Latinos Add Sazón to the 2011 Grammys

From beginning to end, Latinos sprinkled their sazón throughout the 53rd annual Grammy Awards ceremony Sunday night.

Prior to the ceremony, Tejano group "Fantasma" had already taken home "Best Latino Album in rock, alternative, or urban music" while Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz won the Grammy in the "Best Latin Pop" category. Cuban Latin jazz artist Jesús "Chucho" Valdés won the Grammy for "Best Latin Jazz Album."

The program, which took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., began with a tribute to the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin, lead by none other than Christina Aguilera. Trying to redeem herself from the Super Bowl fiasco, Aguilera, dressed in an elegant, sequence-like dress, belted out Aretha’s “Ain’t No Way.”

Joining Aguilera were other music stars such as Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Florence Adams from “Florence and The Machine” and Martina McBride.

After finishing a successful and intense performance, Aguilera and the ladies presented the first award of the evening to “Train,” who won the Grammy for “Best Pop Album by Duo or Group.”

Puerto Rican singer and equal rights activist Ricky Martin stepped into the stage following Aguilera to present one of the most awaited performances of the evening by the "Fame Monster" Lady Gaga.

Gaga, whose hairdo and choreography was reminiscent of Madonna, performed her controversial new single “Born This Way."

In recent weeks, the superstar has been criticized by organization leaders who feel the lyrics to her song are racist towards Hispanics. She refers to a Latina as a “Chola,” although she also glosses over other stereotypical names used to describe Asians such as “beige,” and “Orient.”

American Idol's Ryan Seacrest introduced Bruno Mars, who delivered an explosive performance with BOB and Janelle Monáe to the songs “Beautiful Girls” and “Grenade.” Mars took  home the Grammy for "Best Male Pop Vocal Performance," and was nominated for his collaboration with singer and music producer Cee Lo Green for their song “Forget You,” which was nominated for “Song of the Year” as well as “Record of the Year,” and was introduced by Puerto Rican Latino couple Marc Anthony and Jennifer López.

Eva Longoria, looking cheering despite her recent divorce, took the stage to introduce Justin Bieber and his mentor singer, actor and dancer Usher, who began their ensemble by telling the story of how they met and were later joined by Jayden Smith.

Following Bieber’s performance, his rumored girlfriend Selena Gómez along with “New Kids on the Block” Dottie B announced the nominees for the “Best Pop Vocal Album” category.

Awkwardly, Dottie B gave Gómez a look as he announced Bieber’s name as one of the nominees and Gómez rolled her eyes, seemingly annoyed at the comment.

Last but certainly not least, newcomer Esperanza Spalding took home the coveted prize for “Best New Artist,” beating pop music giants Justin Bieber and Drake.

To end the annual event, The Recording Academy asked for a moment of silence for those music legends who passed away in the last year.

A special recognition was given to Tejano singers Tony “Ham” Guerrero and Esteban “Steve” Jordan. Guerrero, fought a long and arduous battle with diabetes. His Grammy-nominated band “Tortilla Factory” revolutionized musical genres. Like Guerrero, Jordan made significant contributions to Tejano music. He received major honors such as being inducted into the South Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame on May 27, 2001 and the National Hispanic Music Hall of Fame in 2003. He lost his battle to liver cancer last summer on August 13, 2010.

You can reach Alexandra Gratereaux at:

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