The Latin Grammys, Nonetheless Over the Prime within the Shadow of the Pandemic
Even in a pandemic, the twenty first annual Latin Grammys didn’t stint on spectacle. On Thursday evening, probably the most persistently over-the-top American music awards present stayed that approach, with luxuriant style, bustling dance routines, a full salsa huge band, arena-scale smoke and lights and principally real-time performances that reached for emotional peaks.
Sure, there have been some distant and low-fi acceptance speeches, and the musical numbers from far-flung places — Madrid, Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, Rio de Janeiro, Puerto Rico — weren’t essentially dwell. There was no seen viewers for the occasion, broadcast by Univision, however on the American Airways Area in Miami, the place many of the present happened, enthusiastic onlookers provided some applause. The Miami stage was giant sufficient for social distancing among the many musicians in the home band, although dancers and musical collaborators didn’t at all times apply it.
However not like on the Nation Music Affiliation Awards, which had been held final week in Nashville, there was no pretense that the pandemic didn’t exist. Early within the present, Raquel Sofía carried out her tune “Amor en Cuarantena” (“Love in Quarantine”), a nominee for finest pop tune. Later, Pitbull (with a dance troupe) rapped his coronavirus-era hard-rock motivational tune, “I Consider That We Will Win (World Anthem),” backed by a band of firefighters, cops and medical employees, ensuring to listing their names. Musicians who collected awards in Miami had been glimpsed in masks earlier than their speeches.
However the three-hour present additionally had many different priorities: love songs and lust songs, kinetic rhythms and fervent voices in addition to pan-Latin solidarity. Latin music is surging in recognition worldwide, because the snappy beat and blunt lyrics of reggaeton thrive throughout streaming companies. Though main awards largely bypassed reggaeton performers — “Contigo” by the ballad singer Alejandro Sanz was named report of the 12 months, and Natalia Lafourcade’s traditionalist “Un Canto Por México, Vol. 1” received for album — the Latin Grammys gave younger hitmakers splashy productions.
Karol G sang “Tusa,” a few girl on the rebound, in a simulation of its video with pink in every single place and a band of feminine musicians. J Balvin recast “Rojo,” from his album “Colores” (which received finest city music album), as a tune about overcoming concern. He sang it underneath an enormous pair of praying arms, in a white go well with with a bleeding coronary heart on his chest; a gospel choir joined him and the video backdrop confirmed phrases like “Justice,” “Change” and at last “Hope.” Unhealthy Bunny’s phase, from Puerto Rico, was a music-video manufacturing; he belted the lascivious “Bichiyal” from a shifting automotive.
The lineup encompassed stylistic and regional variations but in addition clear continuities. Not like the pressured, awkward collaborations of the Grammy Awards present, the Latin Grammys reveal what number of musicians are genuinely steeped within the music of their elders. The present started with a tribute to Héctor Lavoe, the celebrated however troubled salsa singer who died in 1993. Victor Manuelle, Jesús Navarro, Ricardo Montaner, Ivy Queen and Rauw Alejandro shared Lavoe’s hit “El Cantante” (“The Singer”), a few performer’s non-public struggles; Alejandro sang about “new blood” and Manuelle gestured to the opposite singers as he added a line about how songs can cross generations.
The Mexican singer and songwriter Lupita Infante introduced sultry magnificence to “Amorcito Corazón,” a tune by her grandfather Pedro Infante, backed by the glittering El Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández. The Argentine songwriter Nathy Peluso, nominated as finest new artist, shared a phase with the exuberant 57-year-old Argentine rocker Fito Páez; her observe “Buenos Aires,” nominated for finest different tune, is near neo-soul, however her efficiency added a bandoneon, the accordion on the coronary heart of classic Argentine tango.
Los Tigres del Norte, the Mexican-American group based in 1968, pointedly sang about immigration, performing “Tres Veces Mojados” (“Three Instances Moist”) about migrants from El Salvador. Residente, whose “Rene” was named tune of the 12 months, used his acceptance speech to induce musicians to place artwork earlier than enterprise.
In the meantime, romance dominated the evening’s music. Husky-voiced singers — Ricky Martin, José Luis Perales, Marc Anthony — proclaimed love and need in passionate crescendos. From Mexico, Alejandro Fernández and Christian Nodal sang mariachi heartache songs. And youthful hitmakers — Camilo, Kany García, Sebastian Yatra, Pedro Capó — sang and rapped by way of flirtations.
Close to the top of the present, the Puerto Rican urbano singer and rapper Anuel AA opened his phase with the brooding “Estrés Postraumático,” which quotes “El Cantante,” earlier than praising a lover’s expertise in “El Handbook,” flanked by dancers and topped with confetti. Eventually on the Latin Grammys, earnestness makes approach for celebration.
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