This Tuesday, September 20, the nominees for the Latin Grammys are announced. The famous awards will be held next Thursday, November 17 at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas. In Spain it can be seen during the early hours of Thursday 17 to Friday 18 November from 02:00 am. An event only suitable for night owls!
This is the 23rd edition of these awards, which have not stopped gaining strength in the last decade thanks to the incredible momentum that Latin music has gained in the industry. During the two decades that the awards have been held, Spanish artists have been very present. big names like Alejandro Sanz, Rosalía, C. Tangana, Miguel Bosé or Beatriz Luengo have all taken home Latin Grammys.
Although our musicians have always been present at the Latin Gramys, every year social networks are filled with messages questioning the participation of Spanish artists in these awards. “If they are Latin prizes, why do European artists participate?”, “They refer to languages that come from Latin” or “The Spaniards are indeed Latin because they speak a language that comes from Latin”, are just some of the thousands of comments that are generated.
“Songs submitted to compete as recording of the year must contain at least 51% or more of lyrical content in Spanish or Portuguese; or in languages, dialects or idiomatic expressions recognized in Latin America and accepted by the respective committees, by majority vote”
Spanish, Portuguese and other dialects
As the bases of the Latin Grammy collect, only songs that have at least 51% Spanish, Portuguese or in languages and dialects recognized in Ibero-America will be able to participate. In this way, languages such as French, Italian or Flemish (also from Latin) are left out.
With these statements, the Latin Grammys make it clear that “Latin” refers to “Latin America” and not to “Latin” as the basis of the language of various languages. Bearing in mind that Spanish and Portuguese are spoken above all in Latin America, they are a way of recognizing music in these two languages.
In this way, even if a song cannot be submitted entirely in Italian or French, an artist who is a native of those two languages can win. The best example is from Laura Pausini. The Italian star has four Latin Grammys thanks to her work in Spanish.
Of course, if you want to present yourself to “best new artist” you have to give priority to Spanish or Portuguese in your works, as stated in the bases: “The performing artist who first establishes his identity in a language other than Spanish or Portuguese.”
English speakers to win Latin Grammy
Taking these bases into account, in addition to Laura Pausini, there are other artists who do not have Spanish or Portuguese as their first language who have won Latin Grammys.
Diva Christina Aguilera was the first American to win a Latin Grammy in 2001 thanks to her album My reflection. Although the New Yorker has had English as her mother tongue, the truth is that she has always been connected to her Latin roots. And it is that Ecuadorian blood runs through the veins of her father.
Another English-speaking artist to win a Latin Grammy was Travis Scott. The rapper took the award thanks to his collaboration with Rosalía: TKN. Of course, he recited his verses in English, but since Spanish predominated with more than 51% presence in the lyrics, he was able to win the award.
In this way, Spanish and Portuguese artists have been part of these awards for years, celebrating music and enjoying the party.
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Why can Spanish artists be nominated for the Latin Grammy?