Carlos Vives Named Latin Recording Academy’s 2024 Person of the Year

Carlos Vives is set to receive the highest honor from the Latin Recording Academy.

Twenty-five years after leading the list of nominees for the first edition of the Latin Grammys, the 62-year-old Colombian singer, songwriter and actor has been named the 2024 Person of the Year.

Carlos VivesVives — winner of 18 Latin Grammy Awards, two Grammy Awards and a Billboard Latin Music Awards Hall of Fame inductee — “will be honored for his more than three-decade career as a multifaceted singer and composer, as well as for his continued commitment to environmental and social initiatives,” per the Latin Recording Academy.

“Carlos Vives is one of the most prolific and beloved artists of our time, whose commitment to Latin music and support for the new generations truly personifies the values of our Academy,” said Manuel Abud, CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. “We honor him as our Person of the Year for his vast contributions to our musical heritage and for his many philanthropic initiatives.”

“It’s still surprising to me,” Vives told Billboard Español this week in an exclusive interview. “It’s like a message that the Academy gives at the end, because 32 years ago I chose a path [that was unconventional]. To be successful, to be commercial, there was one way. This other path that’s cultural or has to do with your identity, that doesn’t work, [they would say].”

In Wednesday’s press release, he added: “I am honored and moved to have been chosen as the 2024 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year. It is the reward for an authentic journey, for a wonderful team and, above all, it is the recognition of the musical spirits of our Latin American diversity. These spirits taught us to love and enrich our language, to take care of it and to respect it in order to exalt humanity with it.”

Born in Santa Marta, Colombia, Vives is one of the most respected artists in Spanish-language music and a pioneer of a new Latin American sound, redefining traditional Colombian vallenato by incorporating to it pop and rock sounds. With No. 1 hits on the Billboard charts such as “Volví a Nacer,” “Fruta Fresca” and “La Bicicleta” with Shakira, among others, has become an ambassador of Colombian and Latin American culture around the world.

His commitment to good causes transcends the musical realm. In 2015, he created the Tras La Perla initiative to promote the sustainable development of Santa Marta and its ecosystem. In addition, he created the Escuela de Música Río Grande to offer artistic experiences to children and young people, and founded the record label Gaira Música Local to promote new Colombian talent. He’s also been a strong advocate and generous supporter of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation since its inception, the Latin Recording Academy highlights, and sponsored its annual Prodigy Scholarship in 2018.

His latest album, Escalona: Nunca Se Había Grabado Así, earned him his 18th Latin Grammy when it was crowned best cumbia/vallenato album in 2023. This year he was also recognized with the ASCAP Founders Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Vives will be feted as Person of the Year at a special star-studded gala and tribute concert where an array of artist and friends will perform renditions of his renowned repertoire. Details of the event, to be presented in November during the 2024 Latin Grammy week in Miami, will be announced at a later date.

The Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year honors musicians and their artistic achievements in the Latin music industry as well as their humanitarian efforts.

Past honorees are Laura Pausini (2023), Marco Antonio Solís (2022), Rubén Blades (2021), Juanes (2019), Maná (2018), Alejandro Sanz (2017), Marc Anthony (2016), Roberto Carlos (2015), Joan Manuel Serrat (2014), Miguel Bosé (2013), Caetano Veloso (2012), Shakira (2011), Plácido Domingo (2010), Juan Gabriel (2009), Gloria Estefan (2008), Juan Luis Guerra (2007), Ricky Martin (2006), José José (2005), Carlos Santana (2004), Gilberto Gil (2003), Vicente Fernández (2002), Julio Iglesias (2001) and Emilio Estefan (2000).

Enrique Iglesias Teaming Up with Miranda Lambert for New Single “Space in My Heart”

Enrique Iglesias is making a little space for country-tinged music…

The 48-year-old Spanish superstar is joining voices with country music star Miranda Lambert for the upcoming single “Space in My Heart.”

Enrique IglesiasOn Monday, February 12, Lambert posted a snippet of the upcoming single, which will be released in full on February 22.

On Instagram, Lambert noted, “Texas meets Spain! Can’t wait for y’all to hear this one.”

The snippet offers up a sultry come-on, with the two singing, “You don’t love me yet, but I know you will/ If you ever go I will never change/ There’s a space in my heart and it’s just your shape.”

Iglesias — known for his Billboard Hot 100 hits including “Bailamos” and “Be With You,” as well as songs like “Hero” and the Whitney Houston collaboration “Could I Have This Kiss Forever?” — was named one of Billboard‘Top-Grossing Latin Artists of All Time.

He’s notched eight chart-topping albums on Billboard‘s Top Latin Albums chart, including Vivir (15 weeks at the chart pinnacle) and Sex and Love (16 weeks).

In collaborating with Iglesias, Lambert continues a lengthy linage of country-Latin collaborations.

In the 1980s, Enrique’s father, Latin music icon Julio Iglesias, earned country hits on collaborations with Willie Nelson, including the CMA Award-winning “To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before,” as well as “Spanish Eyes.” Country trio Midland teamed with Jay De La Cueva for a Spanish-language version of its hit “Drinkin’ Problem.” Oklahoma native Carrie Underwood performed with Latin artist David Bisbal for the bilingual song “Tears of Gold,” while Kane Brown teamed with Becky G for a Spanish remix of “Lost in the Middle of Nowhere.” In celebrating the 25th anniversary of his 1992 hit “Achy Breaky Heart,” Billy Ray Cyrus collaborated with Caballo Dorado on a bilingual version of the song.

Netflix Agrees to Deal with Julio Iglesias to Produce Series About Star’s Life

It appears art will imitate Julio Iglesias’ life…

Netflix has agreed to a deal with the 80-year-old Spanish singer, songwriter and former professional footballer to produce a series about the star’s life.

Julio IglesiasIt marks the first time Iglesias has participated in the creative process on a production about his life and musical trajectory.

The agreement was signed after Netflix Chief Content Officer Bela Bajaria wrote Iglesias a letter

Details on the series are limited, but it will launch globally and is currently in development.

According to Netflix, it will “tell the story of how Julio Iglesias became the first non-English artist to enter the American and Asian markets and turned into a universal star who is among the five biggest record sellers in history.”

“After many speculations, books and documentaries in which I have not been involved, for the first time I have decided to tell the truth about my life to a universal company like Netflix,” said Iglesias. “After much deliberation, finally, a very touching letter sent to me by Bela Bajaria was enough to convince me that Netflix was the ideal company to develop this project. I feel grateful to a lot of people from many countries who have supported me and have boosted my life.”

Born in Spain, Iglesias studied law and was a goalkeeper for Real Madrid’s reserve team before a automobile accident ended his career. While recuperating, he discovered his talent for music and soon became of the biggest selling music artists of all time. He has shared stages with Frank Sinatra, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Sting, Dolly Parton and Placido Domingo.

Through the 1970s and 1980s, his star grew and he entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest selling Latin music artist ever. He also received a Lifetime Achievement from the U.S. National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Diego Ávalos, Vice President Content at Netflix: “Julio Iglesias has trusted us to tell his story. We are very grateful for his generosity. We all know that his talent and tenacity are unique in the world. Now, we will have the opportunity to see beyond the lights, the pictures in the magazines, the gold records and to really get to know in depth an exceptional person who has accompanied and will accompany many generations in every corner of the planet.”

Jose Iglesias Agrees to One-Year Contract with Colorado Rockies

Jose Iglesias is headed to Colorado…

The 32-year-old Cuban professional baseball shortstop has agreed to a one-year contract with the Colorado Rockies, according to The Associated Press.

Jose IglesiasIglesias, who is represented by MVP Sorts Group, will earn $5 million.

Bringing in Iglesias all but shuts the door on a return of free-agent shortstop Trevor Story, who is set to become the latest big-name player to exit the Rockies.

Before the 2021 season, the team traded perennial All-Star and Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Story turned in a 24-homer, 20-steal season in ’21 as the Rockies missed the playoffs for a third straight year.

Iglesias batted .271 last season over 114 games with the Los Angeles Angels and 23 with the Boston Red Sox. He was an MLB All-Star in 2015 while a member of the Detroit Tigers.

Iglesias, who made his debut in Major League Baseball in 2011, has also played with the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles during his 10-year-career.

Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” Enters Top 10 on Billboard Hot 100 for First Time in 50 Years

Jose Feliciano is making chart history with his holiday classic…

The 75-year-old Puerto Rican musician, singer and composer’s “Feliz Navidad” moves up from No. 16 to No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, dated December 19, hitting the top 10 for the first time, 50 years after its original 1970 release. It previously reached No. 12 last holiday season.

Jose Feliciano

The holiday classic sports gains of 6% to 23 million in radio airplay audience, 15% to 18.5 million U.S. streams and 34% to 3,000 sold, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Feliciano adds his second Hot 100 top 10, after his debut entry, his cover of The Doors‘ “Light My Fire,” hit No. 3 in August 1968. (The Doors‘ original ruled for three weeks in the summer of 1967.) He has charted 11 total Hot 100 entries, as well as 16 titles, including eight top 10s, on the Hot Latin Songs chart.

The legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist is celebrating the 50th anniversary of “Feliz Navidad” this year. He performed on NBC‘s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and CBS Sunday Morning last week and, among other festivities, has a livestream scheduled for December 20.

Last month, Amazon Music Lat!n revealed a special 50th anniversary reimagining of Feliciano’s iconic holiday classic, featuring 30 artists including CNCOJon Secada, Frankie JJencarlos Canela, Pablo Montero, Julio Iglesias, Jr.Jason MrazGloria GaynorPatricia Manterola and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Juanes to Finance Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation’s Next Prodigy Scholarship to Berklee School of Music

Juanes is supporting the Latin industry’s next musical prodigy…

The Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation has revealed that the 48-year-old Colombian musician and singer-songwriter is set to finance the next four-year Prodigy Scholarship that will fully fund a student’s bachelor’s degree in music at Berklee School of Music starting in the Fall 2021.

Juanes

“When the Latin Recording Academy reached out with this opportunity, I felt great joy,” said Juanes. “It took me back to when I was just getting out of high school and I was obsessed with music but I didn’t have the money to study music. Actually, studying music wasn’t even a thing and back then, I didn’t really think studying music would do anything for my future. But now I understand the importance of a music education and that’s why it’s so beautiful to be able to give back.”

The scholarship, created six years ago, holds a maximum value of $200,000 and the application period will be open from December 14 through April 10, 2021. It’s traditionally awarded to an outstanding music student between the ages of 17-24, who demonstrate a passion for Latin music but face severe financial hardships while pursuing a college education.

“This next musical prodigy should be exceptional and I don’t mean that they have to extremely virtuoso but they should have special something,” Juanes adds. “But most importantly they have to love music and be passionate about the craft. Whether you’re studying, practicing, wiring songs, you have to be dedicated 100 percent.”

In addition to the Juanes scholarship there will be 43 other scholarships; three Gifted Tuition scholarships and and 40 Tuition Assistance scholarships for music students admitted to universities of their choice.

In previous years, the Prodigy Scholarship has been co-sponsored by Latin stars including Enrique Iglesias, Juan Luis Guerra, Miguel Bosé, Carlos Vives, Emilio and Gloria Estefan, and Julio Iglesias.

Anitta to Perform at This Year’s Latin Grammys

Anitta is heading to the Latin Grammys

The 27-year-old Brazilian singer has been added to the list of performers set to take the stage at this year’s Latin Grammys, according to the Latin Recording Academy.

Anitta

Anitta appears on the final star-studded list of performers that includes Rauw Alejandro, J Balvin, Camilo, Lupita Infante, Juanes, Mariachi Sol De México De José Hernández, Ricky Martin, Natalia, Jimenez, José Luis Perales, Prince Royce, and Carla Morrison.

Those artists join previously-announced performers Anuel AA, Marc Anthony, Bad Bunny, Calibre 50, Pedro Capó, Julio Reyes Copello, Alex Cuba, Alejandro Fernández, Karol G, Kany García, Guaynaa, Los Tigres del Norte, Víctor Manuelle, Ricardo Montaner, Christian Nodal, Debi Nova, Fito Páez, Nathy Peluso, Raquel Sofía and Sebastián Yatra.

The 21st annual ceremony, led by 13-time nominee J Balvin, will also celebrate several Latin music icons, with special tributes including Julio Iglesias, Pedro Infante, Juan Luis Guerra, Roberto Carlos, and Héctor Lavoe.

Returning with a “music makes us human” theme that highlights musical excellence and the power of music in times of despair, the event will also showcase diverse stories of hope, community, sense of purpose, and celebration.

Hosted by Carlos Rivera, the 2020 Latin Grammys will air at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Thursday, November 19, via Univision.

The star-studded event will be preceded by the one-hour pre-show Noche de Estrellas, held virtually in Miami, where the majority of the categories will be awarded.

Julio Iglesias the Subject of New Biography Out This Month

Julio Iglesias fans, prepare for a page-turner…

A new biography about the 75-year-old Spanish singer/songwriter chronicles the story of his long career, his relationship with fame, and his legend as the quintessential Latin lover— it was once reported that he had slept with 3,000 women, a figure, according to the book, that he privately told his manager not to deny.

Julio Iglesias

Julio. La Biografíawill be published on Thursday (Sept. 19), in Spanish, by Penguin Random House imprint Aguilar. The book’s author, Óscar García Blesa, a journalist and long-time music industry executive, previously wrote the authorized biography of Alejandro Sanz, which was a bestseller in Spain. García is currently director of Mow Management, the agency that also manages Sanz.

While the Iglesias book was not penned as an official biography, it is one that, in the publisher’s words, was written “with respect and rigor.”

“My admiration for Julio, his artistic achievements and his kaleidoscopic personality have been the fundamental reasons that drove me to write the book,” García writes in the introduction to Julio. La Biografá.

Published to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of Iglesias’ first album, Yo Canto, the 800-page book covers the crooner’s superstar achievements: his 350 million records sold throughout the world, his place among the five best-selling artists of all time and Spain’s internationally best-known artist of all time.

The book probes Iglesias’ feeling about success, and professes his insecurities with the ladies. “When I go out with a woman, when I have her in my mind, however beautiful the woman is and however romantic the evening” García quotes Iglesias as once saying, “I always ask myself, is she with me because of who I am or what I represent? That has made me doubt a lot and suffer quite a bit.”

The bio also delves into Iglesias’ marriage to Isabel Preysler, constant fodder for gossip magazines until she ended the union in 1979, as well as his relationship with his son and fellow singing star Enrique Iglesias, who began his career under an assumed name to escape the shadow of his father.

García, who first met Iglesias in Miami recording studio Criteria in 2001, says that his intention was to offer “a new look at the man and the character, someone who everyone in the world knows, but who, like any human being, has dirt that has not been dished.” The book, says García, is also “a sociocultural chronicle of an entire country [Spain] over more than seventy years.”

Il Divo Earns First No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums Chart

Carlos Marin has his first No. 1 on the Latin charts…

The 47-year-old Spanish baritone and his fellow members of the classical crossover quartet Il Divo have earned their first showing on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart as Amor & Pasion debutsat the top of the chart (dated Dec. 5), selling 5,000 copies in the week ending Nov. 19, according to Nielsen Music.

Il Divo

The 12-track Spanish-language set strays from the majority of Il Divo’s albums, which are performed predominantly in Italian and English.

Over on the Top Classical Albums chart, Amor & Pasion enters at No. 5 — the group’s 10th top 10. Overall, Il Divo has seven No. 1s on the list with its debut self-titled album spending 29 weeks at the top in 2005.

Amor & Pasion includes classical versions of some well-known Latin tracks including “Don’t Wanna​ Lose You,” originally written and performed by Gloria Estefan. The group also interprets Julio Iglesias’ “Abrazame,” his 1975 hit from the album El Amor. Versions of Consuelo Velazquez’s “Besame Mucho” and Carlos Gardel’s “Volver” also form part of the track list.

Iglesias Releases “Fallaste Corazón,” His First Spanish Single in 12 Years

Julio Iglesias is celebrating Mexico in a special way…

The 71-year-old Spanish singer-songwriter, the most successful Latin singer of all time, is planning to release a new album, Mexico – Julio Iglesias, in which he’ll interpret 12 standards from the country’s golden-era songbook.

Julio Iglesias

For his first single, Iglesias offers up “Fallaste Corazón,” by the prolific Mexican songwriter Cuco Sánchez. It’s a song many icons like Rocio Durcal and Pedro Infante have interpreted.

Iglesias’ forthcoming album, due September 18, is his first Spanish-language recording in 12 years. The singer first performed in Mexico in the ‘70s, conquering the largest Spanish-speaking market and then going on to sell more than 300 million records worldwide by recording in as many as 12 languages. But, Mexico still holds a special place in his heart. In fact, this is his second tribute album to a country that was instrumental to his career, the first of which came in 1976.

“Mexico is a country that I love dearly,” said Iglesias in a statement. “The Mexican people have given me many indelible moments in my life. I know this country as if it was my homeland, and I always carry it in my soul. This record is dedicated to the outstanding composers who, generation after generation, filled our lives with love, nostalgia, memories and moments. After all these years, they remain alive in our souls.”