The Latin Recording Academy® announced today that Martinho da Vila, Emmanuel, Sheila E. & Pete Escovedo, Fito Páez, Millie Quezada, Joaquín Sabina and Gilberto Santa Rosa will receive this year's Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, Guillermo "Memo" Acosta and Egidio Cuadrado will receive the Trustees Award. The honorees will be celebrated during a private ceremony executive produced by Eduardo Osorio at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas on Nov. 17, 2021, as part of the 22nd Annual Latin GRAMMY week.
"We are delighted to recognize this remarkable group of legendary artists, who remain very active, with this year's Lifetime Achievement and Trustees Awards," said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. "Their outstanding accomplishments have created a timeless legacy within the Latin music world and beyond, and we look forward to honoring and celebrating each of them during Latin GRAMMY Week as we return to Las Vegas this November with our resilient community of Latin music lovers."
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to performers who have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to Latin music and its communities. The Trustees Award is bestowed on individuals who have made significant contributions to Latin music during their careers in ways other than performance. Both distinctions are voted on by The Latin Recording Academy's Board of Trustees.
2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees:
Martinho da Vila (Brazil)
Martinho da Vila delves into the very essence of Brazilian music — the soul of percolating samba and its many permutations — including the wide-encompassing movement known as MPB (música popular brasileira). His 1969 self-titled solo debut LP featured gorgeous sambas that swung effortlessly, leaving behind a sweet aftertaste of longing and nostalgia. Since then, da Vila has recorded almost an album per year, selling millions of records while forming a close bond with samba school Unidos de Vila Isabel and exploring a wide variety of styles in his compositions. The soulful "Canta, Canta, Minha Gente," the velvety "Mulheres" and the achingly beautiful "Casa De Bamba" are among his many hits. His works have earned him three Latin GRAMMYs.
Mexican singer Emmanuel is one of the few performers who established balada as a song format overflowing with beauty and depth. His debut LP, Diez Razones Para Cantar, that included songs he wrote, came out in 1977, when the balada aesthetic was reaching a pinnacle of baroque opulence. Al Final (1979) became an international hit two years later, and in 1980 he recorded his fourth album, titled Íntimamente, which sold millions of copies around the world and boasted massive hits like "Insoportablemente Bella," "El Día Que Puedas," "Quiero Dormir Cansado" and "Todo Se Derrumbó." From that moment on, songs like "La Chica de Humo," "Toda la Vida," "Bella Señora," " Sentirme Vivo" and "La Última Luna" became part of the soundtrack of the life of his faithful fans.
Pete Escovedo/ Sheila E. (U.S.)
To watch father and daughter Pete Escovedo and Sheila E. playing together is an unforgettable experience: two brilliant percussionists breathing in unison to the syncopated beat. Pete Michael Escovedo fell in love with Afro-Caribbean music as a young man and decided to follow his passion, founding a jazz sextet with family members that evolved into the iconic Chicano rock band Azteca in 1972. Five years later, Escovedo launched a solo career, unifying elements of jazz, salsa and Latin soul under the elegant groove of his timbales. Born in a musical family Sheila Cecilia Escovedo, made a name for herself in the late '70s as the fiery percussionist with The George Duke Band. Global success followed when Prince asked her to join the Purple Rain sessions. Performing as part of Prince's touring band, Sheila cooked up an exquisite hybrid of pop, funk and Latin that would anchor mega-hits "The Glamorous Life" and "A Love Bizarre."
Fito Páez (Argentina)
One of the most brilliant singer/songwriters to emerge from Argentina, Fito Páez has redefined the essence of Latin pop-rock. He became an instant national star in 1985 with his second album, Giros, and hit a majestic peak of critical and commercial success in 1994 with El Amor Después Del Amor, a masterpiece steeped in Beatlesque pop with hints of Argentine folk that included hits like "A Rodar Mi Vida" and "Un Vestido Y Un Amor." Páez's tender lyrics and anthemic hooks have consistently transcended his country of origin and have landed him eight Latin GRAMMYs and a GRAMMY®.
Milly Quezada (Dominican Republic)
In a field dominated by men until her arrival in the '70s, Milly Quezada single-handedly changed the history of merengue through the warmth and exuberant energy of her voice. Always true to the authentic roots of the Dominican Republic's quintessential dance genre, she quickly established herself as "the queen of merengue." As a teen, she formed the group Milly, Jocelyn & Los Vecinos with her sister and brothers, and enjoyed a succession of hits like "Volvió Juanita," that allowed her to tour the Americas, Europe and even Japan. Quezada took an extended break from the limelight following the tragic death of her husband in 1996, but returned as a solo artist the following year, cementing her reputation as a Dominican legend thanks to classics like "Entre Tu Cuerpo Y El Mío," "Toma Mi Vida," "Porque Me Amaste" and "Para Darte Mi Vida." She has received three Latin GRAMMYs.
Joaquín Sabina (Spain)
Joaquín Sabina has elevated the art of writing songs in Spanish to unsuspected heights, building a musical universe marked by his eccentric but simple forays into confessional poetry and wry sociopolitical observation which has influenced several generations. The release of his second album, 1980’s Malas Compañías, created a stir with timeless hits “Calle Melancolía” and "Pongamos Que Hablo De Madrid." Sabina's mercurial combination of folk, rock and balada idioms, coupled with his stark and bluesy delivery, complexed sense of humor and an uncanny ability to express complex feelings in his lyrics, has made him hugely popular in Spain and the Americas and to date, active as always, is followed by at least three generations.
Gilberto Santa Rosa (Puerto Rico)
Gilberto Santa Rosa is one of the few salsa artists to emerge in the '80s, as the genre's explosion of the previous decade was experiencing an inevitable decline. Following brief stints with popular Puerto Rican orchestras of the '70s, he was enlisted by pioneering bandleader Willie Rosario in 1981, cementing his reputation as a rootsy salsa singer. By the time of his solo debut, Good Vibrations, in 1986, the five-time Latin GRAMMY winner had assimilated the honeyed salsa romántica style popular at the time, merging it with the raucous tropical grooves that he treasured. This remarkable balance informs such massive hits as "La Agarro Bajando," "Conteo Regresivo," "Conciencia" and "Que Alguien Me Diga," as well as his electrifying concert performances.
2021 Trustees Award Honorees:
Guillermo "Memo" Acosta (Mexico)
A prolific producer and songwriter blessed with an unerring instinct for discovering new talent, Memo Acosta has been a key figure in the development of Latin music since the '50s, both through his work as A&R with Discos Musart and as the founder of his own record label Discos GAS. Forming lifelong friendships with some of the brightest musical stars of his time, Acosta established a reputation for spotting promising singers and songwriters in genres as varied as bolero, ranchera and even rock, and has been involved in the production of over 4,000 albums, including Nat King Cole's legendary LPs in Spanish. One of the first executives to advocate for, and take strong action against music piracy, Acosta always lead all aspects of the industry with fervor.
Egidio Cuadrado (Colombia)
Egidio Cuadrado began playing the accordion at age six and eventually became one of the instruments most respected masters, participating in many vallenato festivals and competitions in his native Colombia. In the early '90s, Carlos Vives enlisted him for a tropical orchestra, La Provincia, that sought to keep the spirit of vallenato alive by blending it with contemporary pop-rock idioms. This led to several collaborations between the two artists, including the 1995 masterpiece La tierra del olvido, with Cuadrado's accordion occupying a lead role throughout the album. A natural live performer, Cuadrado embodies the zest of Colombian folklore, inspiring a new generation of musicians to keep the tradition alive.
Latin GRAMMY Week will culminate with the 22nd Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards®, which will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Nov. 18, 2021, beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT) on Univision.
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ABOUT THE LATIN RECORDING ACADEMY:
The Latin Recording Academy® is an international nonprofit dedicated to nurturing, celebrating, honoring and elevating Latin music and its creators. Established as the global authority on Latin music, the membership-based organization composed of music professionals, produces the annual Latin GRAMMY Awards®, The Biggest Night in Latin Music®, which honors excellence in the recording arts and sciences, in addition to providing educational and outreach programs for the music community through its Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation®. For more information, please visit.