The 2021 Latin Grammys is in the books. Last week the world of Latin Music representing virtually every country of Latino America gathered in Las Vegas to honor its recording artists. The evening was noteworthy for a variety of reasons. First, it was not virtual, the red carpet at the MGM Grand was teeming with artists across all genres of Latin music who gathered to celebrate the theme of the evening “rediscovering life through music”.
Yet, if there was a theme that was evident through the evening it was intergenerational unity. A changing of the guard of sorts. Icons from prior generations took the stage to perform with their contemporary counterparts. These performances provided quite a number of highlights for the evening.
Gloria Estefan and Anitta
The opening number set the tone of the night. Gloria Estefan sang “Abriendo Puertas,” with Colombian artist Farina, Giulia Be, Pedro Capo and Diego Torres. The number then transitioned to Brazil with Anitta and Carlinhos Brown joining to sing “Magalenha.” It was an explosive fusion that served as a representation of the merging of generations, cultures and genres.
Ruben Blades and Residente
Ruben Blades was the recipient of the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year. With five decades of music under his belt and hits like “El Cantante” and “Pedro Navaja”, Blades is part of the fabric of Latin music. Residente of Calle 13 came on stage and presented Blades with the accolade. Its was a touching moment in the show, as the younger artist was visibly nervous as he honored his hero. “Marvel and DC Comics have to ask for your blessing because [neither] Metropolis nor Gotham City will be bigger than the world you created,” Pérez said. There have never been words truer!
Christina Aguilera and Becky G
Christina Aguilera returned to the Latin Grammy stage after 20 years. Aguilera performed at the inaugural show in 2000 and won a Latin Grammy herself for Female Pop Vocal Album for Mi Reflejo. Aguilera performed “Somos Nada” and showed she’s still got more than enough pipes to hang with the current generation. She followed it with a more playful ditty “Pa Mis Muchachas” (For My Girls), where she was joined by Becky G, Nicki Nicole and Nathy Peluso who also nabbed a Latin Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album.
Juanes and Café Tacvba
Juanes also performed and chose to honor Latin pop icon Juan Gabriel with a rock influenced performance of “No Tengo Dinero”. He was accompanied on the rock rendition by Latin alternative/rock band Café Tacvba for a spot on take that demonstrated what a classic the song and its posthumous artist are.
Bad Bunny Closes Out the Show
After nabbing two awards one for Best Rap/Hip Hop Song and Best Urban Music Album. Benito himself took the stage to close out the show. Peforming a fiery rendition of “Maldita Pobreza.” His performance of the rock-inspired track, off his 2020 album, El Último Tour Del Mundo, showed why he’s the man of the moment in all of Latin music!