NEW YORK (AP) — Alex Cuba, Bad Bunny, Juanes and Rubén Blades all won Grammy Awards on Sunday in Latin music categories, though none were on hand to accept them. The great Vicente Fernández, who died last December, was also recognized.
Cuba won the coveted Best Latin Pop Album category with “Mendó,” which he produced independently under Caracol Records, the label he runs with his wife from their home in Smithers, British Columbia, Canada. The eclectic album features flamenco, tropical music, cumbia and jazz, as well as guests such as Antonio Carmona, Cimafunk, Lila Downs, Gian Marco, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Raul Midón.
“It’s the greatest joy I’ve felt in my career. It’s really impossible to put into words how I feel,” the Cuban musician told The Associated Press in an audio message shortly after his win. “It means so much to me that this record made with my own hands in the midst of such a horrific pandemic.”
“Today, in my opinion…passion for music has trumped any marketing strategy and label favouritism,” he added.
Cuba prevailed over the Colombian Camilo, who in November won the Latin Grammy for best pop vocal album for “Mis Manos”, in addition to Pablo Alborán, Paula Arenas, Ricardo Arjona and Selena Gomez. It is his first Anglo Grammy after four nominations and joins the four Latin Gramophones he has received.
Juanes, meanwhile, added to his long list of accolades another Grammy for Best Latin or Alternative Rock Album for “Origen,” his 10th studio album released in May 2021, in which he covered songs from some of the most influential artists in his life and career, from Joe Arroyo and Bruce Springsteen to Bob Marley and Juan Luis Guerra.
“For me to win with this album means too much because it’s a very deep album in my life, maybe before I was really a musician,” the Colombian rocker said in a voicemail message to AP. to do with the formation of my structure and my imagination as a composer, as a guitarist and everything else. Having worked alongside Sebastian Krys, such a dedicated and insightful guy, I absolutely loved it,” he added of the Argentinian producer. am deeply grateful”.
This is Juanes’ third Grammy win after eight nominations, and adds to his 24 Latin Grammys for a total of 27 gramophone golds.
At its 64th edition, the Grammys were held for the first time in Las Vegas after being postponed for three months and moved from Los Angeles due to rising cases of COVID-19 and the omicron variant in January.
Honors in the Latin music sections were handed out at the so-called “Premiere”, an untelevised ceremony in which most trophies are distributed shortly before the main gala. During the event, Chilean singer-songwriter Mon Laferte, also nominated, showed his voice singing “La mujer” and received loud applause from those present.
Bad Bunny won Best Urban Latin Album for “The Last Around the World,” a collection of 16 songs written during the pandemic in which he ventured to play with alternative music, punk, pop and even rock ‘n’ roll. This is the second year in a row that he has received the Grammy in this category after winning it last year with “YHLQMDLG”.
Rubén Blades and Roberto Delgado & Orquesta triumphed again with “SALSWING!”, which won the Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Album after being named Album of the Year at the Latin Grammys.
And Fernández, who had received the Latin Grammy for best album of ranchera/mariachi music for “A mis 80’s”, won the Grammy for best album of regional Mexican music (including Tejano) on Sunday for the same album, posthumously.
The prize for best Latin jazz album went to “Mirror Mirror” by Eliane Elias with the late Chick Corea and Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés.
And in the classical music section, Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel was recognized in the category of best choral interpretation alongside choirmasters Grant Gershon, Robert Istad, Fernando Malvar-Ruiz and Luke McEndarfer for a recording of the Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, the “Symphony of a Thousand”.
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