Colombian Superstar Juanes Named Latin Recording Academy 2019 ‘Person of the Year’

Ahead of the 2019 Latin Grammy Awards ceremony tonight, Colombian singer, songwriter, and philanthropist Juanes was celebrated last night. A concert held last night at the MGM Grand Convention Center in Las Vegas honored his accomplishments in music and philanthropy.

Colombian pop star Juanes
Colombian Superstar Juanes Attends The Latin Recording Academy’s 2019 Person Of The Year Gala Honoring His Accomplishments in Music and Philanthropy | Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Past honorees of the award include Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Carlos Santana, and Shakira. The recipient of the first Person of the Year award, Emilio Estefan, was in attendance. Several headlining Latin artists performed Juanes’ hits, including Rosalía, Fito Páez, Juan Luis Guerra, Ozuna. Finally, the man himself, Juanes, performed No creo en el jamás.

Find out more about the Latin megastar, his musical history, and what he considers his greatest accomplishment.

Juanes’ 19-year (and counting) career

Juanes (short for Juan Estebán) has won a total of 24 Latin Grammys in his 19-year career. In 2000, the 47-year-old debuted with Fíjate bien (“Take a Good Look”), which earned the singer three Latin Grammys, including Best New Artist.

Juanes in 2001, holding his Best New Artist, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Solo Vocal Latin Grammy trophies | M. Caulfield/WireImage

His big moment came two years later when he released his second album, the pop-heavy Un día normal (A Normal Day). The album included what has become one of his signature songs A Dios le pido (I Ask God) and Fotografia (Photograph), a duet with Canadian star Nelly Furtado

The album earned five awards at the 2003 Latin Grammys, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. He produced in 2004 the album Mi sangre (“My Blood”), another multiple Latin Grammy winner.

Latin Recording Academy ‘Person of the Year’ 2019

Juanes seems genuinely floored to be named the Latin Recording Academy’s ‘Person of the Year.’ In actuality, it probably could have happened a lot sooner. His impact on the genre and the Latin community have been well-known and celebrated for years.

Juanes, performing last night at event honoring him as ‘Person of the Year’ by the Latin Recording Academy. His post comment reads, “The minutes pass and the truth is, I cannot believe what is happening. I just enjoy it and appreciate this gift.”

The award recognizes his generous support of emerging artists, and the singer’s humanitarian efforts. His work through his organization, Fundación Mi Sangre (My Blood Foundation), and as co-founder of Paz Sin Fronteras (Peace Without Borders) has brought visibility to these global efforts.

Still, the La camisa negra singer marvels at his success in Latin music, and at the career he’s been able to thrive in. As he told ET yesterday, he feels a kind of completion after winning Best New Artist at the awards show 18 years ago in 2001.   

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Juanes performing with singer Alessia Cara on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’

“I think it means a lot to me and…feel very thankful to the Academy. I got nominated as a new artist (almost) 20 years ago, so now I’m just receiving this incredible award, Person of the Year…I’m so happy to be here…just celebrating my career and sharing this with all my fans and family.” 

What Juanes considers his greatest achievement

His greatest accomplishment, in his opinion? “I think the best thing that happened to me was just to be a father of these kids,” he told ET of his children, Luna, Paloma and Dante with his wife, Karen Martinez.

“I mean, they have been teaching me so much about love, about life. They never see me like the artist, and I really like that because I never wanted to do that.”

Read more: How Shakira Deals With Not Seeing Her Kids For Months