The 15th annual Latin Grammy Awards took ample opportunity on Thursday night to express their sentiments and outright support for President Barack Obama’s decision to proceed with executive amnesty; a move that will provide protection for up to 5 million people who are in the United States illegally if implemented.
The show, which took place inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, was ushered in by broadcasting Obama’s nearly 15-minutes speech via Univision, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Spanish network actually delayed the broadcast of the awards show by 20 minutes in order to accommodate the president’s address.
Then came Enrique Iglesias’s acceptance speech for “Bailando” via telecast; “Tonight is not only an historic night for all Latino artists, but for all Latinos who live in the United States,” the 39-year-old Spanish sex symbol said.
Following Iglesias’s endorsement of the president’s proposal, Puerto Rican hip-hop duo Calle 13, performed their Irish-inflected tune “El Aguante” (translation: “The Endurance” or “Resilience”); a song about enduring difficult circumstances, writes the Times. The song complemented Obama’s speech about all the hardships and struggles illegal immigrants face in the United States.
And pumping even more politics into the message of the night, one of the group’s rappers reportedly took his jacket off towards the end of their performance to reveal a T-shirt that read “Ayotzinapa Falta 43” (translation: “Ayotzinapa is Missing 43”). The writing was a reference to 43 recently disappeared Mexican students in Mexico City.
Calle 13 have won 19 Latin Grammys, more than any other act in history, and were nominated for nine more Latin Grammys on Thursday night.
But the forte of the political parade came with Colombian singer Carlos Vives dedicating his award for best contemporary tropical album to the president, notes the Times. “This award, I dedicate especially to President Obama,” Vives said.
There were approximately 19 performances throughout the night from the likes of Marc Anthony, Pitbull, Ricky Martin, and Chris Brown to name a few. And guitarist Paco de Lucia posthumously won Album of the Year for “Cancion Andaluza,” beating out Marc Anthony and Calle 13. De Lucia passed away in February of this year.
An overall roundup of analyses according to various news outlets deemed the evening as being a complete miss citing the lack of precision in making the night about would should have been the message of the show; namely awards for music that is representative of Latin music today.