Even in a pandemic, the 21st annual Latin Grammys didn’t stint on spectacle. On Thursday evening, probably the most persistently over-the-top American music awards present stayed that means, with luxuriant trend, bustling dance routines, a full salsa large band, arena-scale smoke and lights and largely real-time performances that reached for emotional peaks.
Sure, there have been some distant and low-fi acceptance speeches, and the musical numbers from far-flung areas — Madrid, Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, Rio de Janeiro, Puerto Rico — weren’t essentially dwell. There was no seen viewers for the occasion, broadcast by Univision, however on the American Airways Enviornment in Miami, the place many of the present occurred, enthusiastic onlookers equipped some applause. The Miami stage was giant sufficient for social distancing among the many musicians in the home band, although dancers and musical collaborators didn’t all the time apply it.
However not like on the Nation Music Affiliation Awards, which have been held final week in Nashville, there was no pretense that the pandemic didn’t exist. Early within the present, Raquel Sofía carried out her music “Amor en Cuarantena” (“Love in Quarantine”), a nominee for finest pop music. Later, Pitbull (with a dance troupe) rapped his coronavirus-era hard-rock motivational music, “I Consider That We Will Win (World Anthem),” backed by a band of firefighters, law enforcement officials and medical staff, ensuring to record their names. Musicians who collected awards in Miami have been glimpsed in masks earlier than their speeches.
However the three-hour present additionally had many different priorities: love songs and lust songs, kinetic rhythms and fervent voices in addition to pan-Latin solidarity. Latin music is surging in reputation worldwide, because the snappy beat and blunt lyrics of reggaeton thrive throughout streaming companies. Though main awards largely bypassed reggaeton performers — “Contigo” by the ballad singer Alejandro Sanz was named document of the 12 months, and Natalia Lafourcade’s traditionalist “Un Canto Por México, Vol. 1” gained for album — the Latin Grammys gave younger hitmakers splashy productions.
Karol G sang “Tusa,” a few girl on the rebound, in a simulation of its video with pink everywhere and a band of female musicians. J Balvin recast “Rojo,” from his album “Colores” (which gained finest city music album), as a music about overcoming worry. He sang it beneath a large pair of praying fingers, in a white swimsuit with a bleeding coronary heart on his chest; a gospel choir joined him and the video backdrop confirmed phrases like “Justice,” “Change” and at last “Hope.” Dangerous Bunny’s phase, from Puerto Rico, was a music-video manufacturing; he belted the lascivious “Bichiyal” from a transferring automobile.
The lineup encompassed stylistic and regional variations but additionally clear continuities. Not like the compelled, awkward collaborations of the Grammy Awards present, the Latin Grammys reveal what number of musicians are genuinely steeped within the music of their elders. The present started with a tribute to Héctor Lavoe, the celebrated however troubled salsa singer who died in 1993. Victor Manuelle, Jesús Navarro, Ricardo Montaner, Ivy Queen and Rauw Alejandro shared Lavoe’s hit “El Cantante” (“The Singer”), a few performer’s non-public struggles; Alejandro sang about “new blood” and Manuelle gestured to the opposite singers as he added a line about how songs can cross generations.
The Mexican singer and songwriter Lupita Infante introduced sultry class to “Amorcito Corazón,” a music by her grandfather Pedro Infante, backed by the glittering El Mariachi Sol de México de José Hernández. The Argentine songwriter Nathy Peluso, nominated as finest new artist, shared a phase with the exuberant 57-year-old Argentine rocker Fito Páez; her monitor “Buenos Aires,” nominated for finest various music, is near neo-soul, however her efficiency added a bandoneon, the accordion on the coronary heart of classic Argentine tango.
Los Tigres del Norte, the Mexican-American group based in 1968, pointedly sang about immigration, performing “Tres Veces Mojados” (“Three Instances Moist”) about migrants from El Salvador. Residente, whose “Rene” was named music of the 12 months, used his acceptance speech to induce musicians to place artwork earlier than enterprise.
In the meantime, romance dominated the evening’s music. Husky-voiced singers — Ricky Martin, José Luis Perales, Marc Anthony — proclaimed love and want in passionate crescendos. From Mexico, Alejandro Fernández and Christian Nodal sang mariachi heartache songs. And youthful hitmakers — Camilo, Kany García, Sebastian Yatra, Pedro Capó — sang and rapped via flirtations.
Close to the tip of the present, the Puerto Rican urbano singer and rapper Anuel AA opened his phase with the brooding “Estrés Postraumático,” which quotes “El Cantante,” earlier than praising a lover’s abilities in “El Guide,” flanked by dancers and topped with confetti. Ultimately on the Latin Grammys, earnestness makes means for celebration.