Grammys 2015: Juanes to Perform 'McFarland, USA's' Track 'Juntos,' Actor Johnny Ortiz from the Film Is Thrilled with the News (EXCLUSIVE)
Colombian rock star Juanes has been added to the 2015 Grammy Awards line-up and will perform the first Spanish-language, original Latin music song performance in the last ten years at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
"It may be the biggest Latin moment at the Grammys since Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony sang 'Escapémonos' exactly 10 years ago," The Associated Press reiterated on ABC News.
The Grammys, which will be airing live on CBS, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, will showcase Juanes, who has been one of the most successful Spanish language, singer-songwriters who hasn't crossed over to English and yet has a huge following from both Latinos and non-Latinos.
Juanes' performance of "Juntos" will also highlight the inspirational Latino sports film, "McFarland, USA" starring Kevin Costner, Carlos Pratts and up-and-coming Latino actors, including Johnny Ortiz, who spoke to Latin Post in an exclusive interview.
"It's exciting. We couldn't ask for more," Ortiz told Latin Post regarding Juanes' upcoming Grammy performance. "It's a blessing. I thank God for everything that is happening. Juanes is such a great guy. He was telling us a story of his success, of the time when he went to Cuba and 2.6 million people went to see him perform. Having someone like him make such a powerful song for 'McFarland USA,' showing us his love and support has been great."
Juanes has worked his magic on the Grammy stage in the past -- in 2013, Juanes sang an English-Spanish version of Elton John's "Your Song." Being a part of the Grammy telecast again is like "a dream come true" for Juanes, Universal Music Latino adds.
Juanes, who now resides in Miami, shared his enthusiasm and gratitude on Twitter.
"Sin ustedes esto no seria posible. Un sueño hecho realidad! (Without you guys, this wouldn't be possible. A dream come true!)" he tweeted on Wednesday.
"A two-time GRAMMY and 20-time Latin GRAMMY winner, we are thrilled that current nominee Juanes has been added to the exciting lineup of artists performing at the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards," added Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy.
In addition, CBS and Victoria Secret have recently announced that the Latin superstar will also join fellow Grammy winners Maroon 5 as the featured performers on the Feb. 26 primetime broadcast of the "Victoria's Secret Swim Special."
Juanes, who is nominated for Best Latin Pop Album with "Locos de Amor," journeyed to the real-life town of McFarland, California to film the music video for "Juntos (Together)" on location, where he was welcomed with open arms. His visit drew huge crowds of fans who were overjoyed to witness the chart-topping international artist in his element - singing and rocking out with guitar in hand, of course!
Besides the music video, Juanes also gave his fans an added bonus while he was in McFarland -- he joined the McFarland community's festive Holiday Parade and followed up with an impromptu concert for the fans.
"It was a fun experience," Ortiz said of the shooting of the music video for "Juntos (Together)" on location, which also entailed multiple camera angles shot overhead, as well as a water scene in the ocean.
The 18-year-old actor, who is an American of Guatemalan and Mexican descent, plays McFarland's cross-country runner Jose Cardenas, who is "the poorest and saddest kid," in the film. "It's such a great story, I look forward to seeing it with everybody," he said.
Based on the 1987 true story, "McFarland, USA" follows novice runners from McFarland, an economically challenged town in California's farm-rich Central Valley, as they give their all to build a cross-country team under the direction of Coach Jim White (Kevin Costner), a newcomer to their predominantly Latino high school, according to the film's official website.
Coach White recognizes the McFarland students' "exceptional running ability" as he gets to know them personally. Then it becomes clear that the power goes beyond their physical talent, but it stems from their strong family bonds, their "unwavering commitment" to each other and their amazing work ethic. With hard work and determination, the students overcome the odds and evolve into a championship cross-country team who leave behind an enduring legacy and a new take on the ever-evolving American dream.
Juanes co-wrote the song with fellow Colombian Fonseca and Cuban Descemer Bueno, under the production of renowned Dominican singer, songwriter and producer Juan Luis Guerra, also a Grammy winner. "Juntos," the original new song created for Disney's Upcoming Film "McFarland, USA," can be found now at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and YouTube.
Check out Juanes' music video for "Juntos (Together)" in Disney's "McFarland, USA," which hits theaters on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015.