Alejandro Sanz, one of the planet’s most famous Latino artists has sold more than 23 millions albums internationally so it comes as no surprise that he is the most GRAMMY-award-winning Spanish artist in the world. Mr. Sanz has won 17 Latin GRAMMY’s and 3 American GRAMMY’s.
But don’t worry he’s not lonely at the top, let’s take a trip back in time to the past five years and quickly review other Latino artists who have nabbed GRAMMY wins.
Taking it back to ’09 and ’10
La Quinta Estación, a Spanish pop/rock band composed of three musicians from Madrid: Natalia Jiménez, Ángel Reyero and Pablo Domínguez won Best Latin Pop Album for “Sin Frenos”. The band whose first claim to fame happened far away from their motherland Spain, in Mexico City, made it to the top partly because one of their songs “¿Dónde Irán?” (Where will they go?) was chosen as the theme song for “Clase 406″, one of the most popular telenovelas in the country.
It’s a good thing Calle 13’s Residente (Pérez) who studied accounting, and Visitante (Cabra) who earned a computer science degree decided to turn to their focus to music . The controversial Puerto Rican stepbrothers who make up Calle 13 took home the award for Best Latin Rock, Alternative/ Urban Album with “Los De Atras Vienen Conmigo” But GRAMMY or not, the politically-inclined duo keeps causing controversy through their lyrics and have recently released the song Multi_Viral.
Nicaraguan heartthrob and famous salsero Luis Enrique’s album “Ciclos” carried him to the winner’s circle and earned him a GRAMMY for Best Tropical Latin Album. Though, he was nominated for a GRAMMY in 1990 for his album “Luces del Alma” his win in 2009 made el “Principe de la Salsa” the first and only Nicaraguan musician to ever win a GRAMMY award.
Mexican music was also a big winner that year with veteran singer Vicente Fernández nabbing the GRAMMY for Best Regional Mexican Album with “Necesito de Ti” and Los Texmaniacs’ “Borders y Bailes” scoring the Best Tejano Album.
“Chente”, as many Hispanics call him, started his iconic career singing in the streets of Mexico and asking for tips. Now, a street in Chicago bares his name.
Of his fame, career and awards Fernández has said “As long as you keep applauding, I will keep singing.”
Jenni Rivera’s brother Lupillo Rivera probably shares the same sentiment, he took home the award for Best Banda Album with “Tu Esclavo y Amo” and for the legendary “Los Tigres Del Norte” who were awarded the GRAMMY for Best Norteño Album for “Tu Noche Con..Los Tigres Del Norte”. They won a GRAMMY in this category in 2011 too!
Grupo Fantasma from Texas took the podium to accept the award for Best Latin Rock, Alternative or Urban Album for their work on “El Existential,” an album that continues to bring them success to this day.
2010 was also the year half-Puerto Rican artist Bruno Mars first joined the winner’s list with his GRAMMY for Best Male Pop Performance for “Just The Way You Are”.
But Latinos didn’t win big only in the areas of pop and urban music in 2010. The Spanish Harlem Orquestra kept traditions alive with their winning album “Viva La Tradición” which earned them the award for Best Tropical Latin Album. Chucho Valdes & The Afro-Cuban Messengers stepped their way to success when their album “Chucho’s Step” nabbed the GRAMMY for Best Latin Jazz Album.
Fast Forward to 2011 & 2012
In 2011, big time Mexican Rockeros Maná were awarded the GRAMMY for Best Latin Pop, Rock or Urban Album for “Drama Y Luz,” while Pepe Aguilar’s album “Bicentenario” earned a GRAMMY for Best Regional Mexican/ Tejano Album.
Deceased Cuban artist Cachao won a GRAMMY post-mortum for the album “The Last Mambo” in the category of Best Tropical Latin Album and Costa Rican conductor Giancarlo Guerrero took home the Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for “Shwantner: Concerto For Percussion & Orchestra”.
But it was Mexican-American comedian Louis C.K who had the last laugh in 2011 when he won the award for Best Comedy Album with the adequately named “Hilarious”.
In 2012, Mexican-American artist Miguel Jontel Pimentel stepped on the R&B scene and captivated with his song “Adorn” in which he oh so sensually asks “Let my love adorn you”. A GRAMMY for Best R&B Song now adorns Miguel’s shelf at home.
Latinos didn’t stay too far behind in the Jazz department with Cuban Arturo Sandoval winning the GRAMMY for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for Dear Diz (Every Day I Think Of You) and The Clare Fisher Latin Jazz Big Band earning the GRAMMY for Best Latin Jazz Album with ¡Ritmo!
Though, it wasn’t Colombian artist Juanes first GRAMMY win Juanes’ MTV Unplugged Deluxe Edition earned him his second award for Best Latin Pop Album.
Mexican artist Lila Downs, known for her folkloric fashion sense and colorful personality let her sins and miracles do the work for her at the 2012 Grammy awards. Her album “Pecados y Milagros” was awarded as being the Best Regional Mexican Music Album.
Lots of Love for Latinos at the GRAMMYs
To say the least, Latinos have shared an abundance of success at the GRAMMY awards in recent years. We can only wait and see how this list grows in the future and specifically which of our favorite Latino artists will be taking home the coveted golden phonograph at the 56th edition of the award show.