The Colombian singer earned his first GRAMMY nomination on Tuesday, for Best Latin Pop Album for 11:11. In a statement to ET, Maluma expressed his gratitude over the nod, which he confessed had him crying with joy.
"I don't know what to say and there's so much to say. The universe and God give you things in life when you least expect it. I want to thank the Academy of the GRAMMYs for this joy," he shared. "Once I found out, I shared the moment with my mother and shared the excitement that’s in my heart."
"I have worked so hard and this is a reality. Thank you to my fans, family, composers and producers of 11:11. I have been crying so much that I have no tears. Thank you to my team as well. It's great to see when your hard work is acknowledged and appreciated," he added.
Maluma is up against Luis Fonsi (Vida), Ricardo Montaner (Montaner), Alejandro Sanz (#ElDisco) and Sebastian Yatra (Fantasia) in the Best Latin Pop Album category. Fellow Latin Artists Bad Bunny, J Balvin and Rosalia are also nominated in the Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album category, with Rosalia also earning a nod for Best New Artist. The nominations come after controversy over the lack of recognition for urban and reggaeton artists at this year's Latin GRAMMY Awards.
Maluma, J Balvin, Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha, Anuel AA and more artists spoke out on social media after being snubbed for nods in major categories. In a statement obtained by ET in September, the Latin Recording Academy addressed the backlash, sharing "we hear the frustration and discontent." "We respect and admire all the genres that compose the world of Latin music," the Academy added, explaining that they've followed a strict voting process for the last 20 years, and inviting urban artists to get involved with discussions to "improve the Academy."
In an interview with ET last week, Maluma said he felt hurt by the snub. "To be honest, I don't feel like I'm a part of the Academy. Like, I don't know, they want me out," he said. Maluma won his first Latin GRAMMY last year for Contemporary Pop Vocal Album for F.A.M.E., and has received 10 other Latin GRAMMY nominations over the course of his career. His fourth studio album, 11:11, was released in May.
"The whole genre, reggaeton music, we change lives. We're doing amazing things for the world, and I feel like they don't see it," he continued. "It's kind of sad because we all appreciate and we all respect the Academy. When we see the nominations, it's like, 'What did I do wrong?' Like, [it's] so random and so weird and not being a part of it, you feel like you're not part of the Latin Academy."
"That's why we wanted to talk about it and see what's going on with the Academy," he added. "I think it has to change."
Bad Bunny and Rosalia, meanwhile, represented urban artists at the Latin GRAMMY Awards last Thursday. Rosalia took home Best Recording Package, Contemporary Pop Vocal Album, and Album of the Year, while Bad Bunny won Urban Music Album.
"It's an honor for me to represent urban music, reggaeton, trap and hip-hop," Bad Bunny told ET on the red carpet. "If you've listened to my album, you know that there is everything. It's an album that I did with a lot of love. I tried to give the world a bit of creativity, lyrics. And for me, I will always represent music from Puerto Rico, reggaeton, Latin music."
He added during his acceptance speech: "To all the musicians, to the Academy, with all due respect, reggaeton is part of our Latin culture. And it's representing as much as any other genre at the worldwide level. I tell my fellow reggaetoneros, keep giving it your all and bring more creativity. Our genre has become views, numbers and let's keep going and giving people new things."