U.S. politics takes center stage at Latin Grammys

Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:06am EST
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By Mike Blake

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Enrique Iglesias and Uruguayan singer Jorge Drexler were the big winners at the annual Latin Grammys on Thursday in a ceremony where U.S. immigration politics played a prominent role.

Iglesias won three Latin Grammys, including song of the year, while Drexler and French-Chilean singer Ana Tijoux won record of the year for their song "Universos Paralelos".

Late Spanish flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, whose album "Cancion Andaluza" won album of the year, won two Latin Grammys, the Latin music industry's top honors. The renowned musician died of a heart attack in February at age 66.

But U.S. politics and President Barack Obama's new immigration order that could allow about 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the country was as much the focus as music during the televised ceremony in Las Vegas.

The start of the ceremony was preempted by Obama's speech announcing a new immigration order, a core issue for U.S. Hispanics.

The audience applauded the conclusion of Obama's speech, and Iglesias added his perspective while accepting the song of the year award for "Bailando" via video link from Paris.

"Tonight is not only an historic night for all Latino artists, but for all Latinos who live in the United States," the 39-year-old Spaniard said.

Colombian singer Carlos Vives, who won two awards, concluded his acceptance speech for best contemporary tropical album, "Mas + Corazon Profundo," by dedicating the award to Obama.   Continued...

Residente of Calle 13 performs "El Aguante". REUTERS/Mike Blake