The Latin Recording Academy is an International, membership-based organization comprised of Spanish and Portuguese speaking recording artists, musicians, songwriters, producers and other creative and technical professionals who are dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for Latin music and its makers.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by vote of The Latin Recording Academy's Trustees to performers who have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording during their careers.
'This year's group of accomplished honourees are as diverse as they are influential as creators of the most renowned and prominent recordings from across the globe,' said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. 'We are privileged and honoured to recognize and celebrate the contributions of these true icons to the world of Latin music at our annual ceremony, which has grown to be such an emotional and beautiful event. Their legacies have affected multiple generations and will continue to influence musicians and music fans for years to come.'
This year’s recipients include one of Brazil’s most popular singers, Gal Costa, who has recorded more than thirty five albums across a five-decade career. In 1981 her double album ‘Fantasia’ became her biggest hit yet, reaching multi-platinum status.
She has recorded songs composed by some of Brazil's iconic songwriters, including Tom Jobim, Jorge Ben Jor and Erasmo Carlos, and her vocal skills stretch across Portuguese, Spanish and English. With her fiery and unique style, Costa became part of the Tropicalismo movement, which rose in the late 1960s as a protest to the oppressive military and bland commercial music of the time, fusing theatre, poetry and several musical genres. Costa has appeared and performed at countless festivals, exhibitions and concerts, which have garnered her many accolades. Currently, she is working with Caetano and Moreno Veloso on new compositions.
Another honouree is seven-time Grammy and Latin Grammy winner José Feliciano, who has recorded nearly seventy albums, earned more than fourty five gold and platinum records, toured all around the world and is the recipient of countless prestigious awards the world over.
One of the huge crossover acts who paved the road for Latinos to follow, Feliciano was born in Puerto Rico and began his musical career in the streets of New York where he taught himself how to play the accordion and guitar, earning the title 'the world's greatest living guitarist' by critics around the world. Throughout his fifty year career he has given the world such compositions as 'Feliz Navidad,' 'Rain,' 'Chico And The Man,' 'Destiny,' 'Ay Cariño,' 'Cuando El Amor Se Acaba,' and 'Por Qué Te Tengo Que Olvidar.' A consummate philanthropist, Feliciano established the Jose M. and Susan L. Feliciano Charitable Foundation for Children and the Arts to help give back to the community.
Mexican rocker Alex Lora is another award winner. A rock pioneer, he emerged in the early 1960s to invigorate rock while becoming one of the genre’s most important writers, composers and active performers. As the leader of the group Three Souls In My Mind (known better by their short name El Tri), Lora has received three Grammy nominations, two Latin Grammy nominations and numerous gold and platinum records. El Tri celebrated fourty years of rock and roll with a huge five-hour concert during which such artists as Miguel Ríosfrom Spain, Los Ratones Paranóicos from Argentina and Molotovfrom Mexico shared the stage. Throughout his illustrious career he has also shared the stage with such artists as Chuck Berry, The Ramones, and The Rolling Stones.
Other honourees include Colombian singer and composer Joe Arroyo, Argentinean-based ensemble Les Luthiers whose concerts have been combining music, theatre and comedy since 1967, Ruben Rada ('El Negro Rada') an Afro-Uruguayan percussionist, composer and singer whose albums are today considered Uruguayan classics, and Ray Santos, heralded as “El Maestro” of the mambo sound.