Oscars 'Remember' Latin Music With 'Coco' Song Performance: See Latin Music's Prior History at the Awards

A scene from Pixar's trailer for "Coco."
Courtesy of Disney Pixar

A scene from Pixar's trailer for Coco.

Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel and Gael Garcia Bernal’s rendition will mark the third time a Spanish-language or bilingual song is performed on the Oscar stage.

In advance of Natalia LaFourcade, Miguel and Gael Garcia Bernal’s slated performance of the song “Remember Me” at the Oscars on Sunday (March 4), we’ve made a list of other Latin songs that have been played live on the Academy Awards stage.

And it’s a short one.

Only two other best song nominees with lyrics in Spanish have been performed on the Oscar stage in the 90-year history of the awards.

Memorably (for the wrong reasons), Carlos Santana and Antonio Banderas interpreted Jorge Drexler’s song “Al Otro Lado del Rio,” from Motorcycle Diaries, at the 2005 Academy Awards. After being barred from singing his own composition, Drexler went on to win the Oscar for Best Song, the first and only time an all-Spanish-language tune has won the award. Oscar in hand, the Uruguayan artist sang his own a capella version of the song as an acceptance speech.

Two years earlier, Lila Downs and Caetano Veloso had broken the language barrier on the Academy Award stage, singing “Burn it Blue” from the film Frida in a Spanish and English duet. Garcia Bernal, then the rising star of 2001's Y Tu Mama También, introduced the performers that night. “Burn it Blue” lost to Eminem's "Lose Yourself," from 8 Mile.

In the case of “Remember Me,” the Oscar-night performers sing different versions of the song on the film's soundtrack: LaFourcade and Miguel a bilingual duet, and Garcia Bernal a Spanish version (“Recuerdame").

Brazilian Ary Barroso was the first Latin American songwriter to be nominated for an Academy Award. That was in 1945, for “Rio de Janeiro,” in English, from the movie Brazil.

The great and groovy Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin has been nominated for a handful of songs and scores. And Gustavo Santaolalla, who is also originally from Argentina, won two years in a row last decade for his scores for Brokeback Mountain (2006) and Babel (2007). In 2011, Brazilians Sergio Mendes and Carlhinos Brown were nominated for the English-language “Real in Rio,” from the animated movie Rio, but were not invited to perform on the awards show.

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