The whole world became the stage of the Latin Grammy with a gala that, not being able to bring together the artists due to the pandemic, visited cities around the planet to celebrate the success of Latin music, although without rewarding its best-selling genre: reggaeton.

Madrid, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Guadalajara (Mexico) and San Juan were, together with Miami (United States), the site of a party that made circumstances an opportunity: connect to all corners of Latino culture to celebrate in an especially complex year for everyone.

Under the motto “Music humanizes us”, the Latin Recording Academy demonstrated the richness of its sounds at the 21st edition of the awards. They performed from classic icons like José Luis Perales and Alejandro Fernández to avant-garde talents like Nathy Peluso.

There was also room for reggaeton. It seemed the year in which the genre that sweeps the world was called to triumph in the prestigious awards but, despite taking the nominations, finally passed without pain or glory when collecting awards.

None of the three star categories: Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Record of the Year went to reggaeton players.

But nevertheless, urban sounds rang out and a lot at the ceremony: Karol G, J Balvin, Bad Bunny and Anuel AA put the assembled public to dance, this time, at their homes.

Rosalía, Ozuna and Carlos Vives dominate the virtual pregala of the Latin Grammy

After the protests over the lack of urban artists in the previous Latin Grammy, the main exponents of the genre reconciled with the great Latin music party, which even released a series of awards designed for this important part of the music industry.

“Forget about records and social media”

The Puerto Rican Resident perfectly defined the spirit of the awards after taking the title of the song of the year for René, a subject of more than 7 minutes in which he talks about his mental health, politics and business.

“Art was not made to set records, we are not in the olympics“said the musician in his speech of thanks in which he asked forget about the obsession with social networks.

Resident claimed the difference between being a “businessman” and an “artist” after ensuring that “I saw talent but I was also afraid of not playing on the radio“and asked his colleagues to forget about the internet algorithms, the lists and all the numbers that move the music industry.

It was probably the only memorable speech of the night. The rest just thanked their award and ask for strength to face a health crisis that has completely turned off live music.

Great versions of classics

The other two great winners of the night, Alejandro Sanz and Natalia LafourcadeThey could not thank their awards. Maybe they weren’t expecting it.

The Madrilenian took the recording of the year by With you, a song from the album Tribute to Sabina. Not so young nor so old, what is a hymn of Joaquín Sabina and that Sanz covered as a tribute to his compatriot.

Something similar happened with the award Album of the year: A song for Mexico, Vol. 1 Natalia Lafourcade received the great award. Lafourcade’s triumph was a recognition of a work that exalt the Mexican roots and consisting of versions of popular themes like Cucurrucucu Paloma O Veracruz and others of his own authorship such as To the root. The album was born from a solidarity concert after a series of earthquakes in Mexico.

Gestures to the pandemic from around the world

The artist Pitbull in one of his performances.
Pitbull performed at the Latin Grammys with toilets, firefighters and other emergency personnel

In the central part of the gala, Pitbull sang alongside emergency crews, with whom he paid a tribute for everything great to those involved in the fight against the coronavirus. “I can’t imagine a world without music and without them there is really no music,” Pitbull said.

Before, J Balvin He showed up with a number that matched his song Red with images of all the events that have marked the year: the Covid pandemic, racial protests and natural disasters. “My heart breaks and I pray for the world,” he said before starting to sing.

And the world sang and prayed with him: José Luis Perales, from the Royal Palace in Madrid, Anitta from the Carioca Aqueduct in Rio de Janeiro and Los Tigres del Norte from Miami with a song for immigrants. It was the great Latin party. The celebration of diversity.