Latin Grammys Backstage Report

There were a couple of big winners at last night’s Latin Grammy’s ceremony, namely Juanes and Gloria Estefan. You heard their acceptance speeches, now find out what they said backstage.

The night’s big winner was, of course, Juanes, who took home five awards, making him the winner of the most Latin Grammys ever with 17.

For being the big man of the ceremonies, he was very low-key: “I feel happy, very grateful to the music, to God, to the Academy," he said. "When you see Jose Feliciano, Santana or Gloria Estefan onstage, you realize how much there is left to do. At the same time, you’re happy because so much is being done, Café Tacuba and other people are doing incredible things.”

What’s next for Juanes? “The next thing for me is a long vacation. We’ve been on tour for a long, long time.”

Juanes opened the ceremony with a rendition of his hit song “Me Enamora,” followed by a duet with John Legend, “If You Are Out There.” Does that mean Juanes is thinking of going the Shakira route and singing in English?

“No. I don’t have that planned and it doesn’t interest me to have a CD in English. I’ll keep singing in Spanish. I feel comfortable in Spanish. I’m Columbian, I think in Spanish. That’s the language I feel.”

Asked what he thinks of this place in his career: “As I’m standing here, I look back on my career. In reality it’s been 20 years since I started this. There were many years in Columbia and then the last eight years have been much more intense. I’m very grateful for what we have with the fans, for what we’re doing with the music, for the Academy. We’re discovering ourselves as artists all the time more and more.”

How hard it was to keep four-letter words out of his acceptance speeches?

“It’s impossible to be so happy and not say some of those words, ‘What the fuck, I won the Grammy!’ For me, it’s important and I can keep my cool for so long, but then it’s just going to burst out – ‘Fuck, I won!’ But I mean that in a way in good way.”

Juanes has previously had trouble with airport security during his touring around the world, but not this trip. “When I got to immigration here at the airport in Houston, the police officer was Mexican and he was very cool," he said. "We took a photo together. I told my friend, ‘Hey, if the immigration police are taking their photos with us, this is a good sign.’”

And finally, a word on our new President-elect: “If I [were] American, I would have voted for Obama.” - Olivia Flores Alvarez

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray