At 2 p.m., three hours before the 10 Annual Latin Grammy Award’s live broadcast is set to begin, a crowd is pressed up against the barricades outside the Mandalay Bay Events Center waiting for the biggest names in Latin music to arrive. Decked out in suits, tuxedos, ball gowns and the occasional pair of jeans, the stars parade by to a chorus of cheers and camera flashes. I walk by, too. Instead of wearing sequins or rhinestones, I’m in a dress that straddles the line between work wear and party time. The crowd searches my face for recognizable features and, finding nothing, goes back to staring down the hallway waiting for the rest of the important people to arrive.
Like most awards shows, the 49 categories that the Latin Grammys award are far too many for its three-hour time slot on Univision. Add performances by revered recording artists like Alejandro Sanz – sharing the stage with 12-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys – and a joint performance of “La Perla” by Puerto Rican hip-hoppers Calle 13 and Rubén Blades, and you’ve got a packed show with room for a dozen or so award presentations tops.
I’ll be following the action from the pressroom and Events Center here in a live blog starting at 5 p.m., but before that gets started, here are a few highlights you missed during the pre-telecast award ceremony:
Three languages sound from the stage during the first half hour of the ceremony. Spanish dominates, of course, but English and Portuguese also fill the Mandalay Bay Events Center as singers, bands, music video producers and writers take the stage to accept their awards.
Host Barbara Palacios looks incredible in a flowing, gray, one-shoulder gown. The former Miss Universe has only improved since her Panama City crowning in 1986.
Calle 13 goes three for three on awards during the pre-show. Still awaiting the high-profile awards for Recording of the Year and Album of the Year, the duo has already taken home Grammys for Best Short Form Music Video, Best Urban Music Album and Best Alternative Song. Not a bad haul for the most nominated artists at this year’s Grammys.
Mercedes Sosa is remembered with two Grammy nods.The iconic Argentine singer passed away just one month before this year’s ceremony on October 4, but her legacy and her most recent album, Cantora 1 & 2, are recognized with the awards for Best Folk Album and Best Recording Package. She’ll have to battle Calle 13, however Album of the Year recognition.