Latinos Score Several Top Grammys At 63rd Awards

Artists Linda Ronstadt, Bad Bunny, Fito Paez, Natalia Lafourcade, Grupo Niche and Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra won Grammys on March 14 at the 63rd annual awards ceremony that recognizes musical achievements.

Ronstadt took home the gilded gramophone awarded for Best Music Film for “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice,” an award shared with video directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and video producers Michele Farinola and James Keach. The prize recognizes concert and performance films or music documentaries.

The documentary about the legendary singer chronicles Ronstadt’s life and career from her childhood in Tucson, Arizona, through her successful decades-long career in music, film, television and theater, to her retirement a decade ago, due to Parkinson’s disease. An independently minded artist, she recorded various music genres, including Mexican music, in honor of her heritage.

In 1987, Ronstadt released the acclaimed mariachi album “Canciones de Mi Padre” that won the Grammy for best Mexican/Mexican-American album.

Also in the running for Best Music Film were Beastie Boys’ “Story,” Beyonce’s “Black Is King,” Freestyle Love Supreme’s “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” and ZZ Top’s “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas.”

Latino Artist Bad Bunny won Best Latin Pop or Urban album at the 2021 Grammys. (Glenn Francis/Wikimedia Commons)

Bad Bunny received the award for best Latin pop or urban album, a category that included the urban genre for the first time. The Puerto Rican singer won the honor with “YHLQMDLG,” an acronym that stands for Yo Hago Lo Que Me Da La Gana, or I do whatever I want.

“YHLQMDLG” was the first of three albums released by the rapper and reggaeton singer during the pandemic, reaching No. 2 on Billboard — the highest-ranked Spanish-language album at the time. Released singles from the album include “Vete,” “Ignorantes,” “La Difícil” and “Yo Perreo Sola.”

Bad Bunny was nominated alongside two fellow Puerto Ricans, Kany Garcia for “Mesa Para Dos” and Ricky Martin for “Pausa,” as well as Spanish singer Camilo for “Por Primera Vez” and L.A.-based Costa Rican performer Debi Nova for “3:33.”

Fito Paez won the best Latin rock or alternative album with “La Conquista del Espacio.” The Argentinian rocker defeated Argentinian-Uruguayan band Bajofondo’s “Aura,” Chilean singer Cami’s “Monstruo,” Puerto Rican reggae band Cultura Profética’s “Sobrevolando” and Colombian-Canadian Lido Pimienta’s “Miss Colombia.” Again, this was the first time the category did not include the urban genre, which joined pop music in another category.

In the best regional Mexican music album category, which includes Tejano, the prize went to Natalia Lafourcade for “Un Canto por México, Vol. 1.” The Mexican singer prevailed over the work of compatriots, including Alejandro Fernandez’s “Hecho en México,” Lupita Infante’s “La Serenata,” Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez’s “Bailando Sones y Huapangos con Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez” and Christian Nodal’s “Ayayay!”

For their part, Colombian salsa band Grupo Niche won the Grammy for best tropical Latin album with “40.” Vying for the honor in this category were: Cuban singer José Alberto El Ruiseñor’s “Mi Tumbao,” Puerto Rican Edwin Bonilla’s “Infinito,” Colombian Jorge Celedon’s “Sigo Cantando al Amor” and Puerto Rican Víctor Manuelle’s “Memorias de Navidad.”

The Grammy for best Latin jazz album went to Mexico’s Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for “Four Questions.” This category recognizes recordings that blend jazz with Latin, Iberian-American, Brazilian and Argentinian tango music. Competing this year were Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra’s “Tradiciones,” Brazilian composer Chico Pinheiro’s “City of Dreams,” Cubans Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Aymée NuviolasViento y Tiempo-Live at Blue Note Tokyo” and Mexican-American Poncho Sanchez’s “Trane’s Delight.”

In other awards with Latino connections, Panamanian musician Danilo Pérez won a gramophone for best jazz vocal album for his collaboration with Kurt Elling in “Secrets Are the Best Stories.”

Hosted by comedian Trevor Noah, the 63rd Grammy Awards ceremony was held in and around the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Latinos Who Took Home Grammys in 2021 first appeared on LatinHeat Entertainment.

(Edited by Judith Isacoff and Fern Siegel)

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