The Cuban cry for freedom rang out loudly on the night of the Latin Grammys. Cuba had a predominant presence at the industry awards ceremony in Las Vegas: Homeland and life it has followed the best tradition of Latin American protest song. The anthem of rejection of the regime in Cuba won the award for the best urban song and song of the year, one of the most important categories. Yotuel, Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno and El Funky (interpreters and composers of the song) met for the first time on this stage to sing a rap that became a viral phenomenon with millions of reproductions on digital platforms and in the band sound of the protests that the island has lived to demand democracy. The recording was repudiated by the regime for its content and because it plays with one of the untouchable slogans of the revolution: “Homeland or death.” C. Tangana won three awards with themes of The Madrileño in a very distributed night that rewarded both rising figures and legends of the stature of Rubén Blades, winner of the album of the year; Caetano Veloso, who won the Composers Award for Maybe, and the Dominican Juan Luis Guerra.
“My mother told me: ‘Have the courage to do what my generation did not do,” Yotuel said upon receiving the gramophone. The set was presented by Gloria Estefan, one of the most popular faces of Cuban Americans. “We dedicate it to all political prisoners,” El Funky, a rapper who was imprisoned in his country, had mentioned minutes before who arrived in the United States at the beginning of November. Maykel Osorbo, another of the authors of the subject, continues in prison on the island. The triumph makes him the first political prisoner to be awarded the statue of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
“This Grammy is one of the 12 million who are in Cuba, the prisoners, those who have no voice, who are not allowed to choose who directs them. For all of them who suffer a dictatorship. This is the first Grammy of the people of Cuba, “said Alexander Delgado, rapper of the duo Gente de Zona. All of them sang dressed in white and accompanied by dozens of candles on stage with choirs from an audience shouting: “Long live Cuba libre!” “This has been an impressive phenomenon that has led us to Joe Biden [el presidente de Estados Unidos] welcome us for the impact of the song. It is music at the service of society ”, summarized the Spanish Beatriz Luengo, Yotuel’s partner and who is part of the voices that sing the song.
A man from Madrid sneaked into the Latin American music festival: C. Tangana won three awards (he was opting for five). If a few years ago he stepped on these lands as an idol of the trap, now he returns to be recognized by his peers for an album where he shows how he drank for three years from various genres. He triumphed with two songs from his album The Madrileño: Hong Kong, who sings with Andrés Calamaro, won the pop / rock theme award; Nominate, that he composed together with Jorge Drexler and Alizzz, the award for the best alternative song; and another for the engineering work of his album The Madrileño.
Drexler recounted that Nominated It was born just thanks to the Latin Grammys. In 2018 the two artists met in Las Vegas. That’s where the promise to collaborate was born. The opportunity came in the year of the pandemic. The two were nominated in 2020 for Side by side. They worked on various issues while they followed from a studio in Madrid, at four in the morning, the ceremony for Zoom. Drexler left at five in the morning and Tangana finished the song four hours later. “It’s a poetic parable that you have us with you today,” Drexler explained. “I used to listen to Jorge when I was a child, my father used to put him on me and he is an example of what a singer-songwriter is. This award is the milk for me “, added Antón Álvarez, C. Tangana, upon receiving the alternate song gramophone.
Tangana staged one of the best performances of the night. The singer resumed the format of the successful concert he did in the pandemic for the American National Public Radio, a video that has more than 20 million views on YouTube and was born on a tour of Latin America where they met with Víctor Martínez around a table to sing in communion. “All this was at the heart of the project from the beginning,” said Pucho, as the author of The Madrileño, who is already preparing a live album with that same essence. In Las Vegas a group took the stage to perform Ungovernable. Were Antonio Carmona, Nathy Peluso, Drexler, La Húngara and the Mexicans Natalia Lafourcade and Omar Apollo, who clapped their hands accompanying the guitars of their musicians and the keyboard of Alizzz.
The sharp-tongued man, Bad Bunny, was speechless for one of the controversies that preceded the delivery. J Balvin and Residente had engaged in a debate about the weight that reggaeton has and should have in the industry. The Cbad rabbit won with The last tour of the world the best urban music album, a category that works as a mixed bag of the most modern expressions that are being produced in the region. J Balvin did not attend the gala and little was added to the discussion. “Climbing up here makes me horrible. I never know what to say ”, a nervous Bad Bunny said as he picked up the gramophone and thanked those who support him. Karol G, who won the reggaeton award for his worldwide success Bichota, did not go to Las Vegas to collect the award.
The Puerto Rican Rauw Alejandro, Rosalía’s partner, won the award for best urban performance, for Tattoo, composed with Camilo. This Colombian artist was one of the great favorites. Last night he added four awards, among them the best vocal pop album for My hands and best pop song for one of its singles, Rich life. “It is a celebration of the sounds of my country. Let’s celebrate who we are, ”said the 27-year-old musician. His father-in-law, Ricardo Montaner, the Argentine-Venezuelan star, surprisingly received his first Academy Award despite a decades-long track record. He did it in the tropical genre with God wanted it that way, contained in a Christian-themed album, which he interprets together with the Dominican Juan Luis Guerra, who won three awards, the most prominent of which was for traditional pop for I deprived, which takes only 17 minutes.
Other Colombians also triumphed at the gala. Juanes, who managed to be the person of the year in 2020, won the best pop / rock album for Origin. Also Colombian Juliana Velásquez won the award for best new artist for her debut, which includes topics on mental health and eating disorders. She received her award wearing long gloves that had marks on her wrists, in memory of a friend who took her own life two years ago.
Mon Laferte, the Chilean based in Mexico, won the award for best singer-songwriter album for Six. She is the second woman to do so in 17 years, after Soraya, who took him home in the first installment, in 2004. The interpreter walked the red carpet in a suit that revealed her pregnancy. On stage she made a tribute to the country that has welcomed her with My heart is going to burn together with the Overwhelming Band El Limón. Who has become one of the main voices of the feminist movement in Latin America, sang The woman, with Gloria Trevi, who made her first appearance at a Latin Grammys. Laferte wore a two-piece mariachi outfit that had embroidered wombs and vaginas.
Despite the claim of Mon Laferte, the award to the Colombian Velásquez and the triumph of the Argentine Nathy Peluso, who received the award for his Muscle cramp In the category of best alternative music album, the night was predominantly male in the main accolades. In the end, however, everyone seemed happy to be together. Singing together.
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The Latin Grammys reward the cry of freedom in Cuba