Latin Grammy Milestones: 10 Things That Rock the Grammy Museum's New Exhibit

The Latin Recording Academy®
Courtesy of the Recording Academy™/photo by Rebecca Sapp, Getty Images © 2019.

Left to right: Gabriel Abaroa Jr., The Latin Recording Academy® President/CEO; Christian Nodal, Ángela Aguilar, Giselle Fernández, Michael Sticka, President of the GRAMMY Museum®; supervisor Hilda Solis, and Albert Lord (Los Angeles City Council).

Hosted by Gabriel Abaroa Jr., president/CEO of the Latin Recording Academy, the new exhibit (and party) celebrate 20 years of the Latin Grammys.

The Latin Grammy awards have already aired, but the salute to Latin music continues with a 20th anniversary exhibit at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. The daylong festivities (Nov. 18) included a ribbon-cutting ceremony along with recording artists Ángela Aguilar, Christian Nodal and a spectacular showcase by Raquel Sofiaand Flor de Toloache at the Clive Davis Theater.

The Latin Recording Academy and the museum worked together to expand the Latin-themed exhibits to illustrate the Latin organization's history and worldwide influence. The result is a captivating look at Latin Grammy music milestones as seen through iconic moments, imagery and special highlights such as the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year celebrations, which also include Juanes, the 2019 honoree. The exhibit is scheduled to stay open through spring 2020. Here are 10 things that rocked:

Vision: Highlighting the Latin Grammy's 20th years of excellence in the new Latin music gallery is not an easy endeavor, but the Latin Recording Academy's commitment of more than half-a-million dollars over a three-year arc helped the museum expand the Latin music-focused exhibits. One of the exhibit's opening highlights is Emilio Estefan Jr., the Grammy- and Latin Grammy-winning musician, songwriter and producer who was the first to receive the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year recognition in 2000.

Winning smiles: Capturing the key moment a recording artist wins a Latin Grammy is artfully displayed in photographs throughout he exhibit. An elated Vicente Fernandez holding his trophies in 2002, Shakira's Person of the Year tribute in 2011 and Alejandro Sanz?'s 2018 tribute show key moments that inspire.

Legendary song and dance: The late Mexican singer/songwriter Juan Gabriel is considered one of the most masterful and prolific recording artists in music history, but it's his 40-minute performance at the 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards that is the stuff of legends as he iconic entertainer performed at his own pace on live television to the delight of fans everywhere. See Gabriel's tuxedo from that showcase for a nostalgic throwback.

Drum roll: Anyone who knows the work of Maná's Alex González understands he's a drummer of drummers, performing his extended sets on world tours in awe-inspiring ways. His first professional drum set is featured as part of the exhibit and it's a must-see.

A host's throwback: This year's Latin Grammys was co-hosted by Ricky Martin who lit up the stage in so many ways. The exhibit highlights Martin's paint-stained tuxedo after performing with the Blue Man Group at the 8th annual Latin Grammy awards. Lets just say  that the "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer went for it and dazzled a global audience.

What to wear: Luis Fonsi?'s global hit "Despacito" ruled the 18th annual Latin Grammys by winning all four nominations. His outfit from the televised performance is on display at the exhibit, among other featured artists. Another must is Juanes' jacket when in 2014 he performed a medley of his songs, including "La Camisa Negra."

The skirt: La Santa Cecilia's colorful skirt worn by singer La Marisoul at the 19th annual Latin Grammy awards as the group was nominated for best long form music video is bright, beautiful and bold. They all turned heads on the red carpet.

Women who rock: The 20th anniversary exhibit included a party with performances by Raquel Sofia and Flor de Toloache at the Grammy Museum's Clive Davis Theater. Raquel Sofia's soulful ballads such as "Tenemos Historia" mesmerized the crowd, but it was her homage to Aretha Franklin by singing "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin) that elevated the mood. Then, when the all-female mariachi Flor de Toloache took to the stage, it was another breathtaking set with songs such as "Besos de Mezcal." Bravo.


Grammy gold: The new exhibit also highlights the nomination process in great detail through visuals in addtion to each year's Latin Grammy program book with cover art--one artist paints artwork in the spirit of the Latin Grammys. The gallery features more than 40 recording acts and their songs,  including artists such as Juan Luis Guerra, Los Tigres del Norte, Marc Anthony, Mon Laferte, Sheila E., Tony Succor and Ximena Sariñana, among others.