Hosted by actors Cristian De La Fuente and Lucero, Thursday night’s event attracted stars from across the world and from dozens of Latin musical genres to the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Just like at a big family party, new faces shared the spotlight with older generations, and traditional styles mixed with electronica and Vegas dancers on stage.
Traditional Mexico met Las Vegas in a colorful number featuring Oaxaca native Lila Downs, Afro-Colombian singer Toto la Momposina and dancers in regional costumes, Carnival masques and skeleton makeup.
“What a great joy. Thank God, and all the fans,” Juanes said as he dragged Dominican mereguero Juan Luis Guerra, who produced “MTV Unplugged,” to the stage to accept the mini-gramaphone for best album at the close of the ceremony.
The winner for best new artist, the Mexican DJ trio 3ball MTY, threw down beats with America Sierra and Sky Blu of LMFAO. Pitbull performed “Don’t Stop the Party” with dancers in gold spangled bikinis and hot pants. Juanes jammed with legendary guitarist Carlos Santana.
Michel Telo, the Brazilian sertanejo or country music singer, performed his hit, “Ai si eu te pego,”with Blue Man Group. Bachata heartthrob Prince Royce sang with veteran Mexican singer-songwriter Joan Sebastian. But the applause was also strong for the 1980s hit, “Yo No Te Pido la Luna,” a duet between Spaniard Sergio Dalma and Mexican singer Daniela Romo, sporting a short silver hairdo following her bout with breast cancer.
Jesse & Joy also won for best contemporary pop vocal album for Con Quien se Queda el Perro and best short video for “Me voy.”
“Thanks to people like Juanes and Juan Luis Guerro who have inspired us. Love and peace,” Jesse said.
Guerra, who came into the ceremony as the leading nominee with six bids, won producer of the year for Juanes’ album MTV Unplugged.
Guerra performed “En el Cielo No Hay Hospital,” which brought the audience to its feet to dance, and for a standing ovation.
Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Don Omar and Uruguayan alt rockers Cuarteto de Nos won two Latin Grammys each.
Downs won best folkloric album for Pecados y Milagros. Colombian singer Fonseca won for best tropical fusion album, and Los Tucanes de Tijuana won best norteno album for 365 Dias, the narco-corrido band’s 32nd album.
“Long live merengue! Long live the Dominican Republic!” she said as she accepted the award. She also thanked Guerra, who helped produce the album.
“The emotion is the same because one puts the same effort into each recording and the fact that the work is received well and respected by the public is very satisfying,” he said.
The Latin Grammy celebration kicked off Wednesday with a tribute to Person of the Year winner, Caetano Veloso, one of the founders of the Tropicalismo movement.
The Brazilian singer, composer and activist sang in Spanish and Portuguese before Pitbull and Sensato closed with “Crazy People.”
The event was broadcast live on Univision.