Colombian musicians were big winners at tonight’s Latin Grammys, with the Shakira and Carlos Vives collaboration “La Bicicleta” taking home top honors for Song of the Year and Record of the Year. The world-famous songstress and genre-blending vallenato legend got together earlier this year to release the hit that has been dominating the airwaves for months in their home country.
Clearly, it has resonated much further. In addition to winning the two biggest song awards this evening in Paradise, Nevada, and rising to number one on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, their song made the rare leap for a Spanish track into the Billboard Hot 100.
It is fitting that the song that further vaulted Colombia up the global charts is a celebration of the nation’s Caribbean coast.
The lyrics include callouts to Shakira’s home of Barranquilla and the nearby city of Santa Marta. The video features the pair riding their bikes through the sandy coastal city known as La Arenosa. In the ending crescendo, with joyous exaltation, she serenades her real-life partner, Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué, to tell him that he will never want to return to Barcelona after laying eyes on the breathtaking beaches in Tayrona Park.
Unfortunately, due to her son falling ill, Shakira wasn’t on hand to accept her awards or perform the duet. But Vives was there to play for the crowd and made sure to thank his collaborator for helping craft the runaway hit. “I want to thank Shakira for falling in love with the song, and I was extremely happy that we could do things together,” Vives told the Hollywood Reporter. “We’re very sorry she’s not here with us.”
Vives is now an 11-time Latin Grammy winner. Shakira has now won 11 trophies over the years as well — the most by any woman — including the esteemed Person of the Year award at the 2012 Latin Grammys. Both stars also have two Grammys.
It was another duo who truly stole the show, however. In the most talked-about moment of the night, Jennifer Lopez joined former spouse Marc Anthony on stage together for a live rendition of “Olvidame y Pega la Vuelta” to close out a medley performance.
It was Lopez’s first-ever performance at the Latin Grammys, and her follow up was even more explosive. The one-time couple, who have two children together, set social media ablaze when they sealed the night with a kiss.
Vives was among the many who clapped along loudly as Anthony accepted his Person of the Year Award. The two friends performed together this year at a special concert in Medellín in August. It was both a highlight of the city’s renowned annual Flower Festival and a celebration of the Santa Marta singer’s 55th birthday.
“Marc is a living legend,” said Lopez as she presented the trophy. “He is a magical and pure artist giving away classics that will stay forever … It gives me great pride to give the Person of the Year award to my love, Marc Anthony.”
Colombian singer Fonseca also came away from the night heavily decorated. One of the most-nominated artists of the night, the Bogoteá-born singer won Best Cumbia/Vallenato Album for “Homenaje (A La Música de Diomedes Díaz)” and Best Tropical Song for “Vine A Buscarte.” These were the fifth and sixth Latin Grammys he has won during his career.
Continuing the triumph for Colombia was rising star Manuel Medrano of Cartagena. The 29-year-old won Best Songwriting Album for his self-titled work “Manuel Medrano” as well as Best New Artist.
J Balvin, a producer, rapper, and reggaeton/hip hop musician from Medellín, won Best Urban Music Album for “Energía.” His music has been heavily influenced by time spent in New York during his adolescence and is now garnering him award-winning acclaim for blending Latin and U.S. stylings. The album features the popular singles “Ginza” and “Safari,” which features U.S. super-producer Pharrell.
J Balvin exploded on the world in like a hurricane in 2014 with his world-shaking hits “6 AM’ and “Ay Vamos,” one of the few YouTube videos to have ever generated more than one billion views. On the strength of these popularity, he won Best New Artist, as well as Latin Rhythm Songs Artist of the Year and Latin Rhythm Song of the Year, at the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Awards.