Peso Pluma, a Mexican singer, made his MTV Video Music Awards debut today (September 12), performing his hit “Lady Gaga” at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. On a circular platform, he sang a fairly authentic rendition of the song surrounded by musicians playing Spanish guitar, upright bass, trombone, strings, and horns. He even made a mid-song reference to Mexico. Pluma’s performance is embedded below.
Pluma is up for Best New Artist at this year’s VMAs, marking his first time nominated. Furthermore, his Eslabon Armada collaboration “Ella Baila Sola” will compete for Best Latin alongside Anitta (“Funk Rave”), Bad Bunny (“Where She Goes”), Grupo Frontera and Bad Bunny (“Un X100to”), Karol G and Shakira (“TQG”), Rosalá (“Despechá”), and Shakira solo (“Acróstico”).
Peso Pluma, dressed in a massive black puffer jacket and durag, looked more like a drill musician than a conventional corridos singer, with a loose T-shirt and slacks. But that’s part of his appeal: he appeals to an urbano crowd who favors a street-style aesthetic and a bélico lifestyle.
“Le Bebe (Remix)” by Peso Pluma and Yng Lvcas has been nominated for Song of the Summer, among cuts by Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, Troye Sivan, and others.
Pluma’s new album, Génesis, was released in June and has since become the best-selling Mexican music record of all time. “Ella Baila Sola,” on the other hand, is the first regional Mexican song to top the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Read more about “La Bebe (Remix)” in “20 Contenders for 2023’s Song of the Summer” and keep up with all of Pitchfork’s coverage of the VMAs in 2023.