Some artists Boycott Latin Grammys
Thursday, September 14th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
LOS ANGELES (AP) â€” Mariachi superstar Pepe Aguilar and officials with the largest Latin record label in the United States boycotted the inaugural Latin Grammys on Wednesday to protest what they saw as a bias in favor of big-name performers more familiar to American audiences.
Aguilar and the music label, Fonovisa, argued that there weren't enough popular Mexican styles â€” like norteno, tejano and ranchera â€” nominated for the biggest awards or invited to perform.
Guests at the two-hour show criticized attention focused on the dispute.
``Before people talk they should get educated,'' said Emilio Estefan Jr., who is married to singer Gloria Estefan and was nominated for six awards for his work as a producer for various artists, including Ricky Martin. ``I was very disappointed about that. ... I hope these awards will unite people.''
Estefan said that ``only a few people'' had complained about the nominations, which were made in 40 categories. Some 2,600 academy members from 15 countries voted for the nominees in Spanish and Portuguese-language music.
Fonovisa's acts got five of some 200 nominations. Three of them won but the performers did not accept the awards in person.
Mercedes Sosa, who won a Grammy for best folk album, said the show would help introduce a worldwide audience to the breadth and depth of Latin culture.
``For the first time, popular music of Latin America is being recognized,'' Sosa said backstage. ``These prizes are very, very important.''
At the 42nd annual Grammy Awards in February, Latin music was honored in eight categories, including salsa, merengue, Mexican-American performance and tejano.
The Latin Grammys began as an offshoot of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, which produces the Grammys, to capitalize on a growing interest in Latin music. The telecast was to be seen in more than 120 countries.
On the Net:
Latin Grammys: http://www.grammy.com/laras