Behind the Scenes at the Latin Grammys


The Grosby Group

Latin artists from all over the world came together at the MGM Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on Nov. 17 for the 17th Annual Latin Grammy’s. It wasn’t the structured award ceremony that people expected. On the contrary, it was full of surprises with a Latin beat and the best rhythm recipe: a pinch of salsa, a touch of merengue, and a music style that is finding its roots in America.

On the red carpet, things moved quickly. It was freezing cold and the only thing that guests wanted to do was go inside to find their seats. This year, there were technical problems with the computers at the entrance. Other artists were invited even though they weren’t nominated or didn’t go on stage, but security in the front couldn’t recognize those who were coming, so many of them were left outside, unable to get in.

The first to arrive was 2016 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Marc Anthony. He appeared on the red carpet with his children.
The award ceremony started, the red carpet was about to be cleaned-up, and Jennifer Lopez, fashionably late, rushed across to the red carpet not even stopping for interviews. Photographers followed her to the arena. Lopez presented the award.

In his acceptance speech, Anthony dedicated his award to his kids and said,”You guys have sacrificed more than anybody to see daddy here.”

While the crowd was chanting, “Beso! Beso! Beso!” the former couple looked at each other laughing and finally gave in to the public’s demand.

Back in the pressroom, Carlos Vives, Best Song of the Year winner for “La Bicicleta” was watching with the rest of the journalists. With so much excitement in the room, he said, “You want a kiss? I’ll give her a kiss?” while holding his Grammy in one hand and pointing with the other at journalist Mery Bossi. Dumbfounded by the offer, she accepted, surprised that she received a kiss on her lips. (We have the exclusive photo and can’t be found anywhere else.)

Photo Heading: Carlos Vives kissing Mery Bossi with the Grammy in his hand.

Latin singers were not the only ones who performed that night. Pharrell Williams sang the song “Safari” in Spanish with artists Sky and Best Urban Music Album “Energía” winner J Balvín. Singer Rachel Platten also sang “Stand by You” with Diego Torres.

The national elections were also part of the ceremony, even though no one directly mentioned the results. The awards opened with a quote on the big screen that read: “Tolerance is fundamental to live in peace and that everyone in the world is different.”

The hosts, Roselyn Sanchez and Sebastian Rulli, constantly mentioned unity and the importance of sharing music throughout the night.
Sanchez said at the beginning of the ceremony, “The only borders that should exist are songs and that our flags should be our hands and our hearts.” Rulli added, “Here, in the States, we just lived a very intense election where the parties made their campaigns with confrontations which affected us all.”

Near the end of the awards, Sanchez concluded with, “In real life, there should not be walls that separate us, in music there shouldn’t be any barriers either, not even in the language.”

Next year, the Latin Grammy’s will turn 18, old enough to vote.

Univision Network broadcasts the ceremony everyone sees with the most popular artist and songs to make it more entertaining, but outside of the aired show, Latin Academy awarded 40 less known categories including different music genres, the production team, and instrumental music. (People have been asking the Academy Awards for years to do the same with Oscars)
The aired Grammy’s was a celebration for the artists, but there was an exclusive gala the night before for music producers and the industry behind the winners. Not many people knew that this time, the President of the Latin Academy, Gabriel Abaroa, presented a music video dedicated to a terrorist attack in Argentina, much like 9/11. It was a Jewish community building called AMIA that was bombed in 1994 and to this day, no one was found guilty. The video was a compilation of Argentinean and other Latin American artist singing portions of the song Memoria by León Gieco, similar to what Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson did with We Are the World in 1985 and 2010. The song also mentioned other traumatic incidents in different parts of Latin America and the lyrics were a message calling for justice.

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