Latino music stars were out in force Sunday night for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards with Bruno Mars taking home his second prize and Draco Rosa, who continues his fight with cancer, winning his first.
Mars, 28 – whose real name is Peter Hernandez – took home the award for best pop vocal album for “Unorthodox Jukebox.” He was nominated four more times – losing to Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams for record of the year, Lorde for song of the year and best pop solo performance and to Lana del Rey for best remixed recording.
"Ma, I know you're watching. I hope you're smiling. I love you very much," said Mars, remembering his mother, who passed away last year. Mars' father attended the awards show.
Rosa, who will be told Monday if he is officially cancer free, took home best pop Latin album for “Vida,” in which he collaborated with famed musicians like Juanes, Mana, Ricky Martin, Juan Luis Guerra, Ruben Blades and Shakira. The album also won the album of the year at the Latin Grammys last year.
“(Now) that I am going through my second treatment, and if God is willing will be my last fight against cancer, what better way to celebrate music for all of its blessings. Thank you to the academy for recognizing the musician’s efforts to express themselves freely,” Rosa said in a statement in Spanish that was translated by jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca, one of the hosts of the non-televised portion of the show.
Rosa was diagnosed with stomach cancer for the first time in February 2011 and in December 2012, he announced he had survived the illness. His producer Angelo Medina confirmed last December that Rosa was suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Mexican-American band, La Santa Cecilia, took home best Latin rock, urban or alternative album for “Treinta Días.” The Los Angeles-based band, who included tracks about immigration in its repertoire, dedicated their award to the undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
“We are very proud of being children of immigrants or immigrants in this country and I believe that winning a Grammy positively reflects the beauty of immigration and what people are capable of,” said Marisol Hernández. “We dedicate this to the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants that live in this country, that are our parents, brothers, sisters and friends. This is for them, so they feel inspired and continue to work hard.”
Michael Bublé beat out Gloria Estefan to take home the best traditional pop vocal album, while Cuban musician Paquito D’Rivera and Brazil's Trio Corrente took home best Latin jazz album. Venerated Mexican singer-composer, Armando Manzanero, was among the seven artists recognized with a lifetime achievement award.
Daft Punk and collaborator Pharrell Williams won four awards, including top honors album and record of the year, and best new artists Macklemore and Lewis matched that with four of their own.
Beyond their awards, each offered one of the more powerful moments at the Sunday night ceremony at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo of Daft Punk continued the celebratory feel of their hit, record of the year "Get Lucky," by asking Stevie Wonder to join them with Williams and Nile Rodgers in a colorful performance. And Macklemore and Lewis invited 33 couples, including some of the same sex, to get married with Madonna serenading them and Queen Latifah presiding.
Queen Latifah, who was certified by the state of California to perform the wedding ceremony, spoke out after the show about rap being more inclusive.
"I think this is exactly what hip-hop is capable of," she said. "When I started rapping it was much more common for rappers to speak about different things going on in the world. We're part of the reason that apartheid (in South Africa) was changed. ... Or violence in the communities or anything that was some type of social injustice we've always been able to talk about through hip-hop."
Kacey Musgraves explored similar themes in winning awards for best country album for "Same Trailer Different Park" and country song "Merry Go 'Round," categories that Taylor Swift seemed destined to win given her history with the Grammys. Musgraves also performed a neon-inflected version of "Follow Your Arrow," a song that includes the line "Kiss lots of boys/or kiss lots of girls/if that's something you're into," among other socially-charged messages.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.