The 2019 Latin Grammys hosted by Ricky Martin kicked off yesterday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. There were some big wins for Juan Luis Guerra, Mon Laferte, Christian Nodal, Bad Bunny, Luis Enrique and — much to many Latinxs’ chagrin — Spanish singers Rosalia, who won Album of the Year, and Alejandro Sanz.
However, there were many highlights of the evening as well. Legends Celia Cruz, Juan Gabriel, Joan Sebastian, and Gustavo Cerati received a lavish tribute. Vincente Fernandez made his story when he brought his son Alejandro and grandson Alex Jr. on stage to perform. Bad Bunny gave a disruptive speech about the Latin Grammys snubbing reggaeton artists, and strangely enough, a member of Metallica showed up. These are the 2019 Latin Grammys highlights.
A tribute to late Latinx legends ushers in a star-studded 2019 Latin Grammys.
Brazillian singer Anitta was accompanied by merengue veterans Olga Tañon and Milly Quezada to perform a samba and merengue infused version of “La Vida es un Carnaval,” to honor Celia Cruz. Then Mexican crooners Carlos Rivera, Reik, and Leon Garcia came on stage to perform JuanGa’s “Querida.”
Natalia Jimenez, Calibre 50, and Prince Royce performed Mexican singer-songwriter Joan Sebastian’s “Secreto de Armor.” Ricky Martin was joined by Draco Rosa, Fito Paez, and Beto Cuevas to honor Gustavo Cerati with their rendition of Soda Stereo’s “Musica Ligera.”
Miguel sang in Spanish and everyone lost their minds.
Miguel performed a Spanglish version of “Show Me Love” with Alicia Keys. After the Mexican heartthrob sang his parts in Spanish, people on Twitter kind of lost it.
“Miguel singing in Spanish is making me feel some type of waaaay *heart eyes*,” one user wrote.
“Seeing @Miguel sing during the Latin Grammys with @aliciakeys was something else. Sensual and romantic at the same time,” another Twitter user wrote.
“My parents are watching Latin Grammys and I look up to see Miguel and Alicia Keys performing I was likeajxjdjxj,” a stunned user wrote.
Mon Laferte bared her chest on the red carpet for Chilean rights.
We can’t exactly show you the full photo, but Chilean musician Mon Laferte, who won Best Alternative Music Album, bravely exposed her breasts to get the public’s attention about human rights in Chile. Written across her decollete in black ink were the words “En Chile Torturan Violan,” which translates to “In Chile They Torture, Rape, And Kill.”
At least 20 people have been killed during protests in Chile about wealth inequality (the nation is one of Latin America’s wealthiest) and better social services following the government’s announcement of higher subway fares. Tens of thousands of protesters set up fiery barricades and confronted riot police in October.
Vincente Fernandez showed three generations of Mexican artistry.
“I’m a grateful man for my family and my music,” Vicente Fernandez said as he was joined on stage by his son Alejandro and grandson Alex. “When you listen to the voice of who has your blood, you feel immortal.”
Alejandro performed his latest single “Caballero.” Throughout the tear-jerking performance by the trio, family photos were displayed in the background.
“I still needed to sing 50 more songs but I owe it to you. All I want to say to God and my public is that you know you are a part of me until the day they bury me. Thank you,” Vincente said after receiving a standing ovation.
Bad Bunny stood up to the industry while accepting his reward.
Bad Bunny scored his first Latin Grammy for Best Urban Album for X100Pre. Bunny was one of many artists to join Maluma in defending reggaeton against the industry’s consistent snubbing of musicians of the genre.
“Reggaeton is part of Latin music,” he said. “To my colleagues, let’s give it our all. The genre has become about views and numbers but we have to bring different things to the table.”
Nella won Best New Artist.
Venezuelan artist Nella, a Berkeley College of Music alumni, won Best New Artist. She snagged the tile from Paulo Londra, Greeicy, Aitina, and Cami.
“This is for everyone who, like me, comes from another country looking for new opportunities,” she said.
Juanes win Person of the Year and gets a surprise from Metallica.
Colombian rock musician Juanes won Person of the Year after performing a medley of songs including “A Dios Le Pido” and “La Camisa Negra.” He was surprised by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich who presented him the award.
“You guys changed my life,” Juanes told Ulrich. The drummer says he met Juanes ago while performing in Mexico.
“Tonight we come full circle. I proclaim myself a Juanes fan, my friend, my parcero, I’m proud to recognize you as Person of the Year for the Latin Recording Academy,” Ulrich said.