Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony stole the show on Thursday night as the Latin Grammy awards delivered an entertaining and unifying evening in Las Vegas.
After months of enduring divisive comments towards immigrants and the Latino community by Trump’s campaign, there was an expectation of more political statements on the biggest night for the Latin music industry.
Last year for example, legendary Mexican bands Maná and Los Tigres Del Norte performed the powerful Somos Más Americanos (We Are More Americans) and held up a sign that read Latinos Unidos No Voten Por Racistas (Latinos United Don’t Vote For Racists) in response to the president-elect’s comments about Mexican immigrants being criminals and rapists.
Instead, the Grammys decided to take a note from Michelle Obama and go high by highlighting the importance of unifying and looking forward to the future as the gala celebrated the best from this past year’s music, including notable performances from J Balvin’s Safari which featured Pharell Williams, BIA and Sky and Bronx-born Prince Royce.
“Music moves us, makes us think, allow us to feel,” said host and singer Roselyn Sánchez. “And tonight will make us feel so proud of who we are and where we come from.”
There were some strong moments where artists expressed their views and spoke out, including the opening song by Pablo López and Juanes, Tu Enemigo (Your Enemy), where Cirque du Soleil acrobats joined them on stage to give a message of peace and unity.
The Mexican actor Diego Luna, made the biggest political impression on the night when he said a few words as he was presenting the award for song of of the year. “I have a message for all of the Latinos on this side of the border,” he said as he stood next to Julieta Venegas. “Together we can fight hate and discrimination.”
The night, however, belonged to Marc Anthony as the Grammys celebrated his illustrious career.
In honor of his recent Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year award, the 48-year-old singer took center stage by performing a medley of his great successes including I Need to Know, Tu Amor Me Hace Bien and Vivir Mi Vida, the latter causing the ladies to take off their heels to leave their seats and dance.
His ex-wife, Jennifer Lopez, then joined him on the stage to sing a great rendition of Olvídame y Pega La Vuelta (Forget Me And Get Out Of Here), originally made famous by the Argentine duo Pimpinela. After the song ended, the crowd roared and celebrated this once-adored couple. “Marc is a living legend who keeps giving us classics that will stay with us forever,” said Lopez after the performance.
But the highlight of the evening came right after when the entire arena encouraged them to kiss, which they did.
The awards came at a difficult time for the Latino community and before the awards, stars had spoken out about fears over the election result.
“Donald Trump has won – the results show it,” Puerto Rican rapper Wisin, who won song of the year with Enrique Iglesias, told Fox News Latino on Wednesday. “But it doesn’t mean that us as Latinos are going to sink. On the contrary, we must push forward and not see us by our nationalities – Mexican, Boricua, Cubans, Dominicans. We are all a family and that is how we should see it. If we do, big things will happen.”
This article was written by Luis Miguel Echegaray, for theguardian.com on Friday 18th November 2016 15.20 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010