The night paid homage to Puerto Rico
“Despacito,” the global mega-hit from Luis Fonsi and reggaeton star Daddy Yankee, won big with awards for urban fusion/performance, short form music video, record of the year and song of the year on Nov. 16 at the Latin Grammy Awards.
Fonsi’s native Puerto Rico was mentioned with affection throughout the night. He dedicated his award to his home and vowed to return there to see his family soon after the show.
The Latin Grammys were in fact opened with Puerto Rican rapper Residente wearing a fabulous Puerto Rican flag shirt. He actually led the night with nine nominations, winning two for urban song and urban music album.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has been outspoken in his efforts to aid Puerto Rico, and even returned to Hamilton to help earn more money for those who suffered from the wrath of Hurricane Maria, was honored with the President’s Merit Award. He delivered his speech in both English and Spanish and got a bit political as reported by USA Today.
“This is for Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico," he said, promoting Sunday's Unity March for Puerto Rico to be held in Washington, intended "to remind the White House and Congress that we are human.”
Other winners included Shakira, who got an Emmy for contemporary pop album, Juanes, who won the pop-rock album prize, and Vicente Garcia, who was named best new artist. Ruben Blades claimed the top prize, album of the year, for Salsa Big Band.
Fonsi closed with a special performance of “Despacito," featuring special guests including Diplo, the Puerto Rican salsa singer Victor Manuelle and the Colombian electronica band Bomba Estéreo.
The show was broadcast on Univision from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Top image by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for LARAS