Amara La Negra Will Keep Talking About Her Afro-Latina Identity Until Things Change

Amara La Negra 

Photo: Mike Pont/Getty Images


Amara La Negra Will Keep Talking About Her Afro-Latina Identity Until Things Change

Meet Amara La Negra. The Miami-bred singer is captivating music lovers with her pop-infused, hip-hop and Caribbean sound, while also challenging the mainstream pop world's notion on what a Latina looks like

GRAMMYs/Sep 26, 2018 - 02:39 am

If you don't know who Amara La Negra is, you need to catch up. The singer, who was raised under the spotlight of Spanish-language media, has become the most powerful voice in the English-language pop music world when it comes to Afro-Latino identity.

Her music is pop-infused R&B and hip-hop, with a touch of Caribbean sounds. Her songs are infectious, the kind you can find playing at clubs during the summer in cities like Miami or Los Angeles. As a cross-over artist, she is gaining fans in English and Spanish, and is challenging the cookie-cutter image of a Latina pop star in media; Latinas come in all shapes and colors and can be black too, La Negra announces with her hair and dark skin.

"My mom made sure that I always did know that I was beautiful, that there is nothing wrong with me, that there was something wrong with the people who saw me as if I wasn't beautiful enough," she told the Recording Academy's "On Location" host Charlie Travers, about growing up and being treated differently from other Latino children because of her dark features. "A lot of people think it's annoying that I keep talking about it, but I'm going to keep talking about it because I haven't seen any difference."

Amara La Negra's real name is Dana Danelys De Los Santos and was brought up in Miami in a Dominican household. As a child, she appeared on Univision's popular Spanish-language "Sabado Gigante" hosted by iconic host Don Francisco and shared the stage with GRAMMY-winning Afro-Latina salsa legend, Celia Cruz. Now as an adult and reality TV star, La Negra has been very open about her cross-over journey as an Afro-Latina, sharing the ups and the downs, including being criticized on her appearance for not fitting the typical, media-driven "Latina" look on national TV. 

"A lot of people want to see change and they just want to sit back and wait for someone to go through the struggles and go through it and make the change happen," La Negra said. "In my case, I'm willing to stand up, because I do get bashed all the time, I'm willing to take that responsibility to open doors and opportunities for other women like myself, other children like myself that have been ignored for so long."

Learn more about Amara La Negra's sound below:

"What A Bam Bam"

In this single, La Negra samples Sister Nancy's reggae hit "Bam Bam" and adds a dembow beat. The bilingual song is an anthem about being single and having fun.


La Negra takes a break from having fun, to get real and personal in "Insecure." "You say I’m loca, crazy/ Said I been tripping lately/ I wanna know baby/ Does that make me insecure, mi amore," La Negra sings in one of her most vulnerable songs.

"Dutty Whine"

Using bilingual lyrics once again, La Negra's "Dutty Whine" pays tribute to the Jamaican dance of the same name. "If you do that dutty whine/Make her do that dutty low, low low/Dutty whine! Dutty low!" she sings in this dancehall, pop song released in June.

Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More



Rotimi On Performing At ESSENCE Fest, Growing Up African-American & More

The Nigerian-American singer and actor sat down with the Recording Academy to talk about what inspired his latest album, 'Walk With Me'

GRAMMYs/Jul 8, 2019 - 10:04 pm

In 2015, Rotimi stepped into the New Orleans Superdome for the first time to experience the magic of ESSENCE Fest. Four years later, in 2019, the "Love Riddim" singer returned to the celebration as a performer, something he said was spoken into existence.

"Last year me and my manager had a conversation and I said, 'Listen, I'm going to be on the [ESSENCE] mainstage this year. 365 days later, we did it," Rotimi told the Recording Academy at the 25th annual ESSENCE Fest.

Rotimi, also an actor on Starz' "Power," has evolved since his last album, 2017's Jeep Music, Vol.1. The singer said he really hit home with its follow-up, the recently released Walk With Me, a project he worked hard for, putting in hours in the studio after filming on set.

"Walk With Me is the first time I actually felt like I was giving myself as an artist, and personally I feel like with everything else I have going on I wanted to show people that this is really what I do," he said. "I wanted people to understand who Rotimi is, who Rotimi was before, who I want to be and just understand my growth and the journey and my passion for what I do."

Part of why the album felt like such a representation of him is because it embodies beats of his African roots, something he said was very present growing up Nigerian-American. 

"I grew up with a lot of Fela Kuti and I grew up with Bob Marley," he said of his musical roots. "But I also grew up with Carl Thomas and Genuine and Usher, so there was a genuine mixture of who I am and what I've grown up to listen to. The actual Walk With Me project was a mixture of influences of Akon and Craig David."

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY


Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs



Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

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