“Wherever the Latino community is, there is excitement.” With that sentence, the Latin Grammys kicked off at the MGM casino in Las Vegas, a party in which the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awards music in Spanish, Portuguese and indigenous languages of the region. The tribute to the language of the soul, as Fito Paez recalled: music, which once again brought together the greats of the industry in the 22nd edition, after the face-to-face celebration was suspended last year due to the pandemic. These have been the five great moments of the day:
Patria y Libertad, the anthem of Cuban protests
Homeland and life, from Yotuel, Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo, Eliecer “el Funky” Márquez Duany, won the Latin Grammy for the best urban song and song of the year. Cuban rapper Maykel Osorbo has been arrested since May 18 on charges of “resistance, contempt and disobedience”, so he could not be present at the ceremony. His health is serious after a six-day hunger strike. The winners dedicated the award to the island’s political prisoners, especially to their incarcerated comrade, and to the Cuban people, “who were asleep, and woke up” accompanied by the song, said the white-clad artists who performed for the first time together in Las Vegas, between lights of hope. “Homeland or death” was a phrase that Fidel Castro used to say at the end of his speeches.
Rubén Blades, person of the year
The 73-year-old Panamanian received the person of the year award from the Latin Grammys for his contribution to salsa. An emotional René Pérez Joglar, artistically known as Residente, voice of Calle 13, one of the great Latin bands of the last quarter of a century, presented him with the award. “You taught me that art is about everything. Thanks to you, with my attention deficit, I never felt alone. You are my mentor ”. On Wednesday night, the awards paid tribute to the artist with a half-century experience. Success tastes like pain, sweat and hope. Many times it tastes like shit. Fame is a place to be visited. It is not an address. Whoever does not understand it will suffer and lose his life, “said Blades upon receiving the award from Joaquín Sabina. Rubén Blades and Roberto Delgado & Orquesta won in the album of the year category for Salswing!.
The premiere of C. Tangana
One of the most relevant voices of Spanish pop currently performed for the first time on the stage of the Latin Grammy with the song Ungovernable. And he threw a party. The Madrilenian replied Tiny Desk that he recorded with NPR -which has more than 20 million reproductions on YouTube-, with more than a dozen artists, including Antonio Carmona, Diego del Morao, La Húngara, Jorge Drexler, Natalia Lafourcade and the Mexican-American Omar Apollo, who collaborated with the Spanish artist on the ballad You forgot it, nominated in the Recording of the Year category. Won Best Alternative Song for I nominate, best pop / rock song for Hong Kong, and Best Recording Engineering for an Album. Caetano Veloso and Tom Veloso took the recording of the year for the ballad Perhaps.
Camilo, the phenomenon
Ricardo Montanter presented him in a speech in which, in addition to congratulating him, he thanked him for making him a grandfather for the fifth time. The Colombian singer and songwriter, with the characteristic large mustache, arrived at the ceremony as the most nominated artist, nominating for ten awards. In two of the top categories, Record and Song of the Year, it was nominated twice as it included collaborations with various artists. Among other awards, he won Best Local Pop Vocal Album. He thanked his land. The album is “a celebration of the sounds of my country. One of the countries with the most diverse sounds in the world ”, he assured. He also won the award for Best Urban Fusion or Interpretation for Tattoo (remix), Best Tropical Song for God wanted it that way, composed by Camilo, David Julca, Jonathan Julca, Yasmil Marrufo and Ricardo Montaner. From Ricardo Montaner and Juan Luis Guerra, producer of the year, along with several artists for Bottle after bottle.
A controversial absence
One of the unknowns of the night was whether the Colombian reggaeton, J Balvin, nominated for two categories, would perform on stage. The artist called for a boycott of this edition of the Latin Grammy Awards for not giving a fair place to his musical genre. “The Grammys don’t value us, but they need us,” he wrote when the nominees were announced. “Those with power in the genre NONE SHOULD GO! That is to say all because we are a movement ”. Residente, the former member of Calle 13, responded in a viralized video calling it hypocritical. The controversy is old, and in 2020 the academy finally announced that the category of best reggaeton performance. Karol G won tonight for the best reggaeton performance for Bichota.