Photo: Getty Images
  /  12.27.2021

J Balvin is facing backlash — once again — after he was named the “Afro-Latino Artist of the Year” at the African Entertainment Music Awards (AEMAs) — although he is not Afro-Latino.

The “Mi Gente” singer initially accepted the award through an Instagram post, which was later deleted. He then took to his Instagram Stories to clarify that he was not Afro-Latino, however, he thanked the AEMAs for “giving me a place in the contribution of Afrobeat music and the movement.”

Following the backlash, the AEMAs took to Instagram to reveal that it was changing the name of the award to “Best Latin Artist of the Year.”

“The Best Latin Artist category is for any artist based in Latin America that is contributing to the African culture especially the Afro-beats sound globally,” the award show said in a statement. “It is not based on race but more importantly based on pushing the African culture forward on the world stage. This is the first year that we introduced this category to include our Latin brothers and sisters who have embraced Afrobeats music within their platforms. The winner of this category has demonstrated that and is deserving of this award based on the fans’ votes.”

This isn’t the first time Blavin has come under scrutiny regarding race. As REVOLT previously reported, back in October, he issued an apology after he was seen tugging at the leashes of two Black women who were made to look like dogs in his video for “Perra.” The video was later removed from YouTube.

“I want to say sorry to whomever felt offended, especially to the Black community,” the “In Da Getto” singer said at the time. “That’s not who I am. I’m about tolerance, love and inclusivity.”

“Mom, I’m sorry too. Life gets better each day. Thank you for listening to me,” he added.

Check out Balvin’s post about winning the award and some Twitter reactions below.


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