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Here Are The Latinos Who Have Taken Home The Top Prizes From The Grammy Awards

The 2019 Grammy Award ceremony is fast approaching, and it is a good opportunity to recall how Latinos have slowly but surely escaped the niche of Latin music and totally slayed the mainstream awards. Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Bruno Mars are but a few of the musicians with Latino blood who have proudly worn their heart and their heritage on their sleeve. As Spanish-language and Portuguese-language music has broken into popular culture worldwide and talented Latinos have slain language and ethnic barriers, Latino culture has become a source of pride, fun, and inspiration.

Here are 21 times that Latinos took home a Grammy, showing everyone that harmful stereotypes are pure fiction and political trickery. They also proved that music is indeed the language that can tear down real and imaginary walls.

Bruno Mars (birth name: Peter Gene Hernandez) for “24K Magic”

Year: 2018

Category: Best Album of the Year

Image: 2018-01-29T051540Z_216392007_HP1EE1T0DBVL6_RTRMADP_3_AWARDS-GRAMMY. Digital Image. eNCA

The proud Hawaiian of Puerto Rican descent showed everyone what Boricua rhythm can do when it is pumping through your blood! A bailar se ha dicho.

Carlos Santana for “Supernatural”

Year: 1999

Category: Best Album of the Year

Image: Carlos-Santana-Grammy. Digital Image. Ultimate Classic Rock

The godfather of Mexican-American rock totally smashed the Grammy awards in the turn of the century. His guitar sounds still haunt our fondest memories of the weird 1990s.

Stan Getz & João Gilberto for “Getz/Gilberto”

Year: 1964

Category: Best Album of the Year

Image: R-170884-1324248990.jpeg. Digital image. Discogs

Brazilian bossa nova became mainstream with the release of this amazing album. You should listen to “Getz/Gilberto” while sipping a delicious pineapple juice while watching the sunset.

Ruben Blades for “Mundo”

Year: 2003

Category: Best World Music Album

Image: ruben_blades_grammys. Digital image. Playa Community

The superstar from Panama is a master of salsa, but he has been able to combine it with other rhythms throughout his decades-long career. “Mundo” is the perfect album for our globalized times, and it ruled supreme in the World Music category.

Sergio Mendes for “Brasileiro”

Year: 1993

Category: Best World Music Album

Image: sergio_mendes_hero118685141. Digital image. GRAMMY.com

This Brazilian powerhouse beat the favorites, the Gipsy Kings, in a year when it seemed impossible. Mendes proves that there is nothing Latinos can’t do when they set their minds to something.

Caetano Veloso for “Livro”

Year: 2000

Category: Best World Music Album

Image: caetano. Digital image. O portal da noticias de Globo

Caetano Veloso is like the Brazilian Bob Dylan. A poet and troubadour, Veloso has been able to capture the essence of our convoluted times. If you haven’t listened to him… well, you should.

Antonio Sanchez for “Birdman”

Year: 2016

Category: Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

Image: 635911665189820341-USP-ENTERTAINMENT-58TH-GRAMMY-AWARDS-79703050. Digital image. USA TODAY

This Mexican-American jazz one-man-band injected energy into the Oscar-winner movie, following the main character’s every step with an incessant, delirious beat. There’s no arguing. His music made the movie the hit it became to be.

Lin-Manuel Miranda for “How Far I’ll Go” (Moana)

Year: 2018

Category: Best Song Written for Visual Media

Image: Giphy. @disneymoana

Miranda burst into the scene with “In the Heights” and hasn’t looked back. He is so talented we wouldn’t be surprised if he wins many more Grammy awards in his lifetime.

Bruno Mars for “Unorthodox Jukebox”

Year: 2014

Category: Best Pop Vocal Album

Image: 1200x630bb. Digital image. iTunes Apple.

It seems that Bruno Mars can do it all. This year he beat Lana Del Rey and Justin Timberlake, not an easy feat by any means! He just makes us mover el esqueleto doesn’t he?

Jose Feliciano

Year: 1969

Category: Best New Artist

Image: Giphy. @soultrain

This Puerto Rican trovador has made everyone, including non-Latinos, sing “Feliz Navidad” at the top of their lungs. Talk about an iconic musician.

Bruno Mars for “That’s What I Like”

Year: 2018

Category: Song of the Year

Image: That’s_What_I_Like_Remixe. Digiral image. Wikipedia.

Our money was on “Despacito,” a nominee whose win would have been truly groundbreaking for Latinos. However, we were super happy for Bruno Mars, though.

Carlos Santana (with Rob Thomas) for “Smooth”

Year: 2000

Category: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals

Image: Giphy. @SonyMusicColombia

There’s no doubt that 2000 was the year of Santana. We can still remember this very suave collaboration with Rob Thomas let me forget about it, woooo.

Christina Aguilera (with Lil’ Kim, Mýa and Pink) for “Lady Marmalade)

Year: 2002

Category: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals

Image: large. Digital image. We hear it.

This awesome badass girl has an Ecuadorian father and a German mother. We can still hear this collaboration for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, in which her voice penetrated deep in our pop culture memory. She was equally unique and sexy. Don’t lie. You know that you just started singing the song when you saw the title.

Gustavo Dudamel for “Brahms: Symphony No. 4”

Year: 2011

Category: Best Orchestral Performance

Image: Giphy. @medicitv

Gustavo Dudamel is a great Venezuelan conductor who is the inspiration behind Gael Garcia Bernal’s character in the amazing TV show “Mozart in the Jungle.” He is an energetic conductor who has revolutionized classical music with his fun style.

Christina Aguilera for “Ain’t No Ather Man”

Year: 2006

Category: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Image: Giphy. @xtina

Well, Aguilera has one of the best voices ever this side of Amy Winehouse. Her range is just fantastic and we can just imagine the concentration it must take to sustain some of those bluesy notes. Una chingona.

And of course Christina Aguilera again! This time for “Beautiful”

Year: 2003

Category: Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Image: MV5BNWQ4NTZiODYtNWIxMy00NThkLTljMTMtYjk0NTBlZTI4N2VhXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTk1NTMyNzM@._V1. Digital image. Internet Movie Database

All hail the queen. She is one of the greatest vocalists of our time and her awards prove it.

No surprises here… Christina Aguilera again.

Year: 1999

Category: Best New Artist

Image: christina-aguilera-best-new-artist-grammy. Digital image. Today in Pop.

This was just the beginning of what was to come: a total takeover of the pop music scene. Yes, Britney Spears had the moves and the scandals, but Aguilera had that raspy voice that made us temblar como gelatinas.

Esperanza Spalding

Year: 2011

Category: Best New Artist

Image: esperanza_custom-656025a93c6a8ca33d6ac4afe7e08ef7a78bffa5-s800-c85. Digital image. NPR.

Few people in the world are as talented as Esperanza, who is a true representation of America’s multicultural society. Her father is African-American and her mom has Latino, Native American and Welsh genes. Esperanza plays a multitude of instruments and just brings unrivaled energy. Trivia fact: she beat Justin Bieber for this award.

Armando Manzanero

Year: 2014

Category: Lifetime Achievement Award

Image: 636513209910027130. Digital image. Hola News.

The Mexican composer and singer has probably influenced world music more than anyone else. Ask your abuelita about the great Armando Manzanero and her face will light up. This award is reserved for true legends only, and Don Armando is certainly one.

Leonardo “Flaco” Jiménez

Year: 2015

Category: Lifetime Achievement Award

Image: musicetc2-1. Digital image. San Antonio Current.

This true legend of Tex-Mex music was recognized for his influence in spreading Latino rhythms in Hispanic communities all across the U.S. He got recognized the same year as George Harrison and Buddy Guy, which gives you an idea of his importance in the music industry.


READ: Before ‘Despacito’: 25 Latino Artists Who Stormed the Grammys 

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