautifully in this album. She’s reclaiming her Latin roots, so for her to embrace that facet of herself, I definitely appreciate it. However, I want Sebastián to win, because I think he positions himself as Latin pop’s next heartthrob, following in the steps of Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias. And his album is great, it has symphonic arrangements and reggaeton, it was very poppy. I would like to see him continue to rise in 2023.  

INGRID FAJARDO: To be honest, I didn’t love Camilo’s album from the get-go, but I got a different perspective when I saw him perform those songs live. It’s another level! I realized how profound those songs are, something I didn’t notice when I first listened to the album.  

Likely winner: Camilo or Sebastián Yatra 

Best Música Urbana Album
TRAP CAKE, VOL. 2, Rauw Alejandro
Un Verano Sin Ti, Bad Bunny
LEGENDADDY, Daddy Yankee
167, Farruko
The Loe & Sex Tape, Maluma

JESSICA ROIZ: Isabela wants Rauw Alejandro to win. She’s going to make a case right now.  

I.R.: I do! I think with TRAP CAKE, we can appreciate his foundation. He’s mentioned that it has his earlier Soundcloud vibes, like when he first started making music. My favorite song on there is “Gracias Por Nada,” because it starts off as a rock song with some guitars and suddenly it expertly transitions into this Latin drill song, and it’s so hooky. The whole album is great. I know it’s not going to win, but that was one of my favorite albums of the year.

J.R.: It was a good album. And he even said he was going to stick to trap because this was for his OG fans and ended up being edgy and innovative, fusing many different styles. But Bad Bunny is going to win.  

S.R.A.: Bad Bunny has to win.  

G.F.: The reality is that no other album had the same impact Bad Bunny’s did. It wasn’t just the Latin album of the year, it was the album of the year in general. It’s a no-brainer for me.

L.C.: If he wins album of the year and not this category, it will seem odd and signal a big disconnect. These are all good albums, and LEGENDADDY is a significant album because it’s Daddy Yankee’s “last album,” and Farruko’s La 167 has “Pepas.” But when you have an album that has broken all records like Bad Bunny has, and he’s in the running for album of the year, it’s hard to beat.  

Likely winner: Bad Bunny 

Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album
El Alimento, Cimafunk
Tinta y Tiempo, Jorge Drexler
1940 Carmen, Mon Laferte
Alegoría, Gaby Moreno
Los Años Salvajes, Fito Páez

L.C.: Rosalía has already won this award with El Mal Querer, and this was such an acclaimed album and she has such international recognition among voters of the academy that I cannot imagine anyone else would win it.  

S.R.A.: 100%. There’s no other way.

G.F.: A contender for me is Jorge Drexler, since he won song and record of the year at the Latin Grammys, but how can Rosalía not win? I think people were already upset she didn’t score an album of the year nod, so she has to win this one. She totally deserves to win.

I.R.: Cimafunk and Jorge Drexler did release pretty great albums, but Rosalía blew it out of the water. She continued to showcase her musicianship in so many ways with that album. For her to do some reggaeton and experiment with jazz — each song has its own world, and her winning this category would be the right choice.  

Likely winner: Rosalía 

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
Abeja Reina, Chiquis
Un Canto por México – El Musical, Natalia Lafourcade
La Reunión (Deluxe), Los Tigres del Norte
EP #1 Forajido, Christian Nodal 
Qué Ganas de Verte (Deluxe), Marco Antonio Solis 

G.F.: It’s a long shot, but Chiquis could win this category and take home her first Grammy. She’s been on a winning streak these past two years at the Latin Grammys, winning best banda album in 2020 and 2022. I think she has a shot, especially with an album like Abeja Reina with lyrics that are so raw and modern, but she sticks to traditional styles such as banda and cumbia. I think voters will really appreciate that.  

S.R.A.: Natalia Lafourcade is a Grammy darling, but I’d like to see Chiquis take this one home.  

L.C.: Nodal is a great artist. He’s young and makes music that is exceptional. What he does and how he takes the genre but modernizes, it is so clever. The results are really interesting. I don’t see another artist like him at that age. This should be Christian Nodal’s year.  

I.R.: Christian Nodal has modernized the genre, but still stayed true to his essence. We’ve seen the emergence of so much regional, but fusing it with external elements. He stays true to the essence of what the genre is, and that’s what I appreciate about him.  

I.F.: Nodal is like the Vicente Fernández of our generation. The power of his voice is unmatched. He truly represents this genre, and he should win.

Likely winner: Christian Nodal

Best Tropical Latin Album
Pa’llá Voy, Marc Anthony 
Quiero Verte Feliz, La Santa Cecilia 
Lado A Lado B, Víctor Manuelle 
Legendario, Tito Nieves 
lmágenes Latinas, Spanish Harlem Orchestra 
Cumbiana II, Carlos Vives 

L.C.: I have a soft spot for Cumbiana, even though Carlos Vives has done it before. I liked Victor Manuelle’s album, I thought it was cool, but I’m rooting for Vives here.  

G.F.: I’d like to see Victor Manuelle win, because it was an interesting to see him live in that duality of salsa and urban. It was a fun listen. I appreciate his experimental nature but what I respected most is that he didn’t lose touch with who he is and what he represents in that album. 

S.R.A.: I love Carlos Vives and I love how he’s been able to spotlight Colombian music. I think it’s spectacular. If he wins, I’ll be happy. But Victor Manuelle is also deserving. He has a good album.

I.R.: I think it’s Victor Manuelle’s year. He’s celebrating 30 years in music, and being honored at Premio Lo Nuestro. And his album is pretty cool! He’s always maintained his essence even while collaborating with other contemporary artists such as Miky Woodz, and he sounds great. He doesn’t sacrifice his signature style for the sake of jumping on the bandwagon.  

J.R.: I feel Carlos Vives is going to win. He really did the leg work, so much research for this album, there’s a film component to this. But I agree that Victor Manuelle should win because he’s never done a concept album like this one and he sounds amazing.  

Likely winner: Victor Manuelle  

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YoungBoy Never Broke Again Says He Regrets Violent Lyrics, Plans to Become Mormon



YoungBoy Never Broke Again — the prolific rapper who released eight albums in the past year alone — has opened up about regretting some of his early music-making decisions.

As part of a Billboard cover story published on Wednesday, the 23-year-old gave a vulnerable look into his life and artistic evolution throughout his rapid rise to fame. He also discussed how his move to Utah has positively impacted his daily life and credited his change of mindset to his budding connection to the Book of Mormon and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He recalls one specific instance where he was quick to decline a visit from a group of Mormon missionaries who showed up outside his home, but after recognizing that he “wanted help very badly” and “needed a friend,” the artist opened his doors to them.

“It was just cool to see someone with a different mindset that had nothing to do with business or money — just these wonderful souls,” he said. He also told the publication that he hopes to further commit to his new-found spirituality with a baptism ceremony, but he’s waiting until he is no longer on house arrest (YoungBoy has been on house arrest since October for a weapons charge in Louisiana).

Reflecting on his early releases, the Louisana-born rapper said he felt a sense of responsibility for “the shit I put in these people’s ears,” adding that he feels “very wrong about a lot of things…How many kids or people have got in a car or put this shit in their ears and actually went and hurt someone?”

Acknowledging that the damage has been done, YoungBoy expressed his eagerness “to clean whatever I can clean” moving forward, “but it’s gon’ take time.”

YoungBoy is one of the most commercially consistent rappers to have come out of the past few years. Five out of eight of his 2022 full-length releases reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200 last year. His latest, “I Rest My Case,” debuted at No. 9 after its arrival in early January, and marked his first studio effort under Motown. “The Last Slimeto,” which peaked at No. 2 on the albums chart, was the rapper’s final obligation to Atlantic Records — his label of five years.

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