2011 Latin Grammys: 10 Things You Didn't See
The Latin Grammys aired Nov. 10 on the Univision network form the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Here's what you didn't see on screen.
1. Demi Lovato, who performed at the Latin Gramys alongside newcomer Pablo Alboran, is preparing to release an all-Spanish album sometime in 2012. The set will feature Spanish language adaptations of Lovato's hits in English. The adaptations are by Edgar Cortazar and Mark Portman, who are also producing the album. This marks the first time since Christina Aguilera's 2000 album "Mi Reflejo" that an English-language mainstream artist will release a set of Spanish language adaptations.**
2. Video director Alejandro Santiago explained how he was able to convince over 100 extras to strip butt-naked on the set of Calle 13's "Calma Pueblo," the provocative video that shows people ripping their clothes off and getting shot as a symbol of social malaise. In fact, says Santiago, he had no permit from police in Puerto Rico to film people naked on the streets.
"They were all actors and because of the concept and idea of the song, it was a true liberation," said Santiago backstage. "This was the liberation of a people who had been silent for a long time," he added, referring to the economic and social problems of Puerto Rico. "At the end the problem was not getting them to undress, but the fact that they didn't want to put their clothes back on! There were a lot of onlookers, but we had a police blockade and a production blockade blocking the police."
3. Usher made it to his first Latin Grammy alongside Anthony "Romeo" Santos, with whom he sings "Promise," currently at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Latin Songs chart. In "Promise," Usher sings bachata, the traditional Dominican music. But, does he dance it?
"How could I ever get on a bachata record without dancing bachata?" says Usher with a laugh. The track, he says, "is a revolutionary evolution for bachata and it's an opportunity for expansion and renovation."
4. Los Tigres del Norte, fresh from the success of their MTV Unplugged album, are preparing to play a few dates with album guest and pop star Paulina Rubio. Rubio, who performed with the seminal regional Mexican group during the Latin Grammys, will play a double bill with the norteño group and a symphony orchestra in Guatemala. Those dates may expand to other shows in Central America.
"Our audience has changed greatly," says Los Tigres lead singer Jorge Hernández. "We have a bigger pop audience and people of all changes."
5. Composer and producer Gustavo Santaolalla was at the Latin Grammys as producer of three nominated albums. But Santaolalla also just finished writing the score of "On the Road," the film based on the Jack Kerouac novel, directed by Walter Salles and due out 2012. Santaolalla also finished scoring a Spanish language film, "Eva del Argentina," an animated featured based on the life of Eva Perón. And, in a departure, he's working on a totally different project: a video game, due out 2013.
6. Tito "El Bambino" collected a Latin Grammy for Best Contemporary tropical album for "Invencible." But he won't see it.
"The awards, sadly, aren't mine," he said backstage. "They belong to my mom. I've tried to take them with me and I haven't been able to." Tito's mom wasn't in the house tonight, however. "It's her birthday tomorrow," he said. "She's in Puerto Rico, but she's flying out tomorrow to Curacao to see me perform and this will be her gift."
7. Myriam Hernández, up for her first-ever Latin Grammy, took a break from her Latin America tour to come to Vegas. Although the Chilean singer was able to see her good friend Marco Antonio Solís at the show, she has yet to perform live with him their single "Sigue sin mí," which she recorded with Solis.
Hernández now goes to play shows in Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina and Perú.
8. René Pérez and Eduardo Cabra of Calle 13 yet again spoke publicly against payola. "No payola, no payola," they said after picking up their ninth Latin Grammy of the night, and the repeated the message again in the press room. "It does exist and I don't care if thousands of stations hate me for saying it," said Cabra. "I don't care," added Pérez. "At this stage of the game what we care about is making music and giving it free to the people."
9. Following Calle 13's many comments on payola, media in the press room peppered Venezuelan singer/songwriter Franco De Vita-the next artist up-with questions about the alleged practice. "We don't know when payola happens," said De Vita. "As artists we're not out there doing stuff like that. But we know it exists."
10. Spanish singer Natalia Jiménez, always a fashion plate, walked the green carpet wearing a peach colored evening gown that looked vintage. It was, Jiménez happily admitted. "It's a 1960s dress that I found in a vintage shop in Miami," she said. "It was perfect, and I bought it!"
**CORRECTION: While a Disney spokesperson confirmed that Demi Lovato has recorded a Spanish-language version of the song "Skyscrapers" ("Rascacielos"), she told Billboard.biz that a full album is not in the works.