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Grammy Awards 2014: Gipsy Kings, Draco Rosa & La Santa Cecilia Among Winners Who Represent Longevity, Cancer Survival and Immigration Reform

First Posted: Jan 27, 2014 04:58 PM EST
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Gipsy Kings

Photo : Facebook/Gipsy Kings

While the French electronic duo Daft Punk, the independent rap group Macklemore & Ryan Lewis and New Zealand teenager Lorde were among the winners who stole the show at the 56th annual Grammy Awards, there were also several notable and touching wins in the Latin categories.

Gipsy Kings

The Gipsy Kings, who just finished the first leg of their 25th Anniversary Tour on the east coast, continue to make their mark on the music industry after almost three decades. The Gipsy Kings' "Savor Flamenco" won Best World Music Album, tied with Ladysmith Black Mambazo's "Live: Singing for Peace Around the World."

"Music has always been a passion," says lead guitarist Tonino Baliardo. "Even after all this time, after all these years of touring and working. It has given us so much. We have matured, we have developed in music, and it has been so good for us."

"Twenty-five years is an eternity in pop music, but the story of the Gipsy Kings reaches back much farther. Theirs is a music that extends through generations, to the sounds of their ancestors, and reflects the eclectic and peripatetic history of the gitanos, Spanish Romani people who fled the Catalonia region during the Spanish Civil War," according to their official website.

This is the group's sixth nomination, and a record for the most nominations for the World Music Grammy, The Grateful Web reports. This is also the 22nd time in Grammy history that there has been a tie for winning this coveted music industry award.

"Savor Flamenco" is the group's first new release in six years, it also marks the Gipsy Kings' 25th Anniversary of their first U.S. Release, "Gipsy Kings" in 1987, which charted for 40 weeks and has been certified gold or platinum in at least 15 countries. It also marks the first time that the band has produced themselves and written all of their material. The band has an impressive record, selling over 25 million albums worldwide. 

The Gipsy Kings' music also continues to thrive in pop culture. According to The Grateful Web, the single from Gipsy Kings was "Bamboleo," which was used in a Burger King commercial and recently covered on the TV show, Glee. The group's "Hotel California" is in the movie The Big Lebowski and HBO series Entourage. The 2010 film, Toy Story 3 featured a Gipsy Kings version of the movie's popular, Randy Newman-penned theme, "You've Got a Friend in Me."  The band also performed the song on Dancing with the Stars.

"The Gipsy Kings are a group of musicians from Arles and Montpellier in the south of France who perform in Spanish with an Andalusian accent. Although group members were born in France, their parents were mostly gitanos, Spanish Romani people who fled Catalonia during the 1930s Spanish Civil War. Chico Bouchikhi is of Moroccan and Algerian descent. They are known for bringing rumba catalana, a pop-oriented music distantly derived from traditional flamenco music, to worldwide audiences. The group originally called itself Los Reyes ('The Kings' in Spanish).

"Their music has a particular rumba flamenca style, with pop influences; many songs of the Gipsy Kings fit social dances, such as salsa and rumba. Their music has been described as a place where 'Spanish flamenco and Romani rhapsody meet salsa funk.'"

Draco Rosa

American-born Puerto Rican and cancer survivor, Draco Rosa (who will be told Monday if he is officially cancer-free) won best pop Latin album for "Vida," in which he collaborated with stellar musicians like Juanes, Mana, Ricky Martin, Juan Luis Guerra, Ruben Blades and Shakira. "Vida" also won the album of the year at the Latin Grammys last year.

"(Now) that I am going through my second treatment, and if God is willing will be my last fight against cancer, what better way to celebrate music for all of its blessings," Fox News Latino reports. "Thank you to the academy for recognizing the musician's efforts to express themselves freely," Rosa said in a statement in Spanish that was translated by jazz pianist Roberto Fonseca, one of the hosts of the non-televised portion of the show.

Rosa had been battling cancer since February 2011, when he was initially diagnosed with stomach cancer. In December 2012, he announced he had survived the illness. Last December, his producer, Angelo Medina, confirmed that Rosa was suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

La Santa Cecilia

Mexican-American band, who hails from Los Angeles, La Santa Cecilia nabbed best Latin rock, urban or alternative album for Treinta Días. The band "included tracks about immigration in its repertoire, dedicated their award to the undocumented immigrants living in the United States," Fox News Latino adds.

"We are very proud of being children of immigrants or immigrants in this country and I believe that winning a Grammy positively reflects the beauty of immigration and what people are capable of," said Marisol Hernández. "We dedicate this to the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants that live in this country, that are our parents, brothers, sisters and friends. This is for them, so they feel inspired and continue to work hard."

Grammy Winners in other Latin-based categories:

Latin jazz album: Song for Maura -- Paquito D'Rivera and Trio Corrente.

Tropical Latin album: Pacific Mambo Orchestra -- Pacific Mambo Orchestra.

Instrumental composition: "Pensamientos for Solo Alto Saxophone and Chamber Orechestra" -- Clare Fischer.

Gloria Estefan's The Standards was nominated in the Best traditional pop vocal album category against: Viva Duets (Tony Bennett and various artists); Cee Lo's Magic Moment (Cee Lo Green); Now (Dionne Warwick); and To Be Loved (Michael Bublé), which won the award.

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano): Mariachi Divas De Cindy Shea, A Mi Manera

Best Tropical Latin Album: Pacific Mambo Orchestra, Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Mexican singer-composer, Armando Manzanero, was among the seven artists recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award. 

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