At the Youth Music Awards, ‘Freedom’ for Cuba was Loudly Heard

The Puerto Rican singer Farruko during his performance at the Premios Juventud, this Thursday in Miami. (Capture)

14ymedio biggerEFE / 14ymedio, Miami, July 23, 2021 — The 2021 Premios Juventud (Youth Awards) ceremony, this Thursday in Miami, was marked by the call from Cuban artists about the situation that exists on the island after the protests unleashed on July 11th in dozens of cities.

To the shout of “Viva Cuba libre” (Long Live Free Cuba) by Emilio Estefan and Pitbull, the singers Joncien, Lena, Malena Burke and Yailenys Pérez performed Libertad (Freedom), while Gente de Zona and Yotuel Romero offered a special version of Patria y Vida (Homeland and Life), the theme that has been turned into an anthem for those, inside and outside the island, who call for the fall of the Castro regime.

Earlier, a message had been transmitted from Cuban artist Camila Cabello, wearing a T-shirt that read “Patria y vida,” who made an appeal in Spanish to American and Latin American youth to support protesters in Cuba.

“I feel very proud of my Cuban blood and even prouder of those who have taken to the streets to lead the change, despite the repression, despite the fear. Let us unite our voices with theirs, Patria y Vida!” Cabello said.

Previously, the Puerto Rican artist Farruko had come on stage wearing a T-shirt that read “Miguel Díaz-Canel singao” (motherfucker), an insult widely used these days to refer to the Cuban president.

But one of the most emotional moments of the gala was when the audience at the Watsco Center welcomed Venezuelan artist Chyno Miranda, who appeared for the first time on television after more than a year fighting severe health problems.

The moment also marked the return of the Venezuelan duet Chyno and Nacho after their separation in 2017. The artists performed a medley of their greatest hits such as Mi Niña Bonita and Andas En Mi Cabeza, and later they sang Queriendote, the new single from their new album.

Miranda, who was always a great dancer, had serious movement difficulties due to peripheral neuropathy and encephalitis that he suffered as a result of his covid-19 infection in March 2020.

The night’s guest of honor was Puerto Rican reggaeton performer Daddy Yankee, who received the “agent of change” award for his fight against child hunger, as well as his help to families affected by the onslaught of Hurricane María.

The Colombian artist Karol G won six Juventud prizes out of the twelve awards to which she was nominated, the same number as her compatriot Camilo was nominated for, but he won none.

The interpreter of “Bichota and 200 cups” won the awards for “young female artist”, “the catchiest ” and “the most trendy”, among others, while Bad Bunny followed closely, with five awards, including two most coveted, “album of the year” and “song of the year.”

From Mexico, Grupo Firme finished with four awards, while Natti Natasha received three, and Becky G and Los Dos Carnales took two each.

Other artists who left the Watsco Center in Miami happy tonight were Puerto Ricans Jhay Wheeler and Franchesca, who were recognized as the best new artists.

In previous years, the songs performed at Premios Juventud were traditionally the most popular of the moment. However, the absence of concert tours in Latin America seemed to stimulate artists to present new music on stage.

During the ceremony, mention was also made of the collapse of the residential building in Surfside, Florida, where about a hundred people died this month, and the use of masks and vaccination against Covid-19 was urged, because it was a night in which music was not detached from the problems of these times.

Translated by Tomás A.


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