The excitement leading up to the 16th Annual Latin Grammys did not disappoint. The biggest winner Thursday night was Mexican singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade, who won in four out of the five categories she was nominated in, including “Song of the Year” and “Record of the Year” with her track “Hasta la Raiz”.
The most prestigious award, “Album of the Year”, went to Dominican icon and bachata artist Juan Luis Guerra for “Todo Tiene su Hora.” The artists thanked his fellow nominees and tweeted: “An honor sharing this award with the nominees! Thanks to LatinGRAMMYs. We feel blessed and give glory to our Lord Jesus!”
Will Smith brought flavor to the floor and made his long-awaited return to the stage alongside Bomba Estereo performing their single “Fiesta (Remix).” The band expressed their excitement on Twitter, writing: “No words to describe this emotion! ‘Viva la vida viva la música y Colombia!’ Thank you, Will Smith.”
Fifth Harmony hit the stage with reggaeton singer Maluma and gave a sizzling performance of their new song “Sin Contrato.”
The legendary Rita Moreno declared herself a reggaeton lover and showed off her best moves on stage when presenting an award with singer Enrique Santos.
Although the night celebrated the musicians changing the face of Latin music, it also served as a reminder of the Latin force in American politics. During their acceptance speech for “Best Pop/Rock Album”, Maná urged Hispanic voters to user their voting power in the upcoming 2016 elections.
"This is how we can use our power," lead singer Fher Olvera said, "We have to exercise our right to vote, and vote for those who will give more quality (of life) to Latinos, to the candidates. Use your strength, Latinos!"
The band also surprised fans with Los Tigres del Norte and performed the song “Somos Mas Americanos”, which stands for “We are more American.” At the end of their performance, the artists held up a banner that read, in Spanish, "Latinos unite. Don't vote for racists."
Voto Latino president María Teresa Kumar tweeted her support for the band with the hashtag "We are more 2016."