This year’s 22nd annual Latin Grammys may have been the most exciting awards ceremony yet! Held in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and broadcasted by Univision on Nov. 18th, this year’s theme was “Rediscovering Life Through Music”, how to use music as a catalyst for our own stories. That message was most apparent when the Cuba Libre anthem “Patria y Vida” from Yotuel, Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno and El Funky won for Song of the Year. Yotuel dedicated the award to his mother and all Latina moms who dream of a brighter and better future for their kids.The group performed on stage dressed in white in a show of solidarity with fellow activists in Cuba who have been protesting since the July of this year.
“This is for my country, for freedom of expression, and for the freedom of the Cubans,” singer-songwriter Descemer Bueno said after the track also won best urban song.
Cuba was literally front and center from the start with Cuban icon Gloria Estefan kicking off the show with a three-son medley alongside Anitta, Carlinhos Brown, Laércio da Costa, Pedro Capó, Farina, Giulia Be and Diego Torres for a three-song medley. They performed “Abriendo Puertas” with Farina and Giulia Be, before transitioning to “Cuando Hay Amor” with Capó and Torres and ending with “Magalenha” with Brown and Anitta.
“She’s an inspiration, her career, when I want to picture how to build a career, for me, she’s next level,” Brazilian singer-songwriter Anitta told Entertainment Tonight before the show.
Pop icon Christina Aguilera also made an appearance, unsurprisingly making a fashion statement with red hair and a slinky black leather gown. She performed with Becky G, Nicki Nicole, and Nathy Peluso with a remix of her recently-released single, “Pa Mis Muchachas” reminding everyone about the prowess of her vocals. Also wow-ing attendees was Chilean musician Mon Laferte, stunning in a lilac pantsuit featuring a cut-out that openly showed her pregnant belly. She won the fourth Latin Grammy of her career during the night, receiving best Singer-Songwriter Album for Seis.
Some notable wins during the night included Bad Bunny’s two awards for Best Urban Music Album for El Último Tour Del Mundo and Best Rap/Hip Hop Song for “Booker T”; Best Contemporary Tropical Album to Cuban music icon and four-time Latin Grammy winner Gloria Estafan for Brazil305; Best Reggaeton Performance for Karol G’s hit “Bichota”; and Best New Artist to newcomer and Colombian actress and singer-songwriter Juliana Velásquez.