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Rubén Blades Wins Best Salsa Album | 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards
Panamanian singer/songwriter, composer, actor, activist, and bandleader Rubén Blades has won the Latin GRAMMY for Best Salsa Album, for Salsa Big Band.
"Good Evening ... hold this, it's heavy! Very good evening. First, thank you to the Academy for the invitation that we received to be here and form part of this event. Thank you to all who voted for us. Thank you also to Roberto Delgado and the orchestra for an excellent record. Thank you Orosmán de la Guardia, [who] created the graphic design [for] the covers. And also [to] the engineers: Nacho, Molino, Paolo, and Daniel. And we also want to give thanks to Panama, [which] has always been our inspiration. So in the name of Panama and the national artistic class, we accept this award. This is Roberto Delgado — he created the arrangements. Thank you, thank you. Thank you, like always, to Ruben for giving me the opportunity to work the arrangements of this production and be his musical director for the past seven years. Thank you to the technicians, Paolo, Daniel, Nacho, [and] all of the musicians that participated. And I want to dedicate this to Panama [and] to my family that is here — my wife, my children — and my province, Chiriquí. Long live!" — Rubén Blades
Blades, who shared the award with Roberto Delgado & Orquesta, is nominated for a total of three awards tonight, including Album Of The Year. This is his third career win for Best Salsa Album, and seventh career Latin GRAMMY. [Ed.: Blades won the award for Album Of The Year.]
His fellow nominees in the category tonight were Juan Pablo Díaz, Alain Pérez, Alberto Barros, and producer Isidro Infante.
A working songwriter since the mid-1970s, Blades built a career writing primarily Afro-Cuban, salsa, and Latin jazz music, and now has a catalog of hit songs to his name, including "Pedro Najava" and "Patria."