Since being a 16-year-old struggling musician in Medellín, Columbia, Maluma has dreamed of sharing his voice on the world’s stage. That opportunity to represent his heritage comes Sunday at the 2020 American Music Awards, live from Los Angeles' Microsoft Theater.
“I feel like it’s such an honor to be Latin, and be here,” he told us backstage, leading up to his AMA debut performance with Jennifer Lopez, Sunday.
“It’s a beautiful story that I’m going to tell to my children. For the first time, performing here with Jennifer Lopez.” The pair have set Billboard charts on fire with two steamy singles, “Pa Ti” and “Lonely.” They first shared a stage last October when Maluma appeared as a surprise guest at Lopez’s New York City show at Madison Square Garden.
Maluma hopes to honor his Columbian heritage with a show stopping performance. “I feel that people in Columbia feel proud that I’m here,” he said. “People in Latin America, they feel like I’m taking my flag around the world and putting it here.”
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Sunday’s show features 15 performances in total, each one tasked with adhering to strict COVID-19 testing guidelines. L.A. County officials reported 5,000 new coronavirus cases in one day, last week. Maluma is trying to keep a positive outlook among so much uncertainty. ”I don’t know when it’s going to happen with COVID and everything that’s happening right now, but I feel it’s going to be pretty soon,” he told us backstage.
“You have to be positive. 2021 is going to be a big year. A lot of sad things happened in 2020, but I feel this year is going to be a very important year for all of us.”
The 2020 American Music Awards air live this Sunday night at 8PM ET/PT on ABC. Catch exclusive world premiere performances, first-time collaborations and “can’t miss moments.” Hosted by Taraji P. Henson, the 2020 American Music Awards will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on ABC.