The Latin Recording Academy announced early this morning their nominations for the 22nd Latin Grammy Awards. Among those nominated are Spanish artist Beatriz Luengo and Yotuel for Song of The Year and Best Urban Song for the track “Patria Y Vida,” which has become the Cuban freedom anthem. The awards for Best Urban Song and Song Of The Year go to the songwriters, which for “Patria Y Vida” were Beatriz Luengo, Descemer Bueno, El Funky, Gente De Zona, Yadam González, Maykel Osorbo, and Yotuel.
“These nominations are probably the most emotional ones because they’re for a song that we wrote with the intention of not only inspiring our fellow Cubans but also to raise awareness of the situation in our country. The fact that it became such an important piece of the unprecedented protests for freedom that began in July in Cuba has helped this song take on a whole new life, and we’re very appreciative of it,” Yotuel said about his nominations.
Released in February of this year, the song became the unofficial anthem as the Cuban people shouted this phrase as they protested in the streets against the government. The song’s title is a play on “Patria o Muerte” (homeland or death), a famous slogan associated with the rise of the communist leader Fidel Castro in the late ‘50s.
Singer Camila Cabello closed out her opening performance at the 2021 Billboard Latin Music Awards by leading the audience in a chant. “For my people who suffered but won’t stay quiet. For my beautiful people and my Cuban land. My country asks for freedom. No more dictatorship. Let’s not chant ‘homeland or death,’ but ‘homeland and life.’ Patria y Vida! Vida! Vida!”
Since the protest began in early July 2021, Youtel and many other artists and activists have spoken up and engaged with the European Parliament as part of an EU-Cuban Human Rights Dialogue. The singer was also among a select group of Cuban-Americans invited to the White House for a dialogue with President Biden to discuss how to best support Cubans on the island. In addition, Yotuel was awarded the Cuban American Alliance for Leadership and Education (CAALE)’s prestigious Martí Award for his contributions to Cuba’s fight for freedom and the leadership role he’s assumed since the protests started.
Beatriz Luengo is one of the most successful songwriters of her generation. Besides writing her own music, which has resulted in praises and nominations, she’s also written for movie soundtracks and artists such as Thalia, Jennifer Lopez, Daddy Yankee, Ozuna, Wisin, Yandel, and Ricky Martin, for whom she wrote “La Mordidita,” which has garnered over a billion views.
“Thank you to all of our peers in the industry for voting for our song to be nominated for the Latin GRAMMYs. I’ve been blessed to be nominated before, but this time around it’s even more special because Maykel Osorbo, who’s one of the songwriters and rappers in the song, is in jail back in Cuba only because he was involved in this song,” Beatriz Luengo said.
Around the same time that the Grammy-nominated track hit the airwaves, Luego joined HBO Max for their concert series special, Havana Street Party Presents: Beatriz Luengo. The special is meant to remind viewers of the beauty and culture that fills this island through a series of concerts by artists who have nothing but love and passion for their Latin culture.
“Having the opportunity to work with HBO on this special project has opened a beautiful door for me to talk about my album Cuerpo y Alma,” said Luengo. “Havana was the perfect setting for this album. That’s why the ‘Havana Street Party Presents’ series was the perfect format to tell my story. Like my music, Havana is a mix of the past and present, melancholy and trap, tradition, and technology, and it created an intimate encounter where I was able to speak to you as a composer and as a restless woman who wants to unite the world.”
Yotuel is a two-time Latin Grammy winner and has been nominated 13 times, including this year’s nods. Luengo has been nominated 11 times to the Latin GRAMMYs, including this year’s nominations, nominated for a GRAMMY, and has won a GRAMMY for “Best Latin Album.”
The 22nd Latin Grammy Awards will return to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 18, airing live on Univision beginning at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. CT). Following the telecast is the Latin Grammy Premiere Ceremony, held at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where the winners in most categories will be announced.