Premios Lo Nuestro Gets Political

Carlos Vives performs at the 17th annual Latin Grammy Awards at the T-Mobile Arena on Nov. 17, 2016 in Las Vegas.
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP  

Carlos Vives performs at the 17th annual Latin Grammy Awards at the T-Mobile Arena on Nov. 17, 2016 in Las Vegas. 

The 2017 edition of Premios Lo Nuestro was a highly politicized affair, with messages of unity and Latin pride repeated like a mantra throughout the broadcast. Here are five political moments of note, plus two other noteworthy moments. 

1. “Mr. President. Mr. President”: Carlos Vives was the only person to speak directly to President Trump, addressing him when he picked up his “single of the year” award for “La bicicleta,” his hit with Shakira. “Mr. President, you want a greater America. A greater America is a united America. You have a historic opportunity,” said Vives. At press time, Trump hadn’t made any comments on his Twitter account. 

2. Jorge Ramos Speaks Out: Not that he doesn’t usually speak out, but it is unusual for him to get an extensive platform during a music award show. This time, Ramos was a centerpiece of the evening, delivering a calm, collected but forceful speech calling Latinos to take a stand against the Trump message. “There are a lot of people who don’t want us here and want to build a wall,” said Ramos. “But this is also our country. It’s not theirs, it’s our country. And we’re not leaving. There are nearly 60 million Latinos in the United States, and thanks to us, the U.S. eats, grows, sings and dances. When they attack us, we’re not going to sit down, we’re not going to shut up and we’re not going to leave.” 

3. Balvin Sees the Positive: J Balvin collected the last, and most important award of the evening: Artist of the year. And he also delivered perhaps the most moving speech of the night, thanking mom, Medellín, his family, his team, and exhorting fans to strive for their dreams. And then, the politics. “I’ve already said what I think of Mr. Trump. I think this is the moment for us to come closer together. I don’t believe this is a bad moment. It’s a good moment for Latinos to show our worth to the world, to demonstrate that we’re a cool population.” We like that. 

4. And on the subject of Balvin, what happened with his performance with Zion & Lennox? At least some TV viewers saw their screens go to commercial when the two acts began to sing. Perhaps things were ok in some parts of the country as no explanation was provided. 

5. Prince Royce: Royce has proven to be consistently articulate on the subject of Latin rights, Trump and immigration. After winning artist of the year in the tropical category, the son of Dominican immigrants stayed true to message, dedicating his award “to all immigrants.”

Bonus Points: Good job on social. Premios was a global trending topic throughout the night. 


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