Premio Lo Nuestro celebrated its 30th anniversary on Thursday at Miami’s American Airlines Arena. The Univision’s award show is television’s first-ever entertainment awards honoring Latin’s biggest artists in the music industry.
The Spanish-language event pays tribute to Latino music legends and this year, international icons Emilio and Gloria Estefan received a special recognition for being trailblazers in the music world, giving inspiration for new generations of artists. Some of the biggest stars in Hollywood and music gave their messages to honor the power couple.
“They’ve always been connected on a very positive level. They just keep growing and growing as they go, they made sure you never forget what Cuban music is about. It’s all love for them and respect,” Quincy Jones said in a video.
“They have a great concept of music, and of course, talent. For me, when they’re together, that talent is taken to a whole new level. I’m so incredibly proud of them, not only how they present themselves as musicians and composers, but also as parents, friends, and the way they represent the Cuban community all over the world. They are always giving a hand to those that need it most, I feel blessed to have you both as my friends,” actor Andy Garcia shared.
There was also a video message from Shakira, thanking the Estefans for their big help in her career. “They’ve been not only two great friends but also a tremendous support not only for my career but also for the career of so many artists. Emilio’s ideas and Gloria’s incomparable talent gives them magical energy. I’m so grateful that God put them in my life.”
Leslie Grace, Il Volo and Victor Manuelle performed the Estefan’s megahits. Then Pitbull walked on stage to honor the couple.
“So I was back there, and they told they had written something for me to say to Gloria and Emilio and I said, ‘No.’ When I say something, it’s from the heart. So I looked up and said, ‘Celia [Cruz] help me, please. Queen, please help me. and the queen said, ‘Azúcar.’ And I told the queen, ‘Dale!’ I not only want to tell you guys but also thank you for all the doors that you both opened for all Latinos all over the world, for the Cuban community and Cuban culture,” the singer said. “For the people from Miami that came from nothing, which worked for everything, I have lived in a lot of bad neighborhoods in Miami, good neighborhood, and even worse ones. One of them was Wynwood, and in Wynwood my window had a crack and bugs and lizards wouldn’t come in because there was a huge poster of Gloria Estefan. So I want to tell you both, thank you, thank you and again, thank you. And like Celia told me, ‘Tell the princess and the god father, ‘What’s up?’ It is an honor to be here!”
The Cuban legends joined Pitbull on stage and Gloria went on to say her speech.
“This Premio Lo Nuestro means a lot to me because I feel like I belong to you guys, part of every single one of the countries that have been represented tonight on that stage. Everyone single one of the Latin countries that make part of the United States and they do it better, stronger, more beautiful and with more flavor. But I want to dedicate this to my mother that I lost on June 13, for maintaining within me my culture, for teaching me that the strength comes from maintaining our roots and who we are. Also [thank you] to our kids, and my grandson that they feel Latinos even though they were born here,” she said holding back her emotions.
“I just want to say that to receive this in Miami, which is a city that saw us grow up. Thanks to all of you we are here tonight. We came to the first Premio Lo Nuestro, and we dedicated our speech to the new Latino community, for them to always feel proud of being Latino. Now more than ever, we couldn’t be prouder of being Latino. I want to dedicate this award to my country, Cuba so that one day it may be free,” Emilio added.