Photo: Juan Naharro Gimenez/Getty Images
Alejandro Sanz: 7 Milestones From The 2017 Latin Person Of The Year
From Latin GRAMMY-winning albums to all-star collaborations and philanthropy, retrace some of the 2017 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honoree's biggest career moments
Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY-winning singer/songwriter Alejandro Sanz's contribution to both Latin and mainstream music over the course of his nearly 30-year career has been remarkable.
In honor of his musical achievements, as well as his extensive philanthropic work in partnership with organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Save The Children, the Latin Recording Academy selected Sanz as their 2017 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year.
Sanz will be honored at a charity gala on Nov. 15 — the night prior to the 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards — with the proceeds benefitting the education and preservation causes championed by the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation.
In celebration of Sanz' forthcoming honor, take a look back at some of his prominent career milestones, which paint a picture of the indelible impact he has had on the music industry.
While Sanz enjoyed commercial success in his home country of Spain since his sophomore full-length LP, 1991's Viviendo Deprisa, it was 1997's Más that saw the Madrid native step resoundingly onto the world stage. A multiplatinum LP in multiple countries, Más has been certified an astounding 22-times platinum in Spain, where it remains the most popular album in the country's history.
MTV Unplugged: Alejandro Sanz
Sanz' next record, 2000's El Alma Al Aire, stoked the fervor of budding fans in the U.S. and earned him his first four career Latin GRAMMYs — including Album Of The Year — at the 2nd Latin GRAMMY Awards. This paved the way for Sanz to appear as the first Latin artist ever on a special episode of MTV's iconic "Unplugged" series in 2001. He later told The Washington Post, "[MTV's 'Unplugged'] changed the way I do my music. It was a rediscovery of how to perform, and also how to record music with live musicians. That was the spirit of the music in its pure form." MTV Unplugged: Alejandro Sanz won three Latin GRAMMYs, including his second-consecutive Album Of The Year, at the 3rd Latin GRAMMY Awards.
Cultural And Academic Honors
Sanz has championed Latin culture in the U.S. throughout his career. In 2004 he became the first Spanish musician to give a lecture at Harvard University, where he discussed Hispanic culture at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. In 2011 he was selected by ASCAP to receive the Latin Heritage Award in honor of "his unique and enduring contributions to Latin music." More recently, in 2013 Sanz was awarded an honorary doctorate in music from Berklee College of Music.
A Collaboration With The King Of Pop
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Michael Jackson wrote and released the charity single "What More Can I Give." The song was recorded by a supergroup of nearly 30 artists, and the proceeds benefitted the families of victims and first responders injured or killed in the wake of the attacks. With help from GRAMMY winner Rubén Blades, Jackson also adapted the lyrics into a Spanish-language version titled "Todo Para Ti." Sanz was enlisted to help record the track with a smaller supergroup of primarily Latin artists, some of whom also sang on the English version of the song.
Record-Setting Latin GRAMMY Win
Sanz' 2004 studio album, No Es Lo Mismo, netted four Latin GRAMMYs, including Album Of The Year, at the 5th Latin GRAMMYs, as well as a GRAMMY for Best Latin Pop Album at the 46th GRAMMY Awards. Sanz's win for No Es Lo Mismo set the record for most Latin GRAMMY Album Of The Year awards won by a single artist in the now 17-year history of the Latin GRAMMYs. His record has since been tied, but not broken, by Juanes, Calle 13 and Juan Luis Guerra 4.40, who each have three Album Of The Year wins to their names.
"La Tortura" With Shakira
GRAMMY winner Shakira's 2005 duet alongside Sanz, "La Tortura," not only became an international success, it has been called "one of the most important Latin songs to move to the mainstream U.S. and Canadian markets." The single smashed the contemporary record for longest run on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart by holding the No. 1 spot for 25 nonconsecutive weeks. The record remained unbroken for the next nine years, until it was finally topped by Enrique Iglesias in 2014. To date, the single has sold more than 1 million copies in the United States.
Alongside his professional accolades, Sanz' philanthropic efforts have been equally impactful. In the wake of the recent devastating earthquake in central Mexico, Sanz operationalized his charity project, La Fuerza del Corazón (named for his first-ever internationally charting single), to perform outreach and raise funds for groups such as Doctors Without Borders, Save The Children and Greenpeace — with each organization lending a hand to survivors on the ground in Mexico City. On Sept. 23, Sanz also took part in performing for Univision's Unidos Por Los Nuestros seven-hour benefit special aimed at raising funds to assist the Red Cross with its recovery efforts following the natural disasters in Houston, South Florida, central Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
The Latin Recording Academy's 2017 Person of the Year benefit gala honoring Sanz will be held at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas on Nov. 15. Be sure to tune in to the 18th Latin GRAMMY Awards on Nov. 16 broadcast live on Univision at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy
10 Incredible Moments From The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs: Rosalía, Shakira, Peso Pluma & More
The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs were truly international, embracing sounds of flamenco, norteño, reggaetón, and everything in between. Read on for 10 of the most exciting moments from the Biggest Night In Latin Music.
It is not a coincidence that the 24th annual edition of the Latin GRAMMYs took place in Sevilla, Spain — far away from the traditional epicenters of Latin music production. More than ever before, the sound of the Latin GRAMMYs are truly international, embraced by fans all over the world.
At a time of unprecedented global turmoil and collective anxiety, the songs of Bad Bunny, Shakira, Peso Pluma and Rosalía — to name a few of many reigning stars — have enough zest, honesty and passion in them to provide comfort. Both Spain and Latin America boast a long standing tradition of healing through rhythm and melody. Not surprisingly, this year's ceremony felt like a casual gathering of friends for an evening of dancing and celebrating.
From the strains of flamenco to the boom of Mexican music and the ongoing permutations of reggaetón, these are the takeaway points from the unforgettable 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
The Genius Of Rosalía Transcends Her Own Songbook
It was only fitting that Rosalía — one of the most visionary singer/songwriters in global pop — should open up the first Latin GRAMMY ceremony in Spanish territory.
She could have certainly taken advantage of the opportunity to drop a new single or perform one of her many hits. Instead, Rosalía sang an achingly beautiful version of the 1985 classic "Se Nos Rompió El Amor" by the late singer Rocío Jurado. It was a lovely way to deflect the spotlight and focus on celebrating her Spanish roots.
Spain And Latin America Make Beautiful Music Together
From beginning to end, the telecast underscored the organic kinship that unites the music of Spain and Latin America. It took place during the International Day of Flamenco, and the transcendent genre was present in Alejandro Sanz's moving performance of "Corazón Partío." The award for Best Flamenco Album, won by Niña Pastori for Camino, was presented during the main ceremony — a GRAMMY first.
Later in the telecast, Spanish pop singer Manuel Carrasco and Colombian artist Camilo performed an acoustic duet of "Salitre." They were soon joined by Brazilian singer IZA Texas-born producer/songwriter Edgar Barrera, transforming the Sevilla stage with Carnivalesque energy.
Hell Hath No Fury Like A Pop Star Scorned
Since its release in January, “Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53,” the collaboration between Shakira and Argentine producer Bizarrap, has become a global cultural phenomenon. Not only is it a grand pop song with slick EDM accents, but the Colombian diva's lyrics struck a chord with its message of empowerment and fortitude in the face of adversity.
The duo's brisk performance — preceded by a brief intro with Shaki showcasing her tango dancing skills — was an iconic pop culture moment. The track itself won awards in the Best Pop Song and Song Of The Year categories.
Emerging Talent Is The Lifeline That Keeps Latin Music Alive
Watching young artists performing together with the legends that inspired them is a Latin GRAMMY staple. This year was particularly poignant, as Colombian singer/songwriter Juanes performed a moving rendition of the atmospheric rocker "Gris" — about overcoming a relationship crisis — with majestic background vocals provided by six of the 10 Best New Artist nominees: Borja, Natascha Falcão, GALE, Paola Guanche, León Leiden and Joaquina — who ended up winning the award.
For Mexico, The Time Is Now
The moment was ripe for the richness and depth of música Mexicana to shine on an international scale. 2023 was the year when the entire world fell in love with the strains of banda, norteño and corridos tumbados.
The infectious collaboration between Peso Pluma and Eslabón Armado, "Ella Baila Sola" became the emblem of this revolución mexicana. A buoyant rendition of the track was a telecast highlight, as well as the performance by Carín León, who won the award for Best Norteño Album.
Laura Pausini's Artistry Evokes The Elegance Of Decades Past
Introducing herself as "the most [expletive] Latina Italian woman in the world," Laura Pausini seemed overjoyed with her Person Of The Year award. Her medley of career highlights — full of drama and gorgeous melodies — included nods to her first mega-hit, the nostalgic "La Solitudine," and the cinematic "Víveme."
"I thank my father because he chose not to go to the movies with my mom, and instead stayed at home, made love to her and had me, the Person Of The Year," Pausini quipped. Her songbook evokes the golden era of Latin pop, a time of elegance and style.
Radical Genre Bending Never Fails To Intrigue
Latin music is currently experiencing a moment of grace, and this creative apex is frequently expressed through intriguing fusions of seemingly disparate styles. The adrenaline-fueled performance by Puerto Rican neo-reggaetón star Rauw Alejandro gained in electricity when he was joined by Juanes on a rocked-up rendition of "BABY HELLO."
Exquisite Singing & Songwriting Will Never Go Out Of Style
There's something to be said about an album that was recorded live on tape with analog equipment — the singer surrounded by her band, as they perform together in the same space, with no outside guests allowed.
Natalia Lafourcade's "De Todas Las Flores" is all about feeling and warmth, her vulnerable vocals framed by delicate piano notes and supple percussion. A worthy Record Of The Year winner, this exquisitely layered track proposes that some traditional methods of music making are definitely worth preserving. At the Premiere Ceremony, Lafourcade also took home golden gramophones for Best Singer-Songwriter Song and Best Singer-Songwriter Album.
Hip-Hop Is A Natural Component Of The Latin Music DNA
At the tail end of the ceremony, the performance by Colombian vocalist Feid — aided by the stellar skills of producer DJ Premier — included a moody reading of "Le Pido a DIOS" with nods to '90s rap and jazzy keyboard flourishes. Just like EDM, hip-hop has been fully incorporated into the Latin music lexicon, assuming an identity of its own.
KAROL G Is Much, Much More Than Just A Global Pop Star
Just like Rosalía's Motomami, KAROL G's fourth studio LP – winner of the coveted Album Of The Year award — will be remembered for the dazzling quality of its songs and the kind of indelible magic that can only be experienced, not described. The Colombian singer's artistic partnership with producer Ovy On The Drums has resulted in a futuristic sound that leaves ample space for the warmth of her vocals — and it grooves like crazy.
Most importantly, MAÑANA SERÁ BONITO celebrates the small pleasures, the brief glimpses of inner peace, and the decision to embrace self-acceptance even in the wake of emotional storms. In KAROL G's world, optimism is the only pathway out to a better tomorrow.
Photo: Maria Jose Lopez/Europa Press via Getty Images
Watch: Bizarrap Brings His Hit Collabs With Shakira & Milo J To Life At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
The Argentinian star performed his viral YouTube hits alongside collaborators Shakira and Milo J, highlighting BZRP sessions No. 52, 53, and 57.
Ten months after Bizarrap and Shakira caused an internet frenzy with Vol. 53 of the Argentinian producer's hit YouTube series, "BZRP Music Sessions," they took it to the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs stage — along with two other smash sessions.
Bizarrap was the star of his performance from behind his DJ set, opening the medley with "BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 57" featuring Argentine rapper Milo J. And though Quevedo couldn't be there to offer vocals for "BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 52," Bizarrap still did the song justice by blending the scenery and sounds of Argentine folklore in with the performance.
Shakira then made her return to the stage — she'd performed her own "Acróstico" earlier in the telecast — to join Bizarrap for "BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 53." After performing a bit of tango, the Colombian superstar then danced her heart out in a sparkling bodysuit, offering quite the onstage party for their global sensation.
Bizarrap and Shakira were both big winners at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs before and after they joined forces on stage. After their performance, the pair was awarded the coveted Song Of The Year for "BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 53"; earlier in the evening, it won the Latin GRAMMY for Best Pop Song, and "BZRP Music Sessions, Vol. 52" also won for Best Urban Song. Shakira also won with another collaborator, Karol G, as the two took home Best Urban Fusion/Performance for "TQG."
Photo: Courtesy of The Latin Recording Academy/Rodrigo Varela, Getty Images © 2023
2023 Latin GRAMMYs: Shakira & Bizarrap Win Latin GRAMMY For Song Of The Year For "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53"
Shakira & Bizarrap won the Latin GRAMMY for Song Of The Year at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
Shakira's "Acróstico," Pablo Alborán & Maria Becerra's "Amigos," Natalia Lafourcade's "De Todas Las Flores," Eslabon Armado & Peso Pluma's "Ella Baila Sola," Camilo & Alejandro Sanz's "NASA," Lasso's "Ojos Marrones," Fonseca & Juan Luis Guerra's "Si Tú Me Quieres," Karol G feat. Shakira's "Tqg," and Grupo Frontera feat. Bad Bunny's "Un X100to" were the other nominees in the category.
By any stretch of the imagination, Shakira has had a pivotal year. Despite undergoing a highly conspicuous separation — and tabloids worldwide honed in on her every move and social media post — she proved yet again she's a pop phenom of the highest order.
Shakira kicked off her 2023 with the viral "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53," a synth-popping clap-back at her ex. In just 24 hours, "Vol. 53" accrued more than 15 million streams on Spotify, thereby topping the straming platform's Top 50 global list. On top of that, the video garnered over 55 million views on YouTube — which broke a record for a Spanish-language track.
On "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53," the singer makes her power known, cutting through the tabloids and BS and speaking her truth. "A she-wolf like me/ isn't for guys like you," the she declares. "I was out of your league/ That's why you're/ With someone just like you.” The fiery diss track arose from session with Argentinan DJ and producer Bizarrap.; they co-wrote the track with Keityn and Santiago Alvarado.
Check out the complete list of winners and nominees at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
Photo: Courtesy of The Latin Recording Academy/Kevin Winter, Getty Images © 2023
Shakira Brings Her Explosive Star Power To The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs With "Acróstico"
After Shakira breaking records — and the internet — this year, the hit-making superstar took the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs stage for a victory lap, performing "Acróstico."
Shakira has had a massive year — so massive, in fact, that she's performing not once, but twice, at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
For her performance, the Colombian superstar performed a moving rendition of her "Acróstico," which has been nominated for Song of the Year. Wearing a glittering gold high-cut gown adorned with an image of the Virgin Mary and clutching a rhinestone encrusted mic, she glided across the stage to a grand piano where her accompanist played along.
The Latin phenom maintained devastatingly regal bearing, even while conveying the tenderest love and most fragile emotion in the pop ballad, which is directed at her two children Milan and Sasha. The telecast included clips of Milan and Sasha, who are featured on the track.
Latin pop's reigning queen first reconfirmed her claim to the throne in early January, when her collaboration with Argentinian DJ and producer Bizarrap lit the internet on fire. "Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" — a scorched-earth rebuke to Shakira's ex — earned Shakira her first top 10 hit on the Billboard 200 in over 16 years, landing at No. 9 in January.
Less than two months later, Shakira scored another top 10 hit thanks to "TQG," her reggaeton collab with fellow Colombian juggernaut Karol G. Along with reaching No. 7 on the Hot 100, the track hit No. 1 on Billboard's Global 200 and Hot Latin Songs charts.
"TQG" earned Shakira her first win of the night before the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs telecast began, as it was awarded Best Urban Fusion/Performance in the Premiere Ceremony. The smash collaboration also received nominations for Song Of The Year and Best Urban Song.
"Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" marked the first win of the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs telecast, taking home Best Pop Song. It also received Latin GRAMMYs nominations for Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year; the latter category also includes her single "Acróstico."