Caetano Veloso, the fabled musician, writer, filmmaker, all-around intellectual and founder of Tropicalia, the revolutionary Brazilian cultural movement, was feted as the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year with an all-star tribute Nov. 14, on the eve of the Latin Grammys.
The Veloso homage took place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and included performances by Natalie Cole, Nelly Furtado, Alexandre Pires, Juanes and Alejandro Sanz. The celebration came just months after Veloso’s 70th birthday and a few weeks after the release of “A Tribute to Caetano Veloso,” a collection of Veloso covers by the likes of Jeff Beck, Chrissie Hynde, Seu Jorge and Jorge Drexler.
That spirit of collaboration was alive at the Person of the Year dinner, with duets performed by Alexandre Pires with Natalia LaFourcade and La Mala Rodríguez with Enrique Bunbury. At 70, Veloso has covered a lot of ground, and the artists who paid homage to him ran the gamut from young to old, from Brazilian (Milton Nascimento, Toquinho, Seu Jorge to Latin American icons like Tania Libertad. The evening was hosted by Mexican singer/songwriter Julieta Venegas and by Academy CEO Gabriel Abaroa, who was also recognized for his 10 years as head of the Latin Grammys.