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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.
Universal language: Why humans need music
Learn why music is truly a common language that is key to human development and evolution
There's no doubt music finds a way into nearly every moment of our daily lives, whether it's marking milestones such as a first dance at a wedding, the soundtrack to our favorite movie or singing in the shower for fun. In fact, it's hard to imagine times when we are more than an ear-length away from hearing another song.
But why does music mean so much to us? A powerful form of communication that transcends all barriers — music is our common language, but why?
A composer and educator with a lifelong fascination for music, Adam Ockelford has traced our connection with music back to infants and caregivers. Infants are unable to follow words, but they are developmentally primed to trace patterns in sound, such as through the songs a caretaker sings to them. Therefore, understanding music is intuitive for humans, even at a very young age, and it encourages healthy development.
In addition, there may be another evolutionary purpose for music. Music provides a sense of sameness between humans — if you can copy the sounds someone else makes, you must be an ally. This synergy plays a role in human survival because it evokes empathy and understanding, a lesson we still learn from music in today's culture.
"Music is central to the notion of what it is to be human, and spans cultures, continents and centuries," writes Ockelford. "My music, your music, our music can bind us together as families, as tribes and as societies in a way that nothing else can."
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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show
Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion
There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.
The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.
This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.
"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."
Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.
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Lady Gaga Steps In To Support Youth Impacted By Hurricanes
GRAMMY winner pledges support for those impacted by hurricanes this year through Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program
On Oct. 10 Lady Gaga announced she is devoting her $1 million donation in support of those impacted by the recent hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico and the earthquakes in Mexico, to a specific cause — the mental and emotional well being of children and youth.
Gaga announced on her Born This Way Foundation website she will support Save the Children’s Journey of Hope program, which uses a variety of tools to help young people deal with trauma in the wake of natural disasters.
"Through a curriculum that includes cooperative play, discussion, art, meditation, and mindfulness practices, young people learn to recognize and understand their emotions and develop healthy coping skills," Gaga wrote. "Tens of thousands of youth have benefited from the program since it’s development in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and Save the Children is working to bring it to hundreds of thousands more in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico."
The announcement came on World Mental Health Day, and the Fame Monster has invited all of us to step up and consider making a contribution to the Journey of Hope program to support to mental and emotional needs of children.
"Mental health is just as vital to our wellbeing as physical health. That’s true for each of us, everyday, but it’s especially important for those coping with disaster and recovering from trauma," wrote Lady Gaga. "We must do everything within our power to support the full, vibrant recovery of these communities, from meeting their immediate needs to helping them to rebuild sustainably."
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Mixcloud Signs Warner Music For Subscriptions Remix
There is more to the Mixcloud difference than just electronic dance music, and now the listening service has signed its first major label deal
Among the 1 million curators who have helped build British-based listening service Mixcloud into a destination visited by 17 million listeners each month are GRAMMY winners Erykah Badu, David Byrne, and Tiësto. Limited to streaming-only since its founding in 2008, Mixcloud announced a direct licensing agreement with Warner Music Group this morning, opening the door to offering downloads and new kinds of subscriptions.
Perhaps the standout statistic that describes the Mixcloud difference is that the average length of its user-uploaded programs is 45 minutes. Within the service's general emphasis on DJing, EDM and remix culture, the tendency to drill down and explore narrower listening topics in depth distinguishes the service from competitors such as Spotify or SoundCloud.
Warner Music Group Executive VP for Business Development & Chief Digital Officer Ole Obermann said, "Mixcloud's success is driven by the curiosity and passion of its community, as they engage with new music and rediscover timeless older songs."
Being able to listen to downloads offline seems a natural follow-up to direct licensing deals, but the service hints there's more in store. Mixcloud still hopes to sign indies and the other majors, as its fans have speculated. And with its own proprietary Content ID in place and established relationships with royalty collecting societies, the company has the tech infrastructure to explore new monetization strategies, paying artists and curators in new ways. Launching a new business model for its upcoming approach to paid content and subscriptions is a remix many are anticipating. Not knowing what to expect is part of the excitement.