Photo By: Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

Thursday, Nov. 18 marked the 22nd annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas and featured some of the biggest names in Latin American music. The awards recognized the best musical performances released between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021.

Latin music has grown immensely and captured listeners worldwide, especially in the past decade. Even though some genres are more celebrated than others, it is still important to honour all of these artists who have developed the Latin culture into an art that can be enjoyed by all music lovers.

Here is an overview of this year’s winners:

Brazilian father and son duo Caetano Veloso and Tom Veloso won Record of the Year with “Talvez”, a soft and slow melodic song fueled by a beautiful piano and Portuguese lyrics that you don’t need to understand to appreciate.

Ruben Blades and Roberto Delgado & Orquesta took home two Grammy Awards by winning Album of the Year and Best Salsa Album with SALSWING! Here is “Paula C.” the opening song of the album. 

“Patria Y Vida” (Homeland and Life in English) also took two Grammys; Song of the Year and Best Urban Song. Cuban singer Yotuel brought together Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo, and El Funky to perform this intimate depiction of life in Cuba through vivid lyricism. 

The Colombian singer, songwriter and actress Juliana Velásquez won Best New Artist. Her most well-known songs are “Cóseme (2:22am)” as well as her most recent release “Rebote” featuring Mirallas.

Camilo won two Grammys, Best Pop Vocal Album with Mis Manos, and Best Pop Song “Vida de Rico”, a song with lyrics that remind listeners that money is not everything in life.  

Anavitória earned two Grammy Awards for Best Portuguese Language Contemporary Pop Album, Cor, and for Best Portuguese Language Song, “Lisboa” featuring Lenine. “Lisboa” is arguably one of the most beautiful songs you’ll hear this year. The lyrics are not only intimate, but her voice is so calming that, alongside the melody, it demonstrates why it deserves this award. There is also a full Spanish version featuring Jorge Drexler that is just as good if not better than its Portuguese counterpart.

Juan Luis Guerra won Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album with Privé, a short album with only five songs but here is where quality over quantity comes to play, as each of the five cuts are catchy, beautiful, intimate, and memorable. “Las avispas,” and “Donde nacen tus besos” are two of his best. 

Juan Luis Guerra also won the Best Long Form Music Video award with his Entre Mar Y Palmeras performance. Guerra performed a concert at the beach, which explains the title “Between the sea and palm trees”. He performed without a public but he put the energy as if there was one. Here is the trailer to the multi-song performance.

Marc Anthony took the award for Best Short Form Music Video with “Un Amor Eterno”. The video depicts what the lyrics are saying; it shows the discovery of a love that he has been waiting for for very long. 

All in all, 2021 was a very good year for Latin music. It is important to have a distinct award ceremony for Latin artists as there are so many genres to cover, and artists to recognize. 

Now, fans from around the world will have to eagerly await for what’s in store next year. But if this last year was any indication, it should only continue to get better.