Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 kicked off the 2014 Latin Grammy with a strong and powerful performance of their anthem, “El Aguante” (“To Tolerate”), an appropriate theme for the night that had a sense of change and celebration.
The 15th annual Latin Grammys, airing live from the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, was delayed about 17 minutes because of President Barack Obama’s address on immigration. The address seemed to add even more importance to add more reason to celebrate Latin music’s largest night.
“Latinos move this country and what better stage to celebrate this,” said host, Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez.
Calle 13 was an early winner taking home a pair of trophies given handed out before the show for best urban album for “Multiviral” and best alternative song for “El Aguante.”
Never shying away from making a political statement, lead singer René Pérez, wore a shirt with the No. 43 on the front in reference to the students missing in Guerrero, Mexico, that have fueled demonstrations on both sides of the border.
Newlywed Marc Anthony won the first televised award for best salsa album.
“Thank you. I was not expecting this,” he said while receiving the award. “Que viva la raza Latina!”
Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias took home the award for best urban performance and song for his pop hit, “Bailando.”
“We wished we could have been there to celebrate with all of you,” said Iglesias, who did not attend the award show as he is touring in Europe. “It’s a great night for Latin people, especially those living in the United States.”
The night had 20 performances that included the likes of Ricky Martin, Camila, Carlos Santana, Carlos Vives, and Juanes, who won best pop/rock album for “Loco De Amor.”
R&B singer Chris Brown took the stage with Pitbull and Wisin and reggae-pop band MAGIC! performed a bilingual version of their hit, “Rude,” with Anthony.
Salsa king Rubén Blades, who took home the award for best tango album, performed a tango version of “Pedro Navaja.”
The album of the year award was given to the late flamenco singer Paco de Lucia, who passed away earlier this year.
Pepe Aguilar took home the award for best ranchera album and also brought up the on-going tension in his native Mexico.
“Us Latin Americans are very united, and we support each other when needed,” he said. “The tension is now in Mexico. Lets pray for Mexico.”
The new artist award went to Venezuelan-Canadian singer-songwriter Mariana Vega, while Vives took home the best tropical contemporary album for “Más Corazón Profundo.”
“Fifteen years ago, I had the most number of nominations … and that night I didn’t win any,” he said. “So 15 years later I receive it. This is for Colombia. And tonight I want to dedicate this to President Obama.”
The final award of the night - recording of the year - went to Jorge Drexler featuring Ana Tijoux for “Universos Paralelos” (“Parallel Universes”).
Iglesias closed out the show with a recorded performance of “Bailando” from his concert in Madrid over the weekend.