Latin Grammy Week: Miguel Bosé Talks Person of the Year Honor, the Business of New Talent and Jenni Rivera

Miguel Bosé

What do Ricky Martin, Juanes and Laura Pausini all have in common? This week they're joining forces to celebrate their friend Miguel Bosé during Latin Grammy week.

Bosé, one of Spain's most celebrated singer/songwriters, is being feted this week in Las Vegas as the Latin Recording Person of the Year. First he will be honored at an invitation-only gala. The following day on Nov. 21, he'll be recognized on the Latin Grammy telecast airing live on Univision.

Criteria for the Latin Grammy person of the year is based on "individuals who have made an extraordinary global impression on music and culture," Latin Grammy Academy president/CEO Gabriel Abaroa, Jr says. "This year we take great pride in honoring a very talented performer and philanthropist whose immense talent and generosity have had a profound impact."

Bosé has not only created an impressive catalog of music throughout his career, but he has also made more than 35 films, including, Pedro Almodovar's 1991 iconic film "High Heels." Considered a thoughtful and generous colleague by his peers, the Spanish artist has also made it his mission to personally support causes from music education for underprivileged children and bringing awareness to the fight against HIV/AIDs.
Bosé's 2007 album “Papito” featured collaborations with other high-profile artists like Shakira, Paulina Rubio and Martin. The album peaked at No. 6 on Top Latin Albums and No. 2 on Latin Pop Albums. His follow up album, “PapiTwo,” which is currently nominated for album of the year and best contemporary pop album, includes more duets with other celebrated voices like Juan Luis Guerra, Tiziano Ferro and Aleks Syntek. The album peaked at No. 5 on Top Latin Albums in 2012.
For Bosé, being honored for a lifetime at work is a major milestone, but one that he doesn't take lightly.
"It means a lot to me because it comes from my colleagues," Bosé tells Billboard. "Music is at the center of these awards, but it also brings attention to important causes which have been very personal to me.
In the interview below, Bosé, who in 2001 he won a Latin Grammy for the album Sereno, discusses his lifetime achievement honor, the music business and Jenni Rivera, whom he got to know well when they were both judges on Mexico's version of "The Voice."

Why is it important for you to get involved with groups that take on social issues?
It’s important for people who have opportunities in life to get involved, because having privileges means that you can help others. It’s important to move projects forward in a way that brings awareness to causes that affect people around the world.

Musically, what are you working on right now?
I just finished some music … songs that will become the next project for 2014. I'm looking at a new album with new original songs. I only have structures of music and some lyrics, but I will go into the studio soon to define the project further.
Is there a theme that's developing from this new album?
I touch on many things, like many of my albums. There are some emotional themes, but some ideas come from real life and things happening around the world. The news and things that happen in the world can influence my writing. For now … I will have to do more work and figure out which songs will be socially based and which will be emotional.

What was it like being a coach on "La Voz Mexico" in 2012 and working with a new generation of singers?
I had a strong team. They were strong voices, new and diverse. I’m taken by a voice that I’ve not heard before and a voice that has colors that I've not seen before. I was lucky to have really good people. The problem is when these contestants finish “La Voz” they don’t necessarily have continuity following them. The structure to develop the careers of these artists is not there. The industry looks for songs … they also want a personality. But some of these artists’ careers really don’t continue beyond what you see on TV.

You worked with regional Mexican singer Jenni Rivera on "La Voz" when she died in a plane crash nearly one year ago. What was she like?
She was stupendous. Jenni and I connected right away. It was fantastic. There was complexity … when she left us, the program was over. She was kind, sweet and a strong character -- she was a good woman and extraordinary.
Do you have any idea how you'll be honored during the Latin Grammy gala?
I don’t know a lot of what’s gong to happen since the Latin Grammy organization will take care of most of those details, but I know there will be friends singing and I will sing two songs. There are many songs in my career and people who have been part of this journey. I suppose it’s gong to be emotional. And the next day it will all become official on the Latin Grammys telecast.

The Latin Grammys will be held Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. eastern/7 p.m. central on Univision.