Camilo is capping off a banner year with a bang…
The 27-year-old Colombian singer/songwriter and rising star, who has defied the commercial might of reggaetón and trap with his unique brand of romantic acoustic pop, was the big winner at the 2021 Latin Grammy Awards.
“This album is a celebration of my country, one of the places with the most biodiversity in the world, and that’s where I’m from and what informs my music,” said Camilo, who’d previously won a Latin Grammy in 2020 for Best Pop Song for his single “Tutu,” featuring Pedro Capo.
Following Camilo in number of wins, with three each, was Mexican songwriter and producer Edgar Barrera, who won producer of the year, including for his work on Camilo’s Mis Manos, and co-wrote the winning single “Vida de Rico.”
Also taking home three trophies was Spaniard C. Tangana, whose wins included best alternative song for “Nominao” alongside Jorge Drexler and best pop/rock song for “Hong Kong” alongside Andrés Calamaro, both from his critically acclaimed album El Madrileño.
And the emotional high note, at every level, was the song of the year win, to Cuban liberty anthem “Patria y Vida,” performed by Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno, Yotuel Romero and newly arrived Cuban rapper El Funky, who performed dressed in white and surrounded by candles in an emotional rendition that got the audience at the MGM Grand Garden Arena to their feet.
“This is dedicated to all mothers who fight for their children,” said an emotional Romero to chants of “Patria y Vida,” which also won best urban song. Backstage, the group acknowledged co-writer Beatriz Luengo (who is married to Romero) and rapper Maykel Osorbo, who is jailed in Cuba because of his participation in the song.
“Maykel is the first Cuban political prisoner who wins two Latin Grammys,” said an emotional Bueno.
Among the veteran, but beloved, guard, the top winner was Juan Luis Guerra, with three wins. They include best long form music video for his HBO Max special Entre Mar y Palmeras, produced by Guerra’s manager Amarilys German, his son Jean Guerra, and Nelson Albareda and Edgar Martínez of event promotion and marketing firm Loud and Live.
Likewise, Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Ruben Blades won two awards, including album of the year, for his Salswing! out on his own label. And Caetano Veloso and son Tom Veloso won record of the year for “Talvez,” while the biggest surprise of the night, in an award category that — with 10 nominees — has become increasingly hard to predict, was Colombia’s Juliana Velásquez as best new artist, which she won over far better known contenders, including Paloma Mami, Bizarrap and María Becerra.
The 23-year-old actress and singer released her self-titled debut album earlier this year with collabs alongside compatriot Juan Pablo Vega, but with little impact abroad. And yet, it clearly struck a chord with its themes of self-help, mental health and self awareness.
“I think what worked in my favor was making music that spoke directly to young people,” said Velásquez in the press room. “I think us artists have an obligation to share messages that contribute to society and to help with those issues that get lost in the a society imbued with immediacy.”
Here’s a look at this year’s Latin Grammy winners:
Record of the Year: “Talvez,” Caetano Veloso and Tom Veloso
Album of the Year: Salswing!, Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado & Orquesta
Song of the Year: “Patria y Vida,” Descemer Bueno, El Funky, Gente De Zona, Yadam González, Beatriz Luengo, Maykel Osorbo and Yotuel, songwriters (Yotuel, Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo, El Funky)
Best New Artist: Juliana Velásquez
Best Pop Vocal Album: Mis Manos, Camilo
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Privé, Juan Luis Guerra
Best Pop Song: “Vida De Rico,” Édgar Barrera and Camilo, songwriters (Camilo)
Best Urban Fusion/Performance: “Tattoo (Remix),” Rauw Alejandro and Camilo
Best Reggaeton Performance: “Bichota,” Karol G
Best Urban Music Album: El Último Tour Del Mundo, Bad Bunny
Best Rap/Hip Hop Song: “Booker T,” Bad Bunny and Marco Daniel Borrero, songwriters (Bad Bunny)
Best Urban Song: “Patria Y Vida,” Descemer Bueno, El Funky, Gente De Zona, Yadam González, Beatriz Luengo, Maykel Osorbo and Yotuel, songwriters (Yotuel, Gente De Zona, Descemer Bueno, Maykel Osorbo and El Funky)
Best Rock Album: El Pozo Brillante, Vicentico
Best Rock Song: “Ahora 1,” Vicentico, songwriter (Vicentico)
Best Pop/Rock Album: Origen, Juanes
Best Pop/Rock Song: “Hong Kong,” Alizzz, Andrés Calamaro, Jorge Drexler, Víctor Martínez and C. Tangana, songwriters (C. Tangana and Andrés Calamaro)
Best Alternative Music Album: Calambre, Nathy Peluso
Best Alternative Song: “Nominao,” Alizzz, Jorge Drexler and C. Tangana, songwriters (C. Tangana and Jorge Drexler)
Best Salsa Album: Salsa Plus!, Rubén Blades y Roberto Delgado and Orquesta
Best Cumbia/Vallento Album: Las Locuras Mías, Silvestre Dangond
Best Merengue/Bachata Album: Es Merengue ¿Algún Problema?, Sergio Vargas
Best Traditional Tropical Album: Cha Cha Chá: Homenaje A Lo Tradicional, Alain Pérez, Issac Delgado y Orquesta Aragón
Best Contemporary Tropical Album: Brazil305, Gloria Estefan
Best Tropical Song: “Dios Así Lo Quiso,” Camilo, David Julca, Jonathan Julca, Yasmil Marrufo and Ricardo Montaner, songwriters (Ricardo Montaner and Juan Luis Guerra)
Best Singer-Songwriter Album: Seis, Mon Laferte
Best Ranchero/Mariachi Album: A Mis 80’s, Vicente Fernández
Best Banda Album: Nos Divertimos Logrando Lo Imposible, Grupo Firme
Best Tejano Album: Pa’ la Pista y Pa’l Pisto, Vol. 2, El Plan
Best Norteño Album: Al Estilo Rancherón, Los Dos Carnales & Volando Alto, Palomo
Best Regional Song: “Aquí Abajo,” Edgar Barrera, René Humberto Lau Ibarra and Christian Nodal, songwriters (Christian Nodal)
Best Instrumental Album: Toquinho e Yamandu Costa – Bachianinha – (Live at Rio Montreux Jazz Festival), Toquinho and Yamandu Costa
Best Folk Album: Ancestras, Petrona Martinez
Best Tango Album: Tinto Tango Plays Piazzolla, Tinto Tango
Best Flamenco Album: Un Nuevo Universo, Pepe De Lucía
Best Latin Jazz/Jazz Album: Voyager, Iván Melon Lewis
Best Christian Album (Spanish Language): Ya Me Vi, Aroddy
Best Portuguese Language Christian Album: Seguir Teu Coração, Anderson Freire
Best Portuguese Language Contemporary Pop Album: Cor, Anavitória
Best Portuguese Language Rock or Alternative Album: “Álbum Rosa,” A Cor Do Som
Best Samba/Pagode Album: Sempre Se Pode Sonhar, Paulinho Da Viola
Best MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) Album: Canções d’Além Mar, Zeca Baleiro
Best Sertaneja Music Album: Tempo de Romance, Chitãozinho e Xororó
Best Portuguese Language Roots Album: Arraiá Da Veveta, Ivete Sangalo
Best Portuguese Language Song: “Lisboa,” Ana Caetano & Paulo Novaes, songwriters (Anavitória e Lenine)
Best Latin Children’s Album: Tu Rockcito Filarmónico, Tu Rockcito y Orquesta Filarmónica De Medellín
Best Classical Album: Latin American Classics, Kristhyan Benitez; Jon Feidner, album producer
Best Classical Contemporary Composition: “Music From Cuba And Spain, Sierra: Sonata Para Guitarra,” Roberto Sierra, composer (Manuel Barrueco)
Best Arrangement: “Ojalá Que Llueva Café (Versión Privé),” Juan Luis Guerra, arranger (Juan Luis Guerra)
Best Recording Package: “Colegas,” Ana Gonzalez, art director (Gilberto Santa Rosa)
Best Engineered Album: El Madrileño, Orlando Aispuro Meneses, Daniel Alanís, Alizzz, Rafa Arcaute, Josdán Luis Cohimbra Acosta, Miguel De La Vega, Máximo Espinosa Rosell, Alex Ferrer, Luis Garcié, Billy Garedella, Patrick Liotard, Ed Maverick, Beto Mendonça, Jaime Navarro, Alberto Pérez, Nathan Phillips, Harto Rodríguez, Jason Staniulis and Federico Vindver, engineers; Delbert Bowers, Alex Ferrer, Jaycen Joshua, Nineteen85, Lewis Pickett, Alex Psaroudakis and Raül Refree, mixers; Chris Athens, mastering engineer (C. Tangana) — WINNER
Producer of the Year: Edgar Barrera
Best Short Form Music Video: “Un Amor Eterno,” Marc Anthony
Best Long Form Music Video: “Entre Mar Y Palmeras,” Juan Luis Guerra