Lin-Manuel Miranda has a surprisingly personal reason for opening a bookstore in the age of Amazon

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Lin-Manuel Miranda seated onstage with guest two interviewers

Along with being the creator of a little show called Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda is also known for his enthusiastic social media presence—including a rapid-fire tweeting style that helped spread the word about his future Broadway megahit back when it was still finding an audience.

Twitter, in other words, is one way to help fuel the biggest thing on Broadway, but at 39, Miranda still thinks small in a lot of ways, particularly when it comes to which businesses he supports and where he puts his money. He famously still lives in the same upper Manhattan neighborhood where he grew up, and his first musical, In the Heights, espouses the virtues of local communities and the stories people tell within them.

“I’m the old guy in the bodega who is still talking about boxers,” Miranda told a crowd at the Fast Company Innovation Festival in New York today. “I’m an aggressively small-business person.”

So when one small business he has a personal connection to recently found itself on the brink of oblivion, Miranda did what any civic-minded Broadway sensation would do: He bought it. That business is the Drama Book Shop, a century-old bookstore in midtown Manhattan that for decades doubled as a de facto incubator for playwrights, actors, and anyone else looking to break into New York City’s theatrical community.

It was in the bookstore’s basement theater where Miranda first met Thomas Kail, the stage director who would become his main collaborator on In the Heights and Hamilton. “He had the audacity to go to their basement, paint it black, and say, ‘We’re a black-box theater,” Miranda says of Kail.

Last year, the Drama Book Shop faced that oldest of Manhattan existential crises—a crushing rent hike—and was subsequently forced to leave its longtime home on West 40th Street. Miranda and Kail, along with Hamilton producer Jeffery Seller and theater owner James Nederlander, combined their resources to purchase the storied shop.

“It was really kind of extraordinary,” Miranda recalled. “The people who needed to show up for it did.” He said the shop will reopen in March, at a new location to be announced soon.

Then he added, with a mix of zeal and incredulousness: “We’re opening a bookstore in post-Kindle, post-Amazon America!”

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Selena Gomez, Cardi B and more Latina celebs you can find on this rising social platform

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Selena Gomez pictured smiling looking casual in a sweatshirt

Move over Instagram! Tik Tok is becoming the new IT app and some Latina celebs are already getting on board – including Selena Gomez, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez and more. If you were one of the millions of users who had Vine, then you might already love Tik Tok without knowing it.

The addictive app is a space where creativity abounds and you’ll get trapped in a rabbithole of hilarious clips that will make you LOL, see some serious dance moves and wild viral trends.

To get to know a little more, we spoke with the CEO of The Influencer Marketing Factory, Alessandro Bogliari, to get some insights on how the video app works. “You don’t even have to sign up and the app will show you some of the best videos,” he told HOLA! USA when asked why people are eagerly tapping to download.

“Then, when you sign up, the AI [algorithm] will recognize your behavior in the app and will start showing you only videos that you should like based on what you engage with. I can easily spend one hour just scrolling on the ‘for you page’ without getting bored, [the] contents are so original and funny that it’s highly addicting,” he added.

Continue on to HOLA! to read the complete article.

Why Bad Bunny Matters to a New Generation of Latinx Fans

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Bad Bunny performs before large audience

I switched off my uncle’s playlist of classic salsa tunes and turned up Bad Bunny. We sat poolside in Dorado, Puerto Rico, with a small Bluetooth speaker beside us. My uncle, a conservative lawyer in his 60s, rolled his eyes when he heard “Bad Bunny, baby.”

With sold-out stadium tours and features from top American artists like Drake on his records, Bad Bunny has graduated from Puerto Rican grocery store clerk to international sensation in the last three years. Millennials have embraced him, but many old-school Boricuas are turned off by the Bunny explosion.

Upset by the lewdness of the lyrics of “Sensualidad,” my uncle picked apart each sexual innuendo and remarked on the raunchiness of today’s reggaeton culture. On a mission to change his mind, I chose to play to him Bad Bunny songs with underlying depth. First, I played “Estamos Bien,” an uplifting anthem released nearly a year after Hurricane Maria. Next up, “Desde el Corazón,” a love letter to Puerto Rico dedicated to his neighborhood and the local artists who inspired him to write music.

As a rebuttal, my uncle put on “Burbujas de Amor” by Juan Luis Guerra, a melodic, classic love song full of imagery. He rocked back and forth proclaiming, “He is a poet.” I had to admit, Bunny to Guerra was a stark contrast, but then again so were we.

For Latin Baby Boomers like my uncle, the archetype of a man was the head of the household who rarely showed his vulnerable emotions. There was dignity in the unity of marriage, and cursing was seen as inappropriate or low-class. The lyrical, heartfelt singers of my uncle’s childhood provided a way for those same men to connect with and express the deeper romantic sentiments in the clean music.

The themes in Latin music are largely the same throughout the generations — love, loss, hardship — only with different mouthpieces using forms of expression that reflect their audience.

In the 1990s, Latin music in Puerto Rico fused with reggae and American hip-hop to create reggaeton. This new wave of music, created by underground youth culture in the clubs of Puerto Rico, was a creative outlet during inner-city sufferings. Typical of Caribbean culture, it was done with a great dance beat. From the streets of the island to worldwide dominance, reggaeton burst through the English-speaking Western market, and now we are all living in a post-“Despacito” world.

Our music today is a celebration of Latinx culture. What was once understated is now screamed from the rooftops, or rather rapped to sold-out crowds at Madison Square Garden. Latinx Millennials and Gen Z are unapologetically ourselves. We choose our pronouns, our lovers, and express ourselves freely.

This is mirrored in one of our hottest artists, Bad Bunny. His music videos and style defy gender norms and pave the way for further inclusivity and acceptance for all. Bad Bunny is a part of the movement of today’s youth to speak up and speak out. His uniqueness emulates this generation’s custom-made individuality and Latin pride.

As my uncle and I playfully debated the rise of Bad Bunny, taking turns as DJ, I realized why his music means so much to me personally. In not taking himself so seriously, I’ve learned to do the same. It’s OK that I’m a mix of cultures both Puerto Rican and European. It’s OK that I’m the gringa of the family. It’s OK that I was born on the mainland, where I’m not American enough, yet on the island I’m not Boricua enough. It’s OK that when I can’t think of a word in Spanish, I switch to English. It’s OK for me to be exactly as I am.

Continue on to Pop Sugar to read the complete article.

Demi Lovato Will Sing National Anthem at Super Bowl LIV

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Demi Lovato singing on stage

Demi Lovato will sing the National Anthem before kickoff at Super Bowl LIV, taking place at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on February 2nd.

The news comes shortly after she was announced as a performer for the 62nd Grammy Awards on January 26th.

The singer confirmed the news on Instagram, writing, “Singing the National Anthem at #SBLIV 🏈 🏈 🏈 See you in Miami 🌴 @NFL.”

The National Anthem will be broadcast around the world as part of the Super Bowl’s pregame show. Past National Anthem performers include Whitney Houston, the Dixie Chicks, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Billy Joel, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Mariah Carey, the Backstreet Boys, Pink, Alicia Keys and Idina Menzel.

Christine Sun Kim will sing the National Anthem in American Sign Language on behalf of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).

The NFL and Fox previously announced that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira will be the halftime performers for Super Bowl LIV.

Continue on to MSN to read the complete article.

‘Ugly Betty’ Gave Television An Unlikely Latina Heroine

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Silvio Horta pictured with America Ferrera on red carpet at Hollywood event

Betty Suarez, the lead character in the ABC dramedy “Ugly Betty,” was the unlikeliest of heroines and everyone ― from those who taunted her on the job at an upscale fashion magazine to her close-knit family to the audience watching the show at home ― thought so.

“All the stuff you want to do, owning a magazine … it doesn’t happen for people like us, unless you’re J.Lo or something,” her nephew Justin (Mark Indelicato) told Betty (America Ferrera) on the stoop of their home in Jackson Heights, Queens, where they lived with her undocumented father, Ignacio (Tony Plana), and her spirited sister, Hilda (Ana Ortiz).

Justin was only in middle school and yet he already understood that success was limited to a select few from his family’s working-class background. For him and so many others, the American Dream was exemplified by the beautiful Jennifer Lopez, one of the few examples of U.S. Latino representation in Hollywood in the 2000s.

But Silvio Horta, the creator and showrunner of “Ugly Betty” who died earlier this month, offered an alternative version of prosperity for new generations of Latinos through a character who was less aspirational and more relatable, a young woman who wasn’t conventionally attractive but was still the daring protagonist of her own life.

Betty had bushy eyebrows, braces, glasses and frizzy hair — pop culture’s hallmarks of the ugly duckling. She was also curvy, which was unfortunately groundbreaking for a show in 2006, as evinced by the second episode of the series. Drama arose over releasing an actress’s unretouched photos at Mode, the fashion magazine where Betty worked. Sure, there had been curvy girls on television before, but they somehow always seemed to be the butt of the joke, a caricatured sidekick to the more traditionally good-looking lead. Not Betty.

Let’s not sugarcoat it. Betty was harassed by her co-workers because of her looks, lack of fashion sense and Latinidad. It was no secret around the office that everyone knew she had only been hired because her supervisor’s father didn’t want his son, Daniel (Eric Mabius), sleeping with his assistants anymore. In an attempt to embarrass her and drive her to quit, Daniel has her fill in for a model at a photo shoot. Watching Betty stand alongside those models, attempting to strike sexy poses in a revealing outfit she is wholly uncomfortable in while everyone laughs at her, is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the series. She is also routinely called fat and one of her co-workers, Amanda (Becki Newton), has a penchant for using an exaggerated Spanish accent around her and warning her not to get chimichurri sauce on important documents.

Yet somehow Betty remained strong. She never buckled under the pressure of her hostile work environment — though doing so would have been understandable. Instead, she focused on her dream of writing for magazines.

Continue on to Huffington Post to read the complete article.

Historic rock festival at sea to benefit Native American Heritage Association (NAHA)

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Poster promo for the 2021 Rock Legends Cruise

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida – Since 2010, Native American Heritage Association (NAHA) have chartered an entire Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship, and created a historic rock festival at sea known as Rock Legends Cruise (a “cruise for a cause”).

Now in 2021, (The Rock Legends 2020 cruise is sold out) Don McLean will join Styx, Blue Öyster Cult, Warrant, Lita Ford, Walter Trout, Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush along with to be announced artists for the Rock Legends Cruise IX setting sail from Ft. Lauderdale on February 18, 2021. For cruise packages, pricing and more go to www.rocklegendscruise.com!

With previous performers like Sammy Hagar & The Circle, Bad Company, Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, REO Speedwagon, ZZ Top, Foreigner, The Doobie Brothers, Alice Cooper, Paul Rodgers, Peter Frampton, Gregg Allman and so many more, each cruise is a guaranteed blast, while raising awareness about NAHA’s Mission. Although the cruise has drawn adults of all ages, most are of an age that placed them at the beginning of the rock revolution and who appreciate our artists’ places as cultural icons. After all, rock and roll is for everyone!

About NAHA:
For nearly a quarter century, Native American Heritage Association (NAHA) has been front and center in responding to a quiet crisis among our Nation’s Forgotten People, the Lakota (Sioux) on Reservations in South Dakota and Wyoming. Founder David Myers literally began NAHA by delivering food & clothes in the back of a station wagon on weekends. From those humble beginnings, and through the commitment of NAHA’s faithful donors, staff, and affiliates, the most recent fiscal year saw over $52 million in direct aid (food, clothing, and basic life necessities).

These Reservations are on some of the most desolate and remote acreage in the country, remaining out of the sight and headlines of mainstream America. With desperation, hope is easily lost, and leads to statistics most people would say, “Can’t possibly be true in America.” But it is. Up to 80% unemployment, suicide rates 70% higher than the population at large, infant mortality exceeding many third world countries, diabetes and resultant death at twice the national rate…these and many more statistics are the bitter reality that face this proud group of people every day. Pine Ridge, Rosebud, Crow Creek, and Cheyenne River are not mythical names in some western novel. They are real places, with real people, who often live out tragic lives.

Actress Dania Ramírez: It’s a ‘dream’ playing an avatar in ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’

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Actress Dania Ramirez on red carpet at Jumanji movie premiere

By Arturo Conde

Video games allow ordinary users to transform into extraordinary heroes. For Dominican American actress Dania Ramírez, who plays an avatar in “Jumanji: The Next Level,” video games made her American dream come true.

“I grew up in a crowded apartment with my family living in one bedroom, and a second family living in another bedroom,” she told NBC news. “And for a Dominican girl who played video games for the first time in the United States, and is now acting in a big movie about a video game, this is my American dream.”

The actress emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the New York City neighborhood of Washington Heights when she was almost 10 years old. She said video games can help players build up confidence to follow their dreams.

Dania Ramirez arrives for the premiere of “Jumanji: The Next Level” in Hollywood.Jean-Baptiste Lacroix / AFP – Getty Images

“We live in an age where everything is electronic. And many kids are not ready to be judged by the Internet and social media,” said Ramírez, known for her roles on TV shows including “Heroes,” “Devious Maids” and “Entourage” and whose movie credits include “X Men: The Last Stand.”

“But video games can make them feel more confident, teach them to solve problems, move faster, and go after their dreams,” Ramírez added.

“Jumanji: The Next Level” opened last Friday, and is the sequel to the 2017 adventure comedy blockbuster that pulled four high school friends—Spencer, Martha, Bethany and “Fridge”—into a video game console. Locked inside, they had to survive dangerous and at times ridiculous obstacles to find a way out.

Now in 2019, Spencer has been sucked back into the fantastic world of Jumanji. And this time, Martha, Bethany and “Fridge” will team up with Spencer’s grandpa (Danny DeVito) and a family friend (Danny Glover) to help bring him home.
On screen, Ramírez plays an avatar in Jumanji that guides players with clues. And off screen, she says that video game avatars are also guiding players on a journey to explore their identity.

“When my children play video games, they sometimes get excited figuring out how they can make their avatars look more like them,” she said. “As a Latina, representation in video games and media is important because they need to represent the diversity we live in. And avatars are helping players explore who they are.”

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In The Heights’ Trailer Celebrates Latinx Stories On The Big Screen

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Lin Manuel Miranda pictured in suit and tie at a premeire event

Piraguas, acrylic nails and the GWB! The first full-length trailer of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s upcoming “In The Heights” film has dropped, and for fans of the hit Broadway show, which the movie is based on, it feels like they’ve won the lottery.

Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon Chu has joined Miranda in recreating the Grammy and Tony award-winning musical about a Dominican bodega owner and his neighbors in the New York City barrio, Washington Heights. The star-studded and nearly all-Latinx cast includes Anthony Ramos, Marc Anthony, Dascha Polanco and Stephanie Beatriz.

The trailer depicts a dramatic, lyrical day-in-the-life narrative of the Hispanic-American community in Washington Heights. The Heights is vibrant and bustling, and this first trailer promises to stay true to the neighborhood’s spirit.

The film also nods to the growing threat of gentrification to New York City neighborhoods — “the story of a block that was slowly disappearing,” as the main character, Usnavi, says in the teaser.

The trailer suggests that the movie will put a new spin on the original musical. The narrative follows Usnavi as he tells modern-day stories about his neighborhood to a group of children.

The characters in his tales face timely Latinx issues that have become part of the national political and social conversation, including immigrant rights and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

With “In The Heights,” Miranda and the cast are taking a rare step in a predominantly white Hollywood by centering powerful and gripping Latinx stories on the silver screen.

A recent study from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California found that only about 3% of lead or co-lead roles in the top movies have gone to Latinx actors in the last 12 years. And Latinx speaking roles were nonexistent in almost half of the sampled films. The community’s small presence on the big screen is a harsh contrast to the growing Latinx population in the United States. Nearly 60 million Hispanic people live in the U.S., and they account for almost 17% of the population.

Continue on to Huffington Post Latino Voices to read the complete article.

Jennifer Lopez Scores Golden Globe Nomination For Best Supporting Actress

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Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of ‘Hustlers’ in New York City

No one hustled harder than Jennifer Lopez, and it paid off recently when the entertainer scored a Golden Globes nomination for her role as veteran stripper Ramona Vega in “Hustlers.”

The singer and actor was last nominated for the Golden Globes in 1998, when she was up for Best Actress in a Motion Picture ― Musical or Comedy for her performance in “Selena.”

The movie, based on a real-life group of strippers that worked together to scam Wall Street clients, garnered Lopez some of the best reviews of her career and major awards season buzz.

In addition to her Golden Globes nomination for Best Supporting Actress — Motion Picture this year, Lopez nabbed a Critics Choice Awards nomination for Best Supporting Actress, and she’s up for Best Supporting Female in the Spirit Awards.

On Sunday, she won Best Supporting Actress from the LA Film Critics Association.

In a recent interview with GQ, Lopez talked about what she found compelling about the Lorene Scafaria-directed film.

“The movies that I look for now, I’m looking for not just interesting and multilayered characters, which Ramona really was, but something that tells you about what’s going on in the culture,” Lopez said, revealing that she didn’t get paid for her role upfront.

The singer and actor added: “What it says about that world, and men and women, and gender roles, all of that made me feel that this could be an interesting movie, as opposed to just a character piece.”

Lopez, being Lopez, isn’t about to stop hustling. Pictured l to r; Keke Palmer, Jennifer Lopez and Lili Reinhart are seen on the film set of ‘Hustlers’ in New York City. (Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Continue on to Huffington Post to read the complete article.

The 20th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards-Some of the Biggest Moments!

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Guests dance during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards after party at Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A Latin Grammy Award is an award by The Latin Recording Academy to recognize outstanding achievement in the Latin music industry.

The Latin Grammy honors works produced anywhere around the world that were recorded in either Spanish or Portuguese and is awarded in the United States.

(Pictured left-President and CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Gabriel Abaroa Jr. speaks onstage at the Premiere Ceremony during the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards.  Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images for LARAS) 

This year’s Latin GRAMMY Awards event was held on November 14th in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and the three-hour telecast aired live on the Univision Network.

Rosalía marks historic night for women at Latin Grammys with album of the year win.

The breakthrough performer known for blending flamenco music with sounds like reggaeton and Latin trap, won album of the year, becoming the first solo female performer to win the top honor since Shakira’s triumph 13 years ago.

 

 

Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards Key Show Moments:

  • Opening musical – Tribute to the legacy Latin music represents – 20 artists performed four iconic songs representing four music genres:
    • “La Vida es un Carnaval” – Celia Cruz
    • “Querida” – Juan Gabriel
    • “Secreto de Amor” – Joan Sebastian
    • “De Musica Ligera” – Soda Stereo
  • Fernández Family Musical Dynasty
    • Historic performance: Three generations perform on the stage for the first time – Vicente (grandfather), Alejandro (son), and Alex (grandson).
    • Alex (Te Amare), Alejandro (Caballero), Vicente (La Derrota) all three (Volver Volver), accompanied by El Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez.
    • Immediately after the performance Vicente Fernandez was presented with the Latin Recording Academy President’s Award by Ricky Martin.
  • Paula Arenas Performance
    • Intimate, powerful female moment with Julio Reyes Copello on piano
  • Alejandro Sanz musical
    • “Mi Persona Favorita” featuring Camila Cabello (on LED screens), Aitana, Greeicy, and Nella (three of the nominees of Best New Artist)
  • Rosalía musical
    • World premiere performance of new single “A Palé”
  • Fonseca musical
    • Celebrating the music of Camilo Sesto
    • Singing an acoustic version of a “Perdóname”
  • Pedro Capó/Alicia Keys musical
    • First time “Calma (Alicia Remix)” is performed with Alicia Keys and Farruko
    • Alicia Keys performing new single “Show Me Love” with Miguel and Pedro Capó
  • Juanes Receives the Person of The Year Award by Lars Ulrich, drummer from Metallica.
    • Juanes has credited Metalica for inspiring his musical career
  • Pepe Aguilar musical
    • Celebrating the music of José José with an interpretation of “El Triste”
  • Ricky Martin musical
    • World premiere performance of new single “Cántalo” with Bad Bunny and Residente
  • Bad Bunny musical
    • Accompanied by a symphonic orchestra
Juanes accepts person of the year award
Juanes accepts his Person of The Year Award from Lars Ulrich onstage during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Nov. 14, 2019 in Las Vegas.

Rosalia attends the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for LARAS)

Chiquinquirá Delgado attends the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for LARAS)

Guests dance during the 20th annual Latin Grammy Awards after party at Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for LARAS)

Bad Bunny poses withe the Best Urban Music Album in the press room during the 20th annual Latin GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on November 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for LARAS)

Recipients of President’s Merit Award: The President’s Merit Award is an exceptional honor presented to an exclusive and limited group of individuals for their outstanding career in Latin music and significant contributions to the Latin community.

  • Vicente Fernandez
  • Thalia

Rosalía wins big as the Latin Grammys celebrate 20 years of the genre’s evolution

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Rosalia onstage performing with back up dancers

“Winning a Grammy is the best thing that can ever happen,” said the singer, who won Best Album Of The Year.

Spanish artist Rosalía took the Latin Grammys by storm Thursday night as the award show celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Her second studio album, “El Mal Querer,” took home all the awards it was nominated for, including Best Album Of The Year, one of the top awards of the night, and Contemporary Pop Album Of The Year.

“We did this album sitting on the floor, with two computers, a keyboard and a microphone. I swear to God. And then, we worked on it for a year and a half. That was it,” said Rosalía in Spanish at the Latin Grammy stage in Las Vegas. “Winning a Grammy is the best thing that can ever happen.”

The artist also took home Best Urban Song for hit “Con Altura,” alongside Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin.

Puerto Rican singer Pedro Capó and Spanish musician Alejandro Sanz also won top awards.

Capó won Song Of The Year with hit “Calma.” The song’s remix also won a Latin Grammy for Best Urban Fusion or Performance.

Sanz’s collaboration with pop star Camila Cabello won Record Of The Year. The song also won an award for Best Pop Song.

Between her wins and her medley performance of “Con Altura” and “A Palé,” Rosalía proved once again that she embodies the perfect marriage between the past and the present, organically blending both traditional sounds like flamenco and classical music with mainstream sounds such as pop, reggaeton and trap.

“I have no prejudices or think that one music is better than another. Flamenco is my great passion, but I also love to experiment in the studio, explore with the sounds, so it is natural and organic for me to experiment. And of course, urban music is part of my references as well as classical music, other kinds of music from my country and even Jamaican music,” Rosalía told NBC News in April.

Just like Rosalía, the Latin Grammys were a celebration of the Latin music industry’s evolution.

Continue on to NBC News to read the complete article.