On Wednesday morning (Jan. 10), the Recording Academy announced another round of performers for the 2018 Grammys, which now include Puerto Rican mega stars Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi. It forced us to ponder: What other Latin acts have performed live at the Grammy Awards?
For the unfamiliar, Latin performances at the Grammys are ultra-rare — unicorn-rare. Less than a dozen Latin acts have performed live at the awards show in the past 30 years. Considering the exponential growth of U.S. Latinos and their current buying power, its a wonder so few have been seen on that illustrious stage.
So, what Latin stars have been on the Grammy stage? Back in 1988, Celia Cruz and Tito Puente performed the classic “Quimbara” at Radio City Music Hall. Then, in 1989, Linda Ronstadt marked a new day with her riveting mariachi spectacle of “La Charreada.”
Gloria Estefan performed twice: Once in 1990 performing a bilingual version of “Dont Want To Lose You/Si Voy a perderte,” and in 1994 with the very Latin “Mi Tierra,” accompanied by an all-star Latin band.
Perhaps the most memorable Latin performance at a Grammy Awards show was Ricky Martin singing his career-breaking “The Cup of Life” in 1999.
He was followed by Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez singing “Escapémonos” together in 2005; Shakira and Wyclef setting the roof on fire with “Hips Don’t Lie” in 2007; Juanes performing “Juntos” in 2015; and a Pitbull medley of “El Taxi” and “Bad Man” that included a dancing Sofia Vergara in 2016. And of course, Carlos Santana performed his epic “Smooth” in 2000 when he swept the awards.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee are slated to join the ranks on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. ET on CBS, live from Madison Square Garden. See some of the past Latin performances below.
Linda Ronstadt for “La Charreada” (1989)
Ricky Martin for “The Cup of Life” (1999)
Marc Anthony & Jennifer Lopez for “Escapémonos” (2005)
Shakira & Wyclef for “Hips Don’t Lie” (2007)
Juanes for “Juntos” (2015)
Pitbull for “El Taxi” and “Bad Man” (2016)