J Balvin caught a lot of heat after being named the Afro-Latino Artist of the Year for 2021 at the African Entertainment Awards. Many took issue with the Colombian singer/rapper receiving the award as a white Latino.
The African Entertainment Awards and J Balvin have both released statements in response to the intense backlash. J Balvin took to his Instagram Stories to explain that despite winning ‘Afro-Latino Artist Of The Year’ he is not in fact Afro-Latino.
J Balvin Responds
In response, J Balvin reshared a video of AEA’s president addressing the controversy and clarified his own position in the caption. “I am not Afro-Latino,” he wrote. “But thank you for giving me a place in the contribution of Afrobeat music and entertainment.”
The AEA’s Statement
AEA’s president shared his statement via the music awards’ official USA Instagram page. The post, titled “PSA” confirmed that while the AEA will “maintain the purpose of the award” the name has changed. J Balvin’s win has been changed 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,” he explained. “It is not based on race but more importantly based on pushing the African culture forward on the world stage.”
He then continued attempting to avert any criticism centered at J Balvin and the others who were eligible for the award.
“Please remember the nominees in this category had no say in their nomination or influence on the award show. Instead of voicing dissatisfaction, let us encourage these artists to continue bridging the gap between Africa and Latin America.”
However, some remain dissatisfied with the apology and name switch. One Twitter calling the statement “just another layer of b#######.”