meta-scriptMetallica's Lars Ulrich Surprises Juanes With Person Of The Year Award At 2019 Latin GRAMMYs | GRAMMY.com

Juanes & Metallica's Lars Ulrich

Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

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Metallica's Lars Ulrich Surprises Juanes With Person Of The Year Award At 2019 Latin GRAMMYs

The Danish metal drummer surprised the Colombian legend with a special presentation:at the 20th Latin GRAMMYS: "Tonight, we've come full circle. I proclaim myself a Juanes fan"

GRAMMYs/Nov 15, 2019 - 08:36 am

The day afterJuanes was honored as the Latin Recording Academy Person Of The Year, there was another special surprise waiting for him in Las Vegas. After the show aired a Juanes tribute reel and the Colombian singer/songwriter delivered showstopping performance, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich walked out on stage in a red suit and black cap to present his fellow musician with the honor. 

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="es" dir="ltr">¡Que emoción!  <a href="https://twitter.com/juanes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Juanes</a> Persona del Año 2019 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LatinGRAMMY?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LatinGRAMMY</a> <a href="https://t.co/ErzEAWp9wX">pic.twitter.com/ErzEAWp9wX</a></p>&mdash; Latin GRAMMYs (@LatinGRAMMYs) <a href="https://twitter.com/LatinGRAMMYs/status/1195177732734255104?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 15, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Juanes, a well-documented Metallica fan, was visibly moveed by seeing his hero on hand to pay homage. 

Ulrich, for his part, was quite honored himself, mentioning that he knew Juanes was a fan of Metallica when they first met years ago in Mexico, but "Tonight, we've come full circle. I proclaim myself a Juanes fan!"

A flattered Juanes accepted the award from Metallica's co-founder, admitting, "You guys changed my life man," as Ulrich exited the stage.

"I used to be a metal man. I still love metal music," Juanes told the Recordiing Academy back in 2014 at Austin City Limits Festival. "I used to have long hair and I am a very big Metallica fan, and Slayer, and Sepultura, and Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath."

Juanes personal Metallica moment at the 20th Latin GRAMMYs closed out a memorable week for the singer, as his fellow artists came out en masse the previous evening to perform at the Person Of The Year celebration, including Cami, Alessia Cara, Paula Fernandes, Fonseca, Juan Luis Guerra, Mon Laferte, Morat, Ozuna, Draco Rosa, Rosalía, Alejandro Sanz, and Sebastián Yatra. Other guests included Jesse & Joy, Fito Páez, Pablo López and guitarist Orianthil.

Juanes Honored At The 20th Latin GRAMMY Awards' Person Of The Year Ceremony

 

Photo of a gold GRAMMY trophy against a black background with white lights.
GRAMMY Award statue

Photo: Jathan Campbell

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How Much Is A GRAMMY Worth? 7 Facts To Know About The GRAMMY Award Trophy

Here are seven facts to know about the actual cost and worth of a GRAMMY trophy, presented once a year by the Recording Academy at the GRAMMY Awards.

GRAMMYs/May 1, 2024 - 04:23 pm

Since 1959, the GRAMMY Award has been music’s most coveted honor. Each year at the annual GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY-winning and -nominated artists are recognized for their musical excellence by their peers. Their lives are forever changed — so are their career trajectories. And when you have questions about the GRAMMYs, we have answers.

Here are seven facts to know about the value of the GRAMMY trophy.

How Much Does A GRAMMY Trophy Cost To Make?

The cost to produce a GRAMMY Award trophy, including labor and materials, is nearly $800. Bob Graves, who cast the original GRAMMY mold inside his garage in 1958, passed on his legacy to John Billings, his neighbor, in 1983. Billings, also known as "The GRAMMY Man," designed the current model in use, which debuted in 1991.

How Long Does It Take To Make A GRAMMY Trophy?

Billings and his crew work on making GRAMMY trophies throughout the year. Each GRAMMY is handmade, and each GRAMMY Award trophy takes 15 hours to produce. 

Where Are The GRAMMY Trophies Made?

While Los Angeles is the headquarters of the Recording Academy and the GRAMMYs, and regularly the home of the annual GRAMMY Awards, GRAMMY trophies are produced at Billings Artworks in Ridgway, Colorado, about 800 miles away from L.A.

Is The GRAMMY Award Made Of Real Gold?

GRAMMY Awards are made of a trademarked alloy called "Grammium" — a secret zinc alloy — and are plated with 24-karat gold.

How Many GRAMMY Trophies Are Made Per Year?

Approximately 600-800 GRAMMY Award trophies are produced per year. This includes both GRAMMY Awards and Latin GRAMMY Awards for the two Academies; the number of GRAMMYs manufactured each year always depends on the number of winners and Categories we award across both award shows.

Fun fact: The two GRAMMY trophies have different-colored bases. The GRAMMY Award has a black base, while the Latin GRAMMY Award has a burgundy base.

Photos: Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images; Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

How Much Does A GRAMMY Weigh?

The GRAMMY trophy weighs approximately 5 pounds. The trophy's height is 9-and-a-half inches. The trophy's width is nearly 6 inches by 6 inches.

What Is The True Value Of A GRAMMY?

Winning a GRAMMY, and even just being nominated for a GRAMMY, has an immeasurable positive impact on the nominated and winning artists. It opens up new career avenues, builds global awareness of artists, and ultimately solidifies a creator’s place in history. Since the GRAMMY Award is the only peer-voted award in music, this means artists are recognized, awarded and celebrated by those in their fields and industries, ultimately making the value of a GRAMMY truly priceless and immeasurable.

In an interview featured in the 2024 GRAMMYs program book, two-time GRAMMY winner Lauren Daigle spoke of the value and impact of a GRAMMY Award. "Time has passed since I got my [first] GRAMMYs, but the rooms that I am now able to sit in, with some of the most incredible writers, producers and performers on the planet, is truly the greatest gift of all." 

"Once you have that credential, it's a different certification. It definitely holds weight," two-time GRAMMY winner Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter of the Roots added. "It's a huge stamp as far as branding, businesswise, achievement-wise and in every regard. What the GRAMMY means to people, fans and artists is ever-evolving." 

As Billboard explains, artists will often see significant boosts in album sales and streaming numbers after winning a GRAMMY or performing on the GRAMMY stage. This is known as the "GRAMMY Effect," an industry phenomenon in which a GRAMMY accolade directly influences the music biz and the wider popular culture. 

For new artists in particular, the "GRAMMY Effect" has immensely helped rising creators reach new professional heights. Samara Joy, who won the GRAMMY for Best New Artist at the 2023 GRAMMYs, saw a 989% boost in sales and a 670% increase in on-demand streams for her album Linger Awhile, which won the GRAMMY for Best Jazz Vocal Album that same night. H.E.R., a former Best New Artist nominee, saw a massive 6,771% increase in song sales for her hit “I Can’t Breathe” on the day it won the GRAMMY for Song Of The Year at the 2021 GRAMMYs, compared to the day before, Rolling Stone reports

Throughout the decades, past Best New Artist winners have continued to dominate the music industry and charts since taking home the GRAMMY gold — and continue to do so to this day. Recently, Best New Artist winners dominated the music industry and charts in 2023: Billie Eilish (2020 winner) sold 2 million equivalent album units, Olivia Rodrigo (2022 winner) sold 2.1 million equivalent album units, and Adele (2009 winner) sold 1.3 million equivalent album units. Elsewhere, past Best New Artist winners have gone on to star in major Hollywood blockbusters (Dua Lipa); headline arena tours and sign major brand deals (Megan Thee Stallion); become LGBTIA+ icons (Sam Smith); and reach multiplatinum status (John Legend).

Most recently, several winners, nominees and performers at the 2024 GRAMMYs saw significant bumps in U.S. streams and sales: Tracy Chapman's classic, GRAMMY-winning single "Fast Car," which she performed alongside Luke Combs, returned to the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time since 1988, when the song was originally released, according to Billboard. Fellow icon Joni Mitchell saw her ‘60s classic “Both Sides, Now,” hit the top 10 on the Digital Song Sales chart, Billboard reports.

In addition to financial gains, artists also experience significant professional wins as a result of their GRAMMY accolades. For instance, after she won the GRAMMY for Best Reggae Album for Rapture at the 2020 GRAMMYs, Koffee signed a U.S. record deal; after his first GRAMMYs in 2014, Kendrick Lamar saw a 349% increase in his Instagram following, Billboard reports. 

Visit our interactive GRAMMY Awards Journey page to learn more about the GRAMMY Awards and the voting process behind the annual ceremony.

2024 GRAMMYs: See The Full Winners & Nominees List

2001 Latin GRAMMY winners pose at the Conga Room
2001 Latin GRAMMY winners pose at the Conga Room.

Photo: Courtesy of the Conga Room

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L.A.’s Historic Conga Room Closes With A Final Party Celebrating Latin Music Excellence

The L.A. Live venue will officially close its doors at the end of March, after two decades of supporting live Latin music (and the Latin GRAMMYs). Ahead of their farewell party, the Conga Room's founder and staff discuss its history and significance.

GRAMMYs/Mar 26, 2024 - 01:24 pm

Los Angeles' legendary Conga Room is closing its doors, but will not go quietly into the night.

The 25-year-old venue has been home to countless Latin music performances and celebrations — including the 2001 Latin GRAMMYs — and will host its final event on March 27. The official, invitation-only closing celebration will feature a performance by Puerto Rican salsa star Gilberto Santa Rosa and the Conga Kids, as well appearances from Jimmy Smits and Paul Rodriguez, both of whom were investors in the space. 

First opened in 1999 on Wilshire Boulevard by real estate entrepreneur and Latin music lover Brad Gluckstein, the Conga Room drew investors like Jennifer Lopez and Sheila E — all of whom were committed to the venue’s vision of being an upscale nightclub devoted to live Latin music and dancing. In both its Miracle Mile location and its later space at L.A. Live, the club attracted an absolutely staggering lineup of talent, including Celia Cruz, Buena Vista Social Club, Tito Puente, Carlos Santana, Alejandro Fernández, Fito Paez, Jerry Rivera, Bad Bunny, and Maluma. The venue also hosted performances from non-Latinx artists like Prince, Ed Sheeran, Lenny Kravitz, Kendrick Lamar, Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, and Avicii.

"I saw Prince perform in venues the world over, but his very first performance at the Conga Room was magical," says talk show host Tavis Smiley. "Of all the times I witnessed my friend on stage, from Madison Square Garden to Montreux, the Conga Room remains my favorite Prince performance."

Gluckstein says that the Conga Room was able to draw such great talent not just because it was one of the only major venues that leaned into Latin music in the United States, but because there was a mutual respect between the artists and the venue. 

"We couldn’t compete financially with [Goldenvoice or AEG], but we were able to bring an incredible amount of talent to the venue," he tells GRAMMY.com. "I was talking to Jerry Rivera’s agent the other day and I said, ‘Jerry just played in front of 10,000 people in Venezuela. Help me understand why playing in front of 1,000 people at the Conga room was so important.’ He went on for 10 minutes about what the room meant to these artists and the way we respected them, the sound system, and the way they were treated. The fan engagement, too, plus the fact that there was never really a comparable room anywhere else, even in New York."

"We provided a stage and a voice for acts that didn’t have a way of getting to their audience here in L.A., because no radio stations were playing their kind of music," says Marcella Cuonzo, the venue’s publicist. "For reggaeton, for example, the Conga Room was a pioneer in the movement around 2010. Radio wasn’t playing that music, but the Conga Room took a gamble on the sound because they saw its vision." 

The Conga Room was also the first venue in Los Angeles to host a wide-range of Cuban musical talent starting in the mid- to late ‘90s. "We had probably 50 shows," says Gluckstein. "We got everything from Bebo Valdés to [Diego] El Cigala to Pablo Milanés, who played his first show ever in the U.S. at our venue. He’s the Bob Dylan of Cuba. We brought Los Van Van, who’s probably the most famous salsa or timba group in the history of Cuba. They couldn’t play in Miami, because Miami wouldn’t allow Cuban music, so the GRAMMYs gave them their trophy [for Best Salsa Performance] at the Conga Room."  

The Latin GRAMMY Awards moved from L.A. from Miami in 2001, and the ceremony was set to take place at the Shrine Auditorium on Sept. 11. That telecast was understandably canceled following the tragic events of that day in New York, and rather than rescheduling the whole event, winners were announced at a press conference on Oct. 30 at the Conga Room. Alejandro Sanz came away with four awards, including Album Of The Year, and Juanes took home three Latin GRAMMYs, including Best New Artist.

"I remember Celia Cruz giving a beautiful speech that night in Spanish, thanking the firefighters and policemen and saying ‘this is for you, but also a little bit for us," says Gluckstein. "In later years, once we were at L.A. Live, we hosted the Latin GRAMMY nominations several times. I have footage of Andy Garcia doing them on-stage with Jimmy Smits." 

The Conga Room is closing now because, Gluckstein says, it just seems like the right time. "The pandemic, of course, played a role," he explains. "And I think the enormity of AEG and Live Nation, with how fierce the competition is, all of that has made buying talent much more expensive and has made talent more selective in terms of what's the best economic opportunity for them." 

There’s also the rising success of Conga Kids, the venue’s non-profit arm, to consider. A county-wide organization with about 100 employees, Conga Kids reaches roughly 50,000 elementary-aged kids in largely under-resourced communities every year, using dance and music from the Afro-Diaspora like salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaeton, Charleston, and hip-hop to promote social and emotional well-being, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusivity. 

Though fans and artists will undoubtedly miss the space, energy, and community the Conga Room provided, Gluckstein says the venue’s closure doesn’t have to be sad. Instead, he says, it can be celebratory. 

"We accomplished so much," he says. "Now, the venue will just have to live on in the hearts and minds of people, instead of as a brick and mortar space." 

GRAMMY Hall Of Fame 2024 Inductees Announced: Recordings By Lauryn Hill, Guns N' Roses, Donna Summer, De La Soul & More

Peso Pluma at the 2024 GRAMMYs
Peso Pluma attends the 2024 GRAMMYs

Photo:  Lester Cohen/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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How The Latin GRAMMYs Brought Latin Music Excellence To The 2024 GRAMMYs

Latin music was celebrated throughout GRAMMY Week and on Music's Biggest Night. Read on for the many ways Latin music excellence was showcased at the 204 GRAMMYs.

GRAMMYs/Feb 9, 2024 - 09:56 pm

The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs may have occurred months ago and thousands of miles away, but the leading lights in Latin music also shined at the 66th GRAMMY Awards. From historic wins and meaningful nominations, to electric performances and interesting installations, Latin music excellence was everywhere. 

In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMYs in 2024, the exclusive GRAMMY House — the site of multiple GRAMMY Week events — included a significant installation dedicated to the Biggest Night In Latin Music.

The cylindrical display showcased some of the biggest moments in Latin GRAMMY history, including images, facts, and even a real Latin GRAMMY award. 

The celebration of Latin music continued throughout GRAMMY Week, with several Latin GRAMMY-winning artists also winning on the GRAMMY stage. Among the major moments at the 2024 GRAMMYs, Karol G won her first golden gramophone for her 2023 LP Mañana Será Bonito. "This is my first time at GRAMMYs, and this is my first time holding my own GRAMMY," the Colombian songstress exclaimed during her acceptance speech. 

Música Mexicana star Peso Pluma also took home his first GRAMMY; his album GÉNESIS won in the Best Música Mexicana Album (Including Tejano) Category.

Premiere Ceremony presenter Natalia Lafourcade — whose Todas Las Flores won big at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs — also took home the GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album. She tied in the Category with Juanes

Premiere Ceremony performer Gabby Moreno also took home a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Pop Album for her album X Mí (Vol. 1)

Beyond the stage, Latin artists graced the red carpet and the nominations list. For example, producer and songwriter Edgar Barrera was the only Latino nominated in the Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical Category.

10 Must-See Moments From The 2024 GRAMMYs: Taylor Swift Makes History, Billy Joel & Tracy Chapman Return, Boygenius Manifest Childhood Dreams

2024 GRAMMYs, 66th GRAMMY Awards, Natalia Lafourcade, Juanes, Cabra, Diamante Electrico, Fito Paez
(L to R): Juanes, Natalia Lafourcade, Fito Paez, Eduardo Cabra and Juan Galeano of Diamante Eléctrico.

Mario Alzate; Mariano Regidor / Redferns via Getty Images; Val Musso; John Parra/Getty Images for LARAS; Denise Truscello / Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy

interview

Best Latin Rock Or Alternative Album Nominees: A 2024 GRAMMYs Roundtable

Nominees Natalia Lafourcade, Juanes, Cabra, Diamante Electrico and Fito Paez discuss the current state of the multifarious genres of Latin Rock and Alternative, and what keeps their creative fires burning.

GRAMMYs/Jan 24, 2024 - 04:29 pm

The five nominated works for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album at the 2024 GRAMMYs underscore how incredibly pluralistic the genre has become. 

Recorded live on tape with a cadre of virtuoso players, Mexican songstress Natalia Lafourcade’s De Todas las Flores explores grief, impressionism and the healing power of love. Motivated by a deep marital crisis, Vida Cotidiana by Colombia’s Juanes is a middle-aged rocker’s message of hope — and it grooves like crazy. A collage of alternative sonics hand-crafted at his Puerto Rico home studio, MARTÍNEZ finds former Calle 13 founder Cabra delving into trance-inducing electro and slick Afrobeats. A cool, sophisticated affair, Diamante Eléctrico’s seventh album Leche de Tigre fuses Colombian rock with nocturnal vibes and cosmopolitan funk. In Argentina, Fito Páez lovingly reinvented his 1992 masterpiece El Amor Después del Amor on EADDA9223, populated by a gallery of iconic guest stars.

If the nominees at the 66th GRAMMY Awards are any indication, Latin rock and alternative are more than a sound. They signify a point of view, a credo, a way of doing things that spans countries.

With that in mind, GRAMMY.com organized a roundtable with this year’s nominees, who discussed their influences, the current state of the multifarious genre, and the dreams of future albums that keep their creative fires burning. 

Is rock 'n'roll eternal? Will its mystique continue to influence musicians for generations to come?

Natalia Lafourcade: It is eternal, yes. Rock is like life itself. It evolves and transforms in language and form — its tempests, energy and meaning. I would never have imagined my album being nominated in this category. But then I think about the idiosyncrasies of rock — a style spawned from broken places, the crevice where a flower can blossom   and it makes sense. I cherish the fact that rock can encompass so many different possibilities of singing about emotion.

Cabra: I understand rock’n’roll as an agent of change and attitude is already dead. In my work, I like using musical references from the past as I create in the present mode.

Juanes: Rock will be eternal to me for as long as I live. In my own universe, rock was the channel that allowed me to transform as a person and I find in it a very powerful energy. I hope future generations will learn to play instruments, form their own bands and write songs — even with the current avalanche of technology and AI.

Fito Páez: Rock is much more than just a genre. It represents an open minded, eccentric cultural reality that fears nothing and transcends the music itself.

Juan Galeano (vocalist and bassist, Diamante Eléctrico): Rock has evolved, just like music has. It will live on as long as it preserves its avant-garde qualities and continues to challenge the establishment.

Who were the rock artists who first inspired you?

Juanes: Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd. Heavier stuff too: Slayer, Sepultura. Even Venom. [Laughs.] That was my path during the ‘80s here in Medellín. Before I discovered rock, the sounds of Latin American popular music that I heard during childhood defined my path as a musician as well.

Lafourcade: The works of women like Julieta Venegas, Joni Mitchell, Björk, Fiona Apple, PJ Harvey and Erykah Badu, among many others. All of them acted as anchors on my artistic path. They offered guidance and illumination.

Páez: I was influenced by artists outside the confines of rock — people who played all kinds of music, like Charly García and Luis Alberto Spinetta. Is [Brazilian MPB icon] Chico Buarque rock? Sort of. You could say he’s part of the rock culture, much like [tango master] Astor Piazzolla was. 

There’s something really cool about the Alternative Field. It goes beyond the mainstream — there’s an extra serving of fun in it; it defies logic. An artist is truly alternative when he’s different from everyone else.

During the ‘70s, rock became exceedingly ambitious — incorporating elements of jazz and classical, folk and the avant-garde. I believe the same ethos informs the Latin Alternative today, a time when stylistic experimentation is accepted as the norm. Do you agree?

Cabra: I agree about 50 percent. I believe the experimental tendencies of the ‘70s and ‘80s signified the genre’s finest moment. Right now, there are artists who dare to innovate. At the same time, many defend the purity of various musical styles, and as a result, everything sounds the same.

Lafourcade: Rock will always be linked to that utmost freedom of expression. It’s connected to the soul, and it’s deeply spiritual. There is no strategy in it. It’s about seeking the disruptive, the unexpected — that which will surprise and shake us up. It allows you to scream, weep and laugh — to be silent following heartbreaking chaos.

Galeano: Something that we really enjoy about the last few years is the increasing blurring of genre boundaries. We’ve always believed that Diamante is much more than just a rock band. We borrow from different styles: funk, soul and cumbia; jazz and classical; Black music in general, and, of course, rock 'n' roll. I love that the younger generations don’t listen to any specific genres anymore — just good songs.

Are reggaetón and urbano the new rock? Could they coexist with the works of Soda Stereo or Café Tacvba?

Páez: No, they’re not. Clearly not. I’m writing a lengthy essay on the current state of the music scene. I think it will generate an interesting debate.

Juanes: I notice in artists like Bad Bunny the same kind of rebellious spirit and desire to provoke that was present in rock. That said, I think music will continue to evolve. It can never stagnate.

Cabra: Rock is a feeling, a lifestyle. That is why I believe it is dead.

Within a rock context, is there a fusion or experiment that you have yet to attempt? Is there a treasured album percolating in your soul, waiting to emerge?

Lafourcade: I’d love to return to the electric guitar at one point, and explore beyond the familiar limits. To navigate alternate possibilities that can continue to surprise me and make me feel like it’s the first time doing this.

Juanes: I’d like to record an album or EP focused on cumbias, slow and heavy. Haven’t found the time yet, but it’s something I would love to do at one point.

Páez: The music I desire the most is the one I have yet to record — that much is clear. The advantage of music over words is that the potential combinations are infinite. You just have to play, something I’ve been doing my entire life. Sometimes you have to push the new melodies away so that you don’t step on them when you get out of bed in the morning. At other times, you can’t find a single tune. It’s all about being adventurous, studying and researching — the kind of activities that are not in vogue at the moment.

Cabra: This year I’d love to make a record of complicated duets in different genres. Right now I’m dreaming of that album.

Galeano: We’d love to experiment with jazz, corridos tumbados, cumbia and Brazilian. Whenever we collaborate, we gravitate to artists who come from different worlds. I’d love to record a song with Carín León.

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Nominees List