Angela Álvarez, a 95-year-old Cuban singer-songwriter who only began performing in her older age. But last night, Álvarez also proved that it’s never too late to receive one of the most esteemed honors for an emerging Latin musician: a Latin Grammy for Best New Artist.
In one of the most exciting coronations of last night’s ceremony at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay, Álvarez won the Best New Artist award. As yet another twist, Álvarez shared the title with Mexican musician Silvana Estrada, a rare tie. Going into the awards, Álvarez had already made Latin Grammys history as the awards’ oldest Best New Artist nominee.
Forbidden by her family from becoming a singer in her youth, Álvarez settled into married life and started a family. During the Cuban Revolution, she sent her children to the United States as part of Operation Peter Pan, and didn’t see them for years. Finally, as an older woman, she got the long-overdue chance to pursue writing and performing music. She released her debut, self-titled album in 2021.
“To those who have yet to make their dreams come true, know that although life is hard, there’s always a way out,” Álvarez shared during her acceptance speech. “And with faith and love, everything can be achieved.”
Angela Alvarez, la persona más longeva en ganar un Latin GRAMMY
Other big winners of the night include Rosalía, who took home Album of the Year for her third album Motomami, and Bad Bunny. Although he didn’t attend the ceremony, Bad Bunny won five awards for his album Un Verano Sin Ti, which is also nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys this year.