Whether it’s award-winning singer/songwriters like Kany García or executives like Rosa Lagarrigue, CEO of artist management and booking company RLM, countless Latinas in the music business are out there making a positive impact and helping lead the way to making the industry a more equitable place.
The Latin Recording Academy is once again recognizing four women in the arts and Latin entertainment fields as its Leading Ladies of Entertainment, an initiative created six years
ago to honor professional and socially-conscious women who have made significant contributions in their fields and inspired the next generation of female leaders.
Along with García and Lagarrigue, the 2022 honorees include Rocío Guerrero, Global Head of Latin Music for Amazon Music, and Janina Rosado, who is an acclaimed pianist, arranger, musical director and record producer.
“We are proud to celebrate this amazing group of women and their many contributions to the Latin music and entertainment worlds,” Manuel Abud, CEO of The Latin Recording Academy said in a statement.
“While there continues to be a sizeable gender gap in the industry, we continue to make inroads, with initiatives like the Leading Ladies of Entertainment platform, as we shine a light on the necessary work that needs to be done in order to create equity and gender parity.”
The event in honor of the Leading Ladies returns in person Nov. 15 with a private presentation and luncheon in Las Vegas. The event, which is sponsored by City National Bank and Spotify’s Noteable, takes place during Latin Grammy Week leading up to the awards ceremony at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas Nov. 17.
As part of the Latin Recording Academy’s efforts toward achieving gender parity in the industry, for the second consecutive year the Leading Ladies of Entertainment has partnered on the “Leading Ladies Connect TogetHER mentorship program” with nonprofit She Is The Music, which is working to increase the number of women in music.
In the spirit of paying it forward and helping support the next generation, Leading Ladies of Entertainment honorees from both 2022 and years past will be invited to mentor a She Is The Music mentee.
The mentors will meet one-on-one virtually with their mentees over the course of three months for one-hour sessions, providing insight and guidance in their particular sector of the music industry. An announcement notes that mentees will also partake in assignments tailored to their growth.
Honoree Kany García is a singer/songwriter who hails from Puerto Rico. She uses her lyrics to uplift the stories of women and her hits include “Hoy Ya Me Voy,” “Alguien,” “Duele Menos,” and “Para Siempre.”
Over the years she’s won six Latin Grammys and she’s up for another two awards in 2022 including her most recent album, El Amor Que Merecemos, being nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album.
“Creating opportunities for women to have visibility is still necessary, because we continue to navigate a reality where inequality is still prevalent in the world,” García says.
“Thus, it seems to me a very beautiful and vital gesture, that the Latin Recording Academy recognizes the work of women who, beyond being incredible professionals, are leaders, bridges and beacons of transformation.”
Garcia adds, “I have always applauded this event because it has recognized
women whom I have always admired; however, I never thought I deserved such recognition. Today I am still processing being part of that golden list and I will
only try to live up to this honor and privilege at the same time. Grateful to the Latin Academy and excited to share that space with three women whom I admire so much.”
Honoree Rocío Guerrero represents both the artist and executive sides of the business – serving as the global head of Latin at Amazon Music while also being a violinist at the New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble Orchestra.
Guerrero is part of the leadership team at Amazon Music and oversees the company’s growth strategy in the Latin music business globally.
She is also New York University’s music business executive-in-residence and is a member of the Latin Media and Entertainment Commission for New York City. Guerrero previously served as vice president of A&R at Warner Music after holding the role of head of global music cultures at Spotify.
“I’ve been lucky to have a career that has allowed me to find new ways to push and elevate Latin culture to new heights, while providing artists with avenues to connect with their fans in magical ways and be successful,” Guerrero says.
“Even though Latin Music has grown so much during the past years, there are still so many more opportunities to help it reach the level it deserves. Being at a global company like Amazon Music gives us the opportunity to put Latin music and culture at the epicenter and forefront of the business. Our culture is beautiful, and my team’s job is to showcase its diversity and richness.”
In addition to being the founder and CEO of RLM, honoree Rosa Lagarrigue has her own record label, Sin Anestesia, to support emerging talent. The artist management and booking company was established in the 1980s and over the years has represented Miguel Bosé, Mecano, Alejandro Sanz, Malú, Raphael and Rozalén. Her roster includes Vanesa Martín, Sara Baras, Ana Torroja, Fuel Fandango and film music composer Alberto Iglesias.
“Leading Lady of Entertainment sounds to me like a responsibility; it makes me look back to my many years as a manager and feel proud of all the work achieved,” Lagarrigue says, adding that she’s grateful to the Latin Recording Academy and “of course to the artists.”
Highlights over the past year for her clients include Baras’ 72 performances in Spain, with six shows wrapping up the year at the Salle Pleyel in Paris; Raphael’s 43 concerts between Spain and America celebrating his 60th career anniversary; Rozalén’s 37 concerts in Spain along with a tour of Latin America marking his first shows in almost four years; and Vanesa Martín’s sold-out U.S. tour.
“I have to highlight the growth of RLM’s record label and Sin Anestesia, with artists like Marlena and Paula Mattheus emerging as well as new talents like Tres Caladas,” Lagarrigue says.
“I must mention 18 sold-out concerts in Spain with Ricardo Arjona. The tour was organized with Fenix as well as the next concerts for Ricardo Montaner in Spain.”
Looking ahead, Lagarrigue is prepping for “a well-loaded year that really starts in December 2022.”
Upcoming plans include Raphael’s sold-out Dec. 17 show at WiZink Center in Madrid; Andres’ own WiZink show in May, with a priority placed on artist development for the artist in North America; and upcoming dates for Baras in Miami, New York, London and Sydney among others. Plus, Martín will tour in Spain and Latin America in venues between 6,000 and 15,000 capacity.
Asked which advice she’d offer to those hoping to break into the business, Lagarrigue says, “That they are prepared to work hard, that they use their common sense and that they always think in the medium and long term. Being short-term does not help artists. Don’t do this work if you’re not passionate about it.”
Honoree Janina Rosado has served as the musical director, pianist, co-producer and arranger for Juan Luis Guerra’s 440 for more than 25 years. Rosada, who is a nine-time Latin Grammy Award-winner, hails from the Dominican Republic and started her career by playing piano for Johnny Ventura.
As far as her favorite thing about being a part of 440, Rosada says, “That we are a family. And as such we always commit to delivering the maximum joy in each performance, because each concert is not only our work, it is a celebration … another opportunity to give our best.”
Looking ahead to the Leading Ladies Connect TogetHER mentorship program, Pollstar asked what Rosada had learned from one of her mentors over the years.
“From some informal mentors I have learned that integrity and humility at the service of talent received from above, are the most valuable assets for teamwork,” Rosada says.
Applications for the Leading Ladies Connect TogetHER mentorship program are open now through Nov. 11, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Potential mentees must be 18 or older to apply. The selection period will take place in December with applicants notified in February.