Lifetime Achievement Award: Armando Manzanero

Lucero pays tribute to Mexico's master singer/songwriter/pianist
  • Photo: Carlos Somonte
    Armando Manzanero
  • Photo: Kevin Winter/
January 20, 2014 -- 4:44 pm PST
By Lucero /

(In addition to the GRAMMY Awards, The Recording Academy presents Special Merit Awards recognizing contributions of significance to the recording field, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award. In the days leading up to the 56th GRAMMY Awards, will present the tributes to the 2014 Special Merit Awards recipients.)

How easy it seems to talk about music and songs. They have been part of our lives since we can remember. But rarely do we stop to think about where these songs come from. Those songs that make us fall in love, that give us goose bumps, that make us want to cry or laugh, and that have been with us in so many memorable moments of our lives.

It's then that I think of the master, Armando Manzanero. And automatically, in my mind, the melody and lyrics to "Adoro," "Somos Novios," "Contigo Aprendí," "Esta Tarde Vi Llover," "Voy A Apagar La Luz," and "No," among many others, begin to play. They are a part of my life and my surroundings — the pure romanticism reflected in their lyrics. Writing and singing of love, Armando Manzanero has become part of millions of us, although some are not as lucky as I am to know him.

Talking about him and his songs is like talking with family at our kitchen tables. He has taken over our hearts with such ease. He has entered our lives to fill them with wonderful sounds, accompanied by his piano, his voice and the vast amount of talented singers who have interpreted his songs with pride for decades. We've heard his songs in many languages and many countries, delivering the flavor of his native Yucatán to unexpected places. He makes me proud to be Mexican like him. It was a delight to have performed a duet with him on his song "No Existen Limites," and it is a joy to hear him tell his stories.

He is a remarkable man, whose every word gives us the opportunity to feel and vibrate with his inspiration. How many times have we dedicated his songs? How many times have we used his songs as the soundtrack to our love affairs and heartbreaks? How often have we hummed at least one of his songs? I seem to lose track.

That's how music is. It has to do with math, but math doesn't explain what we feel or what occurs within us when we hear his melodies. Thus, the number of hits that Don Armando Manzanero's musical legacy continues to leave many generations is truly staggering.

With these few humble words I try to express my admiration, respect and love for a man who is measured from the land to the sky, for a man who has given us his talent and inspiration, more than he can perhaps imagine himself. Long live our Armando Manzanero.

(A native of Mexico City, Emmy-winning actress, singer, and seven-time Latin GRAMMY Awards show host, Lucero performed "No Existen Límites" with Armando Manzanero on his 2001 duets album Duetos. To date, she has sold more than 27 million albums, and her most recent album, Lucero En Concierto, was released in November 2013.)

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