20 Years On, Looking at the Countries of Origin of the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year Honorees

Omar Cruz


The honorees hail from all over the world. Mexico, Spain and Brazil are the top countries of origin.

Juanes is the 20th recipient of the Latin Recording Academy's person of the year award. The Latin pop star is the second honoree who was born in Colombia, following Shakira, the 2011 recipient.

What are the countries of origin of the other honorees?  Let's take a look.

Five of the honorees were born in Mexico, more than any other country. They are Vicente Fernández (2002), Carlos Santana (2004), José José (2005), Juan Gabriel (2009) and three-quarters of the members of Maná (2018). (Santana emigrated to the U.S. circa 1957.)

Four of the honorees were born in Spain -- Julio Iglesias (2001), Plácido Domingo (2010), Joan Manuel Serrat (2014) and Alejandro Sanz (2017).

Three hail from Brazil -- Gilberto Gil (2003), Caetano Veloso (2012) and Roberto Carlos (2015).

Emilio Estefan (2000) and his wife Gloria Estefan (2008) were both born in Cuba. Both emigrated to the U.S. in their youth, Gloria in 1959 and Emilio in 1968.

Ricky Martin (2006) was born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory. Marc Anthony (2016), who was born in New York City, and Maná's Alex González, who was born in Miami, are the only honorees who were born in the continental U.S.

Of the two remaining honorees, Juan Luis Guerra (2007) was born in the Dominican Republic, while Miguel Bosé (2013) was born in Panama. (Bosé is truly a man of the world. Though born in Panama, he is a Spaniard and has honorary Colombian citizenship.)

Gloria Estefan is the only honoree who has received both this award and MusiCares' person of the year award. She took that prize in 1994.


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