Latinos from far and wide came together last night in Las Vegas to participate in the 12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards. Besides music icons the green carpet was adorned with Latino actors and entertainers from across the globe donning their glam looks and best Spanish accents. I was even super impressed to see Latinos from America like Adrienne Bailon, Demi Lovato and Zoe Saldana speaking in their native tongue – which was a first for me in all my years as a journalist in this market. what I really want to cover are my highlights – which come down to two names: Shakira and Calle 13.
The night started off with a bang as controversial duo Calle 13 opened the ceremony performing their hit ‘Latinoamerica’, alongside the great Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela. The song celebrates the values of Latinos across the Western Hemisphere, who can’t be bought or sold. The powerful performance led to the first standing ovation of the night and it turned out to be a harbinger of things to come as Calle 13 dominated the evening, winning 9 awards, including a clean sweep of the 3 most important ones, Album of the Year, and for ‘Latinoamerica’, Song of the Year and Record of the Year.
9 is huge! It should’ve just been called the Calle 13 awards because they were on stage the whole show. Which was fine with me. If you follow my blog I don’t need to express my sentiments for the group and what they stand for. You can see it even in the shirt Rene wore which read “Por la educacion publica (for public education)” emblazoned in big letters. Can you see why I heart him?
Another person I was happy to see honored last night was Colombiana Shakira, who was named person of the year. Shakira gave a live performance of “Devoción” from her 2010 album Sale El Sol. I actually like this sound better than her usual pop tart stuff. Later she performed “Antes De La Seis” . Shakira was also awarded Female Pop Vocal Album, for the Spanish-language ‘Sale El Sol’. The person of the year award was presented by fellow Colombiana Sofia Vergara, who fun fact: was also Shaki’s neighbor in Baranquilla. The heartfelt acceptance speech that followed turned out to be the most emotional part of the evening where she said:
“This is without a doubt one of the most important moments of my life, and perhaps the nicest recognition that I have ever received. I’m honored to share it with you. Last night I had a beautiful night to remember, sharing with my friends and colleagues who I respect and admire. My dad even sang. It was a night I will never forget, seeing artists and colleagues singing my songs is an honor I don’t deserve. I dedicate this award to my colleagues, who with music cure all ills and give meaning to everything,”
I love to see awesome people that stand for something and use their power and art for empowerment/ social awareness get recognized. That is what this year’s awards did for once. Gold Star to them! For the full list of winners and more highlights (yes, I’m sure you heard about the Romeo and Usher performance, Marc Anthony and Pitbull etc.) check out the Latin Grammy official website.