The Latin Grammy Person of the Year gala -- like all events honoring any artist -- are complex affairs that require lots of juggling, maneuvering to accommodate everybody's needs and, to cap it all, the ability to reinvent a familiar repertoire in a way that surprises and captivates a jaded music industry audience.
It's no wonder, then, that no matter the caliber of artists, the celebrations always have valleys as well as peaks.
Not so for the Nov. 20 event honoring Spanish singer, songwriter, actor, dancer and philanthropist Miguel Bosé Wednesday night at a ballroom at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Featuring a stellar roster that included Laura Pausini, Ricky Martin, Carlos Vives, Carlos Santana, Juanes and Alejandro Sanz, the evening featured one stunning performance after another, each aptly reinventing a repertoire of hits that went from pure pop ("Linda") to jazzier experimentation.
The evening kicked off with an acoustic trio made up of Colombian Santiago Cruz, Peruvian Gian Marco and Canadian Alex Cuba performing "Linda," an early Bosé hit, on a small circular stage set in the middle of the ballroom, among the tables.
The intimate performance then gave way to Italian diva Laura Pausini on the main stage, performing "Te Amaré" backed by a 20-piece band. That performance set the tone for an evening that never relented in intensity or sheer surprise element. Pausini was followed by Martin, Juanes, Sanz, Natalia LaFourcade and Illya Kuryaki performing "Morena Mía" as a hip-hop/lounge duet, one of the highlights of the evening.
Others included Vives and Santana in a high-energy version of "Amiga," one of Bosé's most romantic songs, turned upside down, and Mexican duo Jesse & Joy with Spanish up and coming star Pablo Alborán in a medley of songs.
Bosé, who hugged each of his friends after their performances, said it best when he picked up his award: "Wow, you've performed some versions I'd have never thought of. I'm going to copy them in my next 'Papi' album," he added, referring to his duets albums.
As for the artists who performed -- many of whom have long-standing relationships with Bosé -- Sanz, who together with Juanes gave him his award, summed it up: "I love you and I'm your fan."
The evening was produced by José Tillán, the former GM and EVP of MTVTr3s.