Bad Bunny Opens the 2023 Grammys with an Ode to Puerto Rico

Jesu Coria

The opening performance started off strong with “El Apagon” followed by “Después de la Playa.” The vibrant ode to Caribbean culture placed it on center stage during the event and the impact went even further because of who the message was coming from. He started offstage moving through the audience while singing a few lines of his latest hits, “El Apagon” that celebrates his homeland and all that they have been through, along with the second performance, mambo/merengue-fused that gave him the chance to pay tribute to the Caribbean. 

He performed with eight plena dancers that showed off the Puerto Rican traditional folk art, along with seven plena musicians and several cabezudos, traditional characters with giant heads often found in festivals and processionals in Puerto Rico. They represented some of the island’s most beloved icons, Roberto Clemente who’s known as the baseball legend, the reggaeton pioneer Tego Calderon, poet Julia de Burgos and songwriter Andy Montanez among others

 Meanwhile, the Dominican band of Dahian el Apechao composed sections of “Después De La Playa” that was performed live while 40 danced pulled off merengue moves that even got Taylor Swift Grooving and Jack Harlow on his feet.

Bad Bunny’s last album” Un Verano Sin Ti” made history at this year’s Grammys and the singer became the first Spanish-language LP to be nominated for Album of the Year, in addition it was also nominated for Best Musica Urbana Album and the song “Moscow Mule” was nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance. Bad Bunny has now won two Grammy awards and has been nominated nine times throughout his career, “El Último Tour Del Mundo” won for Best Musica Urbana Album in 2022, andYHLQMDLG” for Best Latin Pop or Urban Album.