The Latin Recording Academy just announced its 2021 Person of the Year, and it’s none other than Panamanian living legend Rubén Blades. The singer/songwriter, musician, activist, politician, actor and producer now joins the likes of Caetano Veloso, Shakira, Juan Luis Guerra, Emilio Estefan and more who have been given the same recognition in previous years.
Due to his commitment to social justice and his positive impact he’s had in the Latin American communities and beyond through his music and his activism, we can’t think of a better recipient of the 2021 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year distinction than Blades. In his decades-long career, he has created timeless classics like “Pedro Navaja” and “Plástico,” and he has always made an effort to share socially-conscious messages in his music, on tracks such as like “Buscando América,” “Desapariciones” and “Prohibido Olvidar.” He’s known for his extensive work in salsa, but he’s also collaborated with artists from diverse genres like reggaetón, rock, pop, and hip hop over the years.
“I am grateful to The Latin Academy for this recognition and I share it with everyone who has helped me throughout my artistic life,” Blades said in a press release. “Success is never the product of a sole individual’s effort, it’s the consequence of many contributions and the will and talent of other people. Today, I thank all those who made my successful career as a musician and composer possible.”
We can expect a star-studded gala in the context of the 22nd Annual Latin Grammy Awards later this year to celebrate Blades’ career, with artists and friends taking the stage to cover selections from the Panamanian singer’s incredible repertoire, all in benefit of the charitable efforts of the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation.
Details for the 2021 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year gala and the 22nd edition of the Latin Grammy Awards are still to be announced.