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Rauw Alejandro, Ivy Queen Lead Invigorating Latin Grammys Opening

In a tribute to the salsa legend Héctor Lavoe, Ivy Queen and Rauw Alejandro performed in the ceremony’s opening number at this year’s Latin Grammys alongside Ricardo Montaner, Victor Manuelle, Jesus Navarro and Sergio George.

Montaner, Manuelle, Navarro, and George appeared onstage belting out “El Cantante,” with each singer delivering a passionate verse of the iconic song. Ivy Queen and Rauw Alejandro glamorously made their way onstage for the chorus, with the Queen donning a fringe, latex jumpsuit, while Alejandro appeared in a dapper burgundy suit. A sweeping full orchestra backed the sextet, making for a beautiful rendition of the Fania All-Star classic.

Ivy Queen is widely known as reggaeton’s Original Rude Girl and is considered the first female to rep reggaeton since her emergence in the Nineties. “My flow has always been defined by women’s rights,” she told Rolling Stone in 2018. “The first thing to come out of my mouth was to give respect to the ladies. I want women to identify when they hear me. When I entered urban music to sing reggaeton, lots of the lyrics denigrated women.”

Alejandro has been actively releasing a slew of sultry reggaeton bangers, including his latest album, the salacious and club-ready Afrodisíaco. He is among the new generation of urbano singers who is pushing the genre towards a more R&B-flavored sound. The urbano newcomer is nominated for Best New Artist.

The Boricua salsa singer Manuelle, who shares co-hosting duties, spoke to Billboard about the performance earlier this week, saying, “Can you imagine? It’s a great honor for me. The opening will allow us to relive Héctor Lavoe’s music, the music that is in our blood, that makes us so proud and is part of our musical history and culture.”

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