Puerto Rico’s Calle 13’s Residente (René Pérez) and Visitante (Eduardo Cabra Martinez) and Colombia’s Shakira were major presences at yesterday’s 12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards. Calle 13 won 9 awards out of 10 nominations, while Shakira won awards for Person of the Year and Best Female Pop Album. As Residente said when he accepted the Album of the Year award, “Today music has triumphed.” Jon Pareles (The New York Times) reports:
Calle 13, a Puerto Rican hip-hop group with Pan-American music, rebellious politics and a raunchy sense of humor, triumphed at the 12th annual Latin Grammy Awards, which were televised Thursday from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. “Entren Los Que Quieran” [Everybody Is Welcome], the fourth Calle 13 album, was nominated for 10 awards this year, a record for the Latin Grammys. It helped that Calle 13’s eclecticism qualified its songs for multiple categories —Urban, Alternative, Tropical. “Entren Los Que Quieran” is Calle 13’s second album in a row to be named Album of the Year; it won the same award for its 2008 album, “Los de Atrás Vienen Conmigo” [Those from behind are coming with me].
Calle 13’s “Latinoamérica”— a panorama of Latin American images, problems and perseverance, set to an Andean-rooted beat—was named Record of the Year (for the recording) and Song of the Year (for the songwriting). The band performed it to open the awards show, with the lead singer, rapper Residente (René Pérez), backed by a Venezuelan symphony orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
Accepting one award, for Best Urban Album, Residente said, “It’s very difficult for us navigating against the current,” and vowed to keep making “true music.” Returning for the Best Urban song award, for “Baile de los Pobres” (“Dance of the Poor”), Residente added, “I know that we’re those who are heard not on the radio, but in the heart of the people.”
The show’s other major presence was Shakira, the Colombian superstar who was named Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy. She sang a ballad (“Antes de las Seis”), a rocker (“Devoción”) and a Latin dance tune, “Loca,” while out-shimmying the dancers around her. She won the Best Female Pop Album award for her “Sale el Sol.”
This year’s Latin Grammy Awards show ratified Latin pop’s spreading crossover aspirations. Latin music is a coalition of national, regional and local styles, many of them aiming at different niche audiences. But musicians, marketers and the Internet have made musical boundaries far more porous over the last decade. Latin pop has been cannily seeking crossover hits lately, bringing together performers from different countries and genres. The Best Pop Album by a Duo or Group with Vocal went to a multinational trio — Alex, Jorge y Lena — from Cuba, Spain and Colombia.
The Latin Grammys show re-enacted many studio collaborations onstage. Romeo Santos, a member of the Dominican-rooted New York group Aventura who has just released a solo album, sang alongside with the R&B singer Usher to introduce a bachata in Spanish and English, “Promise,” with both singers sustaining smooth high-tenor melismas, a bilingual urban crossover. The Dominican-rooted New
Yorker Prince Royce turned “El Verdadero Amor Perdona,” an earnest rocker by the long-running Mexican band Maná — which won Best Rock Album for its “Drama y Luz” — into a lilting bachata. Alejandra Guzmán, a Mexican rock singer, brought husky melodrama to her duet with the Venezuelan songwriter Franco de Vita, draping herself on the piano in “Tan Solo Tú”; he was a winner for Best Male Pop Album. The reggaetón duo Wisin y Yandel shared “Fever” with the reggae singer Sean Kingston. And Sie7e welcomed Taboo, a member of Black Eyed Peas, for a guest spot in “Tengo Tu Love.”
Listen to “Latinoamérica” here:
For full article, see http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/arts/music/calle-13-wins-big-at-latin-grammys.html