Friday, November 17, 2006

La Gente del Grammy Se Creen más que to el mundo!

They Want Their Props

Friday, 17 November 2006

ImageCorrection: The reggaeton ruling class - Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Wisin y Yandel, and Ivy Queen - did not walk out in protest when Calle 13 took the Best Urban Album at the Latin Grammys last week. The six superstars left in solidarity. It was a spontaneous, historic moment for a genre that is supposedly mired in beefs. There was a group hug and unidad. That the pioneers - Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Wisin y Yandel - did not take home the prize did not shock any of them. "You have to remember, these guys have been working outside the system for a long time," says Edgar Andino, Wisin y Yandel's manager.

"They were disappointed (that they did not win) but not surprised. It's happened before," says the man whose hugely popular duo made music history by having three songs on the Top Ten Latin charts. Yesterday, the duo released their first CD on their own label, WY Records, "Los Vaqueros." Reggaetoneros have endured being banned, vilified by island authorities for allegedly inciting immorality, etc., etc.

But the music is showing staying power. Reggaeton artists have moved nearly 10 million units - and that, of course, does not count pirated units. While Shakira is technically not a reggateonera, her two singles "La Tortura" and the remix of "Hips Don't Lie" feature dembo beats. But this was not about numbers, they insist. It was about honoring the talent who've been at it for decades. Calle 13 taking the reggaeton album was like Eminem beating Biggie, Kanye beating Tupac, Ja Rule beating Jay Z.

At the Grammy show, the electrifying reggaeton medley performed by Wisin y Yandel, Ivy Queen, Tun Tun and El Father was the best part of the 3-hour show. Ricky Martin was good, Man with surprise guest Juan Luis Guerra was excellent, Luis Fonsi was extraordinary.

But the reggaeton boys and girl were exceptional. And the ratings are proof - the spike in the third hour was phenomenal and accounts for Univision scoring major points with the coveted under-24 set. Trust us - young ones are not tuning in for Ana Gabriel, Banda El Recodo or, sorry to say it, even Ricky.

They wanted to see the highly energetic performance that Wisin y Yandel and others in the genre put out. Wisin y Yandel spent $200,000 on their stage show. Money well-spent.

"We have been told that many of the voting members of the academy just don't respect reggaeton, and feel that what Wisin y Yandel, Don, and the rest produce is not really music. With Calle 13, because these guys went to music and art school, they feel they are true musicians," said an anonymous source in the industry.

The Latin Grammys seems reluctant to embrace the genre as a genuine musical art form. It's similar to what hip-hop artists endured in the gringo Grammys for the first 20 years of that genre's existence.

We hear…

THAT Willie Colon refused to perform in the salsa tribute. Despite his claims that it was because he did not get proper respeto from producers, it's being said that the real reason was that he wanted to present an award. Colon did not return calls at press time … THAT Ana¡s who was told she would replace the mysteriously MIA La India in the salsa medley minutes before it happened, took one take to nail "Qu¡mbara," while India, the day before at rehearsals, took 15 takes to get it right.

Source: Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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