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Jesse & Joy, Juanes Win Big At Latin Grammys

Jesse & Joy accept one of their four awards during the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on Thursday.
Robyn Beck
AFP/Getty Images
Jesse & Joy accept one of their four awards during the Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Click the audio link to hear Alt.Latino's Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd discuss the Latin Grammy Awards with Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

The 13th Annual Latin Grammy Awards were held in Las Vegas last night, and like the Grammys, the music and the prizes reflected a mixed bag of art and commerce.

The big winner of the night was the sibling duo Jesse & Joy, whose four awards included song of the year and record of the year for the song "¡Corre!" The duo's big selling album, ¿Con Quien Se Queda El Perro? chronicles the internal turmoil of a romantic break up.

Juanes picked up two statues, for best long-form video and album of the year, for MTV Unplugged. The two awards bring the lifetime total for the Colombian superstar to 19, which ties him with Puerto Rican rap duo Calle 13, which swept last year's awards. The work of both Calle 13 and Juanes reflects commitments to social change coupled with music that can move people onto a dance floor.

Latin Alternative artist Carla Morrison, who is not signed with a major record company, claimed the alternative song award for "Dejenme Llorar" and the alternative album award for the album of the same name. But her nominations in the broader categories of song of the year and album of the year reflected a growing influence of independent artists and labels in the Latin music industry, a trend that is also noticeable with English-language counterparts.

The Latin Grammys seem to have found a permanent home in Las Vegas, far from the music industry hubs of Los Angeles and New York, which adds a certain amount of Vegas showgirl glitz to the telecast — sometimes at the expense of tastefulness. Scantily clad, gyrating dancers often appeared out of place, especially during the performance of a traditional Mexican ranchera sung by Pedro Fernandez.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Felix Contreras
Felix Contreras is co-creator and host of Alt.Latino, NPR's pioneering radio show and podcast celebrating Latin music and culture since 2010.