Willy Chirino, César Costa, Carlos Do Carmo, Dúo Dinámico, Los Lobos, Valeria Lynch, and Ney Matogrosso will be honored with The Latin Recording Academy®’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and André Midani and Juan Vicente Torrealba are the recipients of the prestigious Trustees Award. The Special Awards honorees will be acknowledged at an invitation-only ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Hollywood Theatre at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino as part of the weeklong 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards® celebration.
“As we prepare to celebrate our first 15 years, the Latin GRAMMY Awards® not only continue the tradition of recognizing outstanding artists for their career achievements but honor their exemplary contributions to the world of Latin music,” said Gabriel Abaroa, President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. “It is with great pride that we pay homage to this diverse and exceptional group of honorees along with commemorating the indelible musical heritage they have bestowed upon us and the roads they have paved for the advantage of new generations. They are each truly masters of their genres and we look forward to welcoming them to the roster of iconic artists we have honored before them.”
Lifetime Achievement Awards: This Special Award is presented by vote of The Latin Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees to performers who have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording during their careers.
Emigrating from his native Cuba at age 14, singer, songwriter, musician, and producer Willy Chirino has built a musical career lasting more than four decades. Recognized as the creator of the “Miami sound” a fusion of Cuban music, rock, jazz, Brazilian and Caribbean rhythms — he has recorded more than 30 albums and composed more than 100 songs ― some recorded by legendary artists such as Celia Cruz, Gipsy Kings and Raphael. While devoted to his music (he won the 2005 GRAMMY® for Best Salsa/Merengue Album for Son Del Alma) he’s also a compassionate philanthropist. He launched the Willy Chirino Foundation in 1996 and has gone on to receive numerous honors for his humanitarian work including the United States Legion of Honor, Billboard‘s Spirit of Hope humanitarian award, and the Hispanic Heritage Award from the U.S. Department of State. His song “Nuestro Día (Ya Viene Llegando)” has become an anthem of hope for the Cuban émigrés.
Mexican singer, actor, producer, radio host, author, and mentor César Costa is the epitome of an music impresario. Beginning his career in 1958 as the lead singer of the musical group Los Camisas Negras, Costa’s solo career continued after the group disbanded. Costa’s success as a solo artist led to his first starring film role with the legendary Libertad Lamarque in 1962’s El Cielo Y La Tierra, which led to the launch of his personal production company, Costa Films. Throughout his career, he has recorded more than 35 albums that achieved record-breaking sales in Mexico, Europe, and Central and South America; starred in 17 films and three extremely successful television shows; authored an autobiography, Llegar A Ser; hosted the radio program “De Costa A Costa;” and led the creation of the Fundación Académica de la Industria de la Música, an effort to provide post-graduate training in the music industry for more than 500 professionals. In 2004 he was appointed UNICEF National Ambassador, a role in which he still actively serves. He continues to tour, to the great pleasure of his fans.
Hailing from Portugal, Carlos do Carmo is one of the greatest fado singers of his time. His mother, legendary singer Lucilia do Carmo, was a great influence on his career, which has lasted more than 50 years. While fado has been the core of his music, Carlos do Carmo’s distinctive style of singing is marked by the special timber of his voice along with his personal affinity for French pop balladry and Brazilian bossa nova, creating an unmistakable and definitive sound that distinguishes him as one of the most iconic voices of Portuguese music. Among his vast repertoire of songs, do Carmo is most recognized for “Lágrimas De Orvalho,” “Lisboa Menina E Moça” and “Canoas Do Tejo.” He has received international acclaim and has performed to sold-out crowds in landmark venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London, the L’Olympia in Paris and Carnegie Hall in New York. He played a key role in making fado part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Cultural Patrimony via his countless concerts, recordings and participation in director Carlos Saura’s 2007 film Fado. He continues touring actively.
Singers, composers, producers, and actors Ramón Arcusa and Manuel de la Calva, known as Dúo Dinámico, beginning their career in Barcelona, Spain in 1958, the Spanish pop super team scored, influenced and entertained generations of fans in Spain with popular hits such as “Quince Años Tiene Mi Amor,” “Quisiera Ser,” “Perdóname,” “Mari Carmen,” “Esos Ojitos Negros,” “Amor De Verano,” and “Resistiré,” propelling their popularity throughout Spain, Mexico and Latin America, and leading to starring roles in four films. The international dynamic duo produced hit records for Julio Iglesias, Miguel Gallardo, José Vélez and Paloma San Basilio. Nino Bravo, José Feliciano and Camilo Sesto also sang their songs. One of their greatest compositions, “La, La, La,” performed by Massiel won the 1968 Eurovision Song contest in London, resulting in the first win for Spain at the festival. “Quisiera Ser,” a musical based on their songs, played for a year in Madrid in 2007. Today, they continue to perform and tour within their country.
Emerging from East Los Angeles, Los Lobos (Cesar Rosas, Conrad Lozano, David Hidalgo, Louie Perez, and Steve Berlin) gained notoriety for their mix of traditional Mexican and popular American genres of music. The three-time GRAMMY-winning group’s eclectic blend of rock and roll, country, folk, R&B, blues and norteño music resulted in their signature style of “Chicano rock.” Inspired by the L.A. music scene of the ’80s and working with GRAMMY-winning producer T-Bone Burnett, their rendition of the Mexican classic “Anselma” garnered the group their first GRAMMY for Best Mexican-American Performance in 1983. The band recorded several Richie Valens songs for the 1987 biopic La Bamba, with their soundtrack earning double platinum status and exposing the band to an emerging, new market of Latin music aficionados. Los Lobos have recorded more than 20 albums and have collaborated with artists such as Ry Cooder, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Tom Waits, and Bobby Womack. They continue to create music that resonates with the audiences throughout the world.
Not only is singer/actress Valeria Lynch one of Argentina’s cultural treasures, in 1988 she was regarded by The New York Times as one of the five best voices in the world. She began her career by singing commercial jingles and performing in underground clubs in Buenos Aires. In the ’80s, Lynch rose to stardom by starring in the rock opera Evita for one year in Mexico. Her Eva Perón captivated audiences and intrigued the public who discovered her unique singing style and strong vocals. It was during this decade that she also released signature hits such as “Mentira,” and “Amiga Mia,” along with her triple-platinum album, Energía. She has collaborated with artists such as Jeffrey Osborne, Barry Manilow and José José; starred in several stage productions; hosted the television programs “Soñando Con Valeria” and “Mas Te Vale”; received numerous awards and recognitions both in Argentina and abroad; has recorded 30 albums; toured the entire globe; and performed more than 5000 concerts worldwide. She continues to perform in Latin America, and is both the founder and director of Escuela de Comedia Musical Valeria Lynch and Congreso Internacional de Musicales y Óperas Rock.
Ranked by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the three greatest Brazilian singers of all time, Ney Matogrosso has recorded nearly 50 albums over a career that spans more than four decades. Influenced by the glam-rock movement of the ’70s, Matogrosso became a member of the group Secos & Molhados. With his uncommon countertenor voice, energetic stage performances and eccentric costumes, he and the group became an overnight sensation. However, the union was short-lived and Matogrosso embarked on a solo career, garnering extraordinary success with hit singles such as “Homem Com H” and “Bandido Corazón.” Leaving his androgynous glam-rock persona behind, in 1986, Matogrosso began working with emerging composers Cazuza and Victor Ramil and revisited the traditional roots of Música Popular Brasileira. Forever regarded as challenging preconceptions and prejudices through his satiric and ironic performances, he has evolved into a very serious and well respected artist through his interpretations of classic standards. Matogrosso continues to tour and perform throughout Brazil and Europe.
Trustees Award: This Special Award is presented by vote of The Latin Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees to individuals who have made significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording during their careers.
The accomplishments of music executive, visionary and author André Midani have influenced and set successful trends that record labels have tried hard to replicate for decades. Beginning his career in sales at the French division of Decca Records in Paris in 1952, his love for music propelled him to a career in Brazil amid its new and burgeoning music scene. At EMI-Odeon (Brazil), he managed and led the launch of the bossa nova, creating a worldwide sensation in the global music market. In 1961 he founded Imperial Records, the first seller of door-to-door vinyl records ever created, with offices in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, and Mexico. His impressive résumé includes roles as president/general manager of several Latin American and North American entertainment divisions for companies such as Philips/PolyGram (Brazil), Capitol Records (Mexico), and Warner Music (Brazil and the Latin American Region). He has developed the artistic careers of Gilberto Gil, Chico Buarque, Elis Regina, Caetano Veloso, Luis Miguel, Mana, Café Tacvba, and Jorge Ben Jor among others. Midani is an acclaimed lecturer, cultural ambassador, leader of international organizations and producer of documentaries and artistic festivals.
One cannot discuss the beauty of Venezuela’s traditional llanera music without mentioning singer, composer and musician Juan Vicente Torrealba. Learning to play the guitar, cuatro and harp at an early age, he has created some of the most legendary melodies in his beloved country’s musical heritage. In 1947 he founded the group Los Torrealberos with his brother and son, proudly and passionately playing the folk music of the plains people. The following year he launched his solo career and has performed to crowds in Latin America, Europe, the United States, and Mexico ever since. Renowned for his mastery of the harp, he created the rich musical compositions “Madrugada Llanera,” “La Paraulata” and “Concierto En La Llanura.” He has recorded 130 albums, written more than 300 compositions and received numerous awards and accolades. His biography, Remembranzas, is scheduled to be released this year.
The Latin Recording Academy is an international, membership-based organization comprised of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking recording artists, musicians, songwriters, producers and other creative and technical recording professionals. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for Latin music and its makers. In addition to producing the Latin GRAMMY Awards to honor excellence in the recorded arts and sciences, The Latin Recording Academy provides educational and outreach programs for the Latin music community.