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October 6, 2022
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95-year-old Cuban émigré among the candidates for the Latin Grammy as a new artist


The inclusion of the 95-year-old Cuban émigré Ángela Álvarez among the nominees for the award latin grammy in the category of best new artist, has surprised many, among other things, for being a singer who barely recorded her first disk in 2021, and for being the oldest to achieve a candidacy for these awards.

A reportage of BBC World highlights that the nonagenarian artist will aspire to a distinction that has previously been won by performers of the stature of David Bisbal, Juanes, Karol G, 13TH Street and Jesse & Joy, and to which other artists now established in the music industry such as Mon Laferte, Pablo Alborán and Maluma were nominated without success.

The Cuban singer and songwriter, who left the island for the United States in 1962, confesses that her love for music was born in her when she was little, but that it was not until now that thanks to one of her grandchildren —also the musician and composer Carlos José Álvarez, made his dreams come true.

According to BBC World The leap to stardom began in the historic Ávalon theater in The Angelswhere Ángela offered her first concert, presented by the Cuban actor Andy García, who, by the way, played the bongo.

The also interpreter of the third part of The Godfather He was also the producer of Miss Angelaa documentary directed by filmmakers Paul Toogood and Lloyd Stanton about the singer’s life.

Add the report that the veteran artist had the opportunity to play a small role in the new version of the film The Father of the Bride —starring Andy García and Gloria Estefan—, in which she appears singing the classic bolero “Quiéreme mucho”.

Now Álvarez appears in the race for one of the most coveted prizes in Latin music with an album that includes 15 of his compositions and was recorded by top musicians, according to the media.

The artist emigrated to the United States shortly after her four children left Cuba for that country, and lived in an orphanage far from their mother. The family was later reunited in Mexico.

«I have never returned. I want to keep in my heart and in my mind what I left,” the artist told BBC Worldmedium to which he assured that, although he does not plan to return to Cuba, where he no longer has close relatives, he has composed “many songs, thinking of my beautiful island.”

The presence of the Island is evident in Álvarez’s album, through songs like “Un canto a mi Cuba” and “Añoranzas”. Her music also collects painful passages from her life, such as the death of her husband from cancer in 1977, which inspired the song “Camino sin direction”, and then that of her daughter María de ella, for the same reason. Thus, “the album can be heard as the musical work that it is, but also as a kind of sentimental diary of its author,” she reads in the publication.

Alvarez told BBC that “since I was a child I always liked music”, but her dreams collided with the direct opposition of her father.

«I told my dad once that I wanted to be a singer, so he told me ‘you sing very beautifully, my daughter, and I love hearing you, but I wouldn’t want you to sing for the world.’ And since I loved my father so much, I tried to erase that from my mind, but there was always a little place in my heart that I couldn’t forget,” the singer recalled.

According to the media, the woman continued to sing and compose songs that she initially kept in her memory, but that she later began to transcribe in some notebooks, from which the 15 songs that make up her first album came out and there are still about 30 still unpublished.

«When I felt something that moved me, I started to compose. Especially when I left Cuba. I lived in Puerto Rico, which has the same climate as Cuba, and when I went along the highways and saw things that reminded me of Cuba, I composed there. In Mexico I also composed. Wherever I went and liked it, I felt the desire to say what I was feeling, “said the nonagenarian.

Regarding her surprise nomination at the Latin Grammys, Ángela stated that she felt many things, «but the most beautiful thing I felt was thinking that I could have reached such an important goal. So, I felt very honored. I do think that it is a great honor that I am going to receive.”

“My dream took many years to be realized and it was realized through a grandson,” he sentenced for the report.

The artist born in Cuba is nominated in a category in which ten other artists also appear, including the Argentine Sofía Campos, the French-Spanish Pol Granch, the Venezuelan-Peruvian Tiare, the Mexican group Yahritza y Su Escencia, and the Peruvian Nicole Zignano.

The 23rd edition of the Latin Grammy Awards will be held on November 17 at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, in the US city of Las Vegas.

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