Kany García was among the Latin leaders awarded at the inaugural event of the Latin Grammy

LAS VEGAS, NV. — No one better than them to know that theirs is not a bed of roses. Faced with a system that has been permanently dominated by men, female entertainment professionals have had to deal with all kinds of problems throughout their careers, as was made clear in the words spoken during the sixth edition of “Leading Ladies of Entertainment”, the first event of the Latin Grammy week in the city of Las Vegas.

At the beginning of the ceremony, the executive director of the Latin Recording Academy, Manuel Abud (there had to be at least one man on the stage of the Islander Ballroom of the Mandalay Bay North Convention Center, where the activity took place), made it clear that this was the first time in two years that the tribute event could be held in person due to what happened with the pandemic, which led the institution headed by the corresponding sponsors to offer a gala of authentic luxury, with a particularly wide stage and a giant screen of very particular dimensions.

The middle part of the ceremony, which has previously recognized Selena Gómez, Lila Downs and María Elena Salinas, among others, found the best-known person of the group on the same podium, Kany García, who was introduced by Afo Verde, president of Sony Music Latin-Iberia, with a heartfelt speech.

“There are artists who can play great or who have a great stage presence, but it is difficult to find all of that together and even more in a wonderful person, like Kany, who is funny, intelligent and super professional,” said the executive. Argentinian, who met the Puerto Rican singer-songwriter in 2007, when she had just released her first album, “Cualquier día”, “In addition, she always defends her flags and raises her voice on behalf of those who cannot do so.”

The video that was projected afterwards, recorded during a concert by García in the city of Madrid, showed the Puerto Rican vocalist talking about her career, about how much her mother -a frustrated singer- and Mercedes Sosa -a legendary composer- influenced her – and how difficult it was to break through in an industry so marked by the male hand.

It was something that the six-time Latin Grammy winner developed further when offering her own speech, in which she stated that she was an insecure girl and that the fact of “liking women” did not make things easy either, although The first song she composed, at the age of 15, was dedicated to an ex-boyfriend who broke up with her.

“I had to be my own ‘role model,’” she commented, before thanking her “lady wife” for her support, Jocelyn Trochez, and after admitting that she was much more nervous than she expected. “Being here is to continue creating uncomfortable conversations. It is very good to have great singer-songwriters like Joaquín Sabina, Juan Luis Guerra, Marco Antonio Solís and Fito Páez, but we need female names that are placed at the same level”.

The other woman dedicated to musical art who was celebrated during this ceremony was Janina Rosado, pianist and director of 4.40, the famous group led by Juan Luis Guerra. After an emotional introduction by Millie Quezada, who is classified as the “Queen of Merengue” -and who, like Rosado, is Dominican-, a video was shown showing the many virtues of a lady who, In addition to being an accomplished instrumentalist, she has demonstrated her skills in the complex work of record production – which she has already carried out for a long time with Guerra – and also worked closely with the recently deceased Johnny Ventura, another titan of the genre.

“I wish there were more women in the production, direction and arrangements, outside of what it is to be a singer-songwriter and guitarist, with Kany’s forgiveness,” said the multifaceted artist when she found herself on stage. “Women have another way of making music.”

On the same podium, Rosado thanked not only Guerra and Ventura for the opportunities they gave her, but also her husband Juan de la Cruz, better known as “Chocolate,” who is himself one of the most acclaimed drummers in the Republic. Dominican Republic and who also played in the Ventura orchestra.

The first minutes of the event were dedicated to Rocío Guerrero, who has not been alien to musical interpretation and who, in fact, is a virtuoso violinist, but who is mainly recognized for her work as director of the Latin division of Amazon Music.

Guerrero was presented by Rebeca León, current manager of such popular artists as Rosalía and Ozuna and former representative of J Balvin and Juanes. León commented that the winner played an essential role in the explosion of the urban movement by creating “Baila reggaetón”, one of the most successful ‘playlists’ of all time, when it was part of Spotify, although the video that was seen immediately after left It is clear that Guerrero, raised by a father who adored Joaquín Sabina and Bob Dylan and a mother who was a fan of classical music, was also in the ranks of Warner Music.

“I have to thank Rebeca, because she was the one who told me, ‘you have to fight for money,’” Guerrero said at the podium, using English, unlike the other participants. “Everything is possible if you work hard; no matter how big your dreams are. I believed in a town in the middle of nowhere, but I never set limits for myself”.

Like her, the last winner was Spanish, although hers seemed to be going in a different direction, because it was Rosa Lagarrigue, who has played a fundamental role in the history of pop made in the Motherland. Through her agency RLM, she herself had a lot to do with the development of the careers of figures such as Miguel Bosé, Mecano, Alejandro Sanz and Ana Torroja.

Torroja was precisely the presenter of the segment dedicated to Lagarrigue, offering a few words full of nostalgia and recognition in which she recalled the way in which the representative gave her both professional and emotional support during the first stage of the Mecano group, and in which she celebrated also the fact that the aforementioned works with a mostly female team.

“I have been in the music industry for 44 years, and it is a source of pride as a woman and as a professional to receive this recognition,” said the experienced manager after the screening of her respective video. “There are still many women missing [en este negocio], but I am optimistic; and the good thing is that we all have a good relationship, a certain complicity”.

He did not stop referring directly to Torroja, who remained by his side, and with whom he has been working for 38 years. “I will always defend what I do, because there are very few artists who have gone far without a ‘management’, without a team at their side”, he concluded.

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Kany García was among the Latin leaders awarded at the inaugural event of the Latin Grammy