Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images
Juanes & Metallica's Lars Ulrich
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"
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.
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.
Photo: Kelly Samson, Gallery Photography
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: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy
Watch: Rauw Alejandro Delivers A Fiery Medley Performance With Juanes At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
After the Puerto Rican reggaetonero performed show-stopping renditions of Laura Pausini's "Se Fue" and his own "Dime Quien," Rauw Alejandro took the flames higher — literally — with special guest Juanes for "Baby Hello."
Puerto Rican star Rauw Alejandro explored new frontiers for urbano with his 2022 album Saturno, blending dembow with futuristic electropop, R&B and underground dance beats. The boundary-pushing album earned Alejandro a nomination for Best Urban Music Album at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs — and it also brought him together with Colombian superstar Juanes for an awe-inspiring performance.
Alejandro regaled the audience with a medley of songs: "Se Fue," by Italian superstar and 2023 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Laura Pausini, as well as two tracks from Saturno, "Dime Quien" and "Baby Hello." After taking the first two on his own — initially wearing a white suit surrounded by flames, then with a troupe of dancers — the reggaetonero met with the Colombian superstar for the final tune.
As Juanes offered scorching guitar for "Baby Hello," the two stars were backed by more fire to take the performance home. The pair turned Rauw's electronic collaboration with Bizarrap into stadium rock, bringing the energy to a headbanging crescendo — and even interpolating a bit of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for a thrilling finale.
Juanes walked into the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs a winner, as his 2023 album, Vida Cotidiana, was awarded Best Pop/Rock Album in the Premiere Ceremony. The LP also received a nomination for Album Of The Year, with the track "Gris" receiving a nod for Best Rock Song as well; additionally, Juanes production work on Fonseca's and Juan Luis Guerra's "Si Tú Me Quieres" earned him a Record Of The Year nomination.
Both Alejandro and Juanes received nominations for the 2024 GRAMMYs as well. Saturno is nominated for Best Música Urbana Album, while Vida Cotidiana is nominated for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Latin Recording Academy
Watch: Juanes Performs "Gris" With The New Faces Of Latin Music At The 2023 Latin GRAMMYs
At the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs, the legend of Colombian music led the nominees for Best New Artist in a stirring performance that bridged the present and the future of Latin Music.
After winning 24 Latin GRAMMYs prior to this year, Colombian rock star Juanes was tapped to take on the role of an elder statesman at the 2023 Latin GRAMMYs.
On the stage in Sevilla, Juanes performed with the 10 nominees for Best New Artist: Borja, Conexión Divina, Ana Del Castillo, Natascha Falcão, Gale, Paola Guanche, Joaquina, León Leiden, Maréh, and Timø.
With vocal back up from the the brightest new voices in Latin music Juanes rendered a stirring performance of his emotional single "Gris" from his 2023 album Vida Cotidiana. In recent years, Juanes has explored a variety of sounds in his music, including traditional Colombian sounds such as cumbia. This year, he returned to his roots in rock with the intensely personal full-length album, which was inspired by the complexities of his marriage and family life during COVID-19 lockdown.
Juanes’ number was a satisfying full arena rock moment, complete with dazzling lights and artistic video projection of the song's lyrics. The power ballad has a somber and aching tone, and with the chorus behind him the feeling of the song rang out loud and clear.
The record came out in May to critical acclaim and has received nominations for both Album Of The Year and Best Pop/Rock Album, categories Juanes has won multiple times in the past. The "La Camisa Negra" singer is nominated in the Best Rock Song category for "Gris," as well.