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Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Latin Grammys pay tribute to ‘Patria y Vida’ and honour Rubén Blades

The Cuban national anthem has been chosen the year’s best song. Camilo and Juan Luis Guerra shared the honour of receiving the most prizes. Blades, who was named Person of the Year, also received the award for Album of the Year.

This year’s Latin Grammy Awards were won by no one. Rubén Blades and Caetano Veloso were honoured as deserving seniors in the year’s most prestigious categories, album and record of the year, respectively (with his son Tom).

“Patria y Vida,” the Cuban national anthem, was named song of the year as well as urban song of the year in both categories. Camilo, who works as a composer and vocalist, has won four awards for three separate songs, as well as best pop vocal album for “Mis Manos.” He also had a role in Edgar Barrera winning producer of the year.

“El Madrileno” by C. Tangana earned him two songwriting awards: best alternative song and best pop/rock song. His two dozen engineers also split the prize for best engineered album for their work on “El Madrileno.” And Juan Luis Guerra took home the prize for best traditional pop vocal album, as well as a few other smaller honours, adding to his already impressive collection of trophies.

Juliana Velásquez, a promisingly lyrical Colombian musician, was voted best new artist, while Mon Laferte’s singer-songwriter album, “Seis,” was chosen best singer-songwriter album in a category that is almost exclusively dominated by male artists. (She also flaunted her fiery voice, as well as her pregnant tummy, which was visible via cuts in her clothing.)

Nonetheless, the Latin Grammys are remembered for their energetic performances — sometimes physically so, as with best urban album winner Bad Bunny — and the glitz and glam that make the event noteworthy.

Bad Bunny had an interesting song selection; instead of going with a huge smash like “Booker T,” he went with “Maldita Pobreza,” one of his rock en espaol-inspired tracks from “El ltimo Tour del Mundo,” which is a song about poverty. I’m not sure it really demonstrates all of his abilities, however.

In a tiny aircraft accident in southern Brazil on Nov. 5, the singer-songwriter Marlia Mendonça, an icon of Brazilian country music sertanejo, was murdered. She was on her way to a performance in southeastern Brazil when the disaster occurred.

According to Wikipedia, the term derives from the same-named rap song, which has emerged as an anthem for an emerging youth movement that is protesting political persecution as well as economic hardship on the internet and in the streets of cities throughout the world.

The fact that Rita Indiana did not get a Latin Grammy is a major disappointment. In spite of the fact that she is far from being a “new” musician, her album “Mandinga Times” incorporated so many distinct Afro-Caribbean styles with metal that it seemed quite predictive.

In terms of costume changes, Carlos Rivera is the host with the most. I believe he is on outfit number four (or is it number five?) at this point, and there is still an hour remaining. Ana Brenda Contreras and Roselyn Sánchez, on the other hand, are only ranked No. 2 and No. 3 respectively. Obviously, something is being communicated, but I’m not sure what it is.

With the catchall phrase “Latin music,” which encompasses everyone whose primary language is either Spanish or Portuguese, the genre encompasses two continents (and sometimes a small portion of Europe), producing recordings that are issued both inside and beyond national boundaries. Although two of this year’s nominees, the Dominican songwriter and author Rita Indiana and the Venezuelan songwriter Lasso, both released their debut albums in 2010, the best new artist category at the Latin Grammys is a good way for United States listeners to get a head start on emerging talent from other countries. Here’s a short rundown of what to expect from the competition this year:

Giulia Be (Giulia Bourguignon Marinho), a Brazilian pop-rock songwriter, is due to perform on the Latin Grammy Awards programme on February 10. Her first Brazilian success in 2019 was “Too Bad,” which was performed in English, but she switched to Portuguese for the song “Menina Solta” (“Girl on the Loose,” which has been one of Brazil’s most streamed songs since its release in February). She has also worked with the American composer Pink Sweats on a number of projects.

Camilo, from Colombia, and C. Tangana, from Spain, had already enjoyed a successful day (in Las Vegas). Each has so far dominated the many categories in which they have been nominated; they have not yet faced up against one another.

Camilo’s awards include best pop song for “Vida de Rico,” which he described in his acceptance speech as “an examination of who I am at my roots,” and best urban fusion/performance for “Tattoo (Remix),” which he performed with Rauw Alejandro. His producer, Edgar Barrera, was selected producer of the year for his work on the project.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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