Rubén Blades: “Do not be overcome by indifference”

“Thank you for being here tonight, take care of yourselves, I wish you good health and, above all, I hope that you will never be overcome by indifference. The future of the whole world will depend on that ”, said the Panamanian singer-songwriter Ruben Blades Wednesday night after receiving the Person of the Year award from Joaquín Sabina during the 22nd edition of the Latin Grammy Awards.

Before handing out the award, Joaquín Sabina said he felt “nervous.” “It is about such a great artist that I have to present that it is not easy to find words that match his talent. I would give half of my songs for just one of its verses ”, said the singer when referring to one of the verses of ‘Pedro Navaja’, with which Blades closed the party at the Michelob Ultra Arena.

“Here I am most of all to thank, this is not an occasion for celebration for me, nothing else. I would not be here if it had not been for many people who helped me to be here. We hope to be healthy to continue working, ”said Blades when he arrived on the red carpet prior to his tribute on the eve of the delivery of the golden gramophones. Latin music stars such as Oscar D’León, Carlos Vives, Andrés Calamaro and Marc Anthony participated in the gala. who performed some of their best songs on stage.

Known as the Salsa Poet Rubén Baldes has left his mark on the music industry with songs that vindicate the Latin American idiosyncrasy and reality, such as ‘Looking for America’, ‘Planting in’, ‘Disappearances’ and ‘Prohibido Olvidar’.

With more than five decades of career and 73 years behind him, Blades confided to AFP that he still has a lot of energy and plans for next year, including an autobiographical book, another of poetry, his participation in the television series’ Fear the Walking Dead ‘and the production of two new albums.

He also said that from November 20 he will start the tour entitled ‘Salswing!’ by the United States along with Roberto Delgado & Orchestra. “One of our colleagues died of COVID (percussionist Carlos Pérez Bidó) and the band needed to meet, give us a hug and play. It is not a question of death stopping us ”.

Born in Panama Rubén Blades was one of the most emblematic interpreters of the salsa movement in New York in the 1970s, led by Fania all stars.

His first hit as an author was ‘The singer’, recorded in 1978 by the legendary Hector Lavoe.

Along with trombonist Willie Colón He produced seven albums in two decades, from which some of his most popular hits came out, such as ‘Pedro Navaja’ and ‘Plástico’.

El Poeta de la Salsa also studied law in Panama and at Harvard in the United States.

After decades of singing about Latin America and the daily life of Hispanics in the United States, Blades ventured into politics.

In 1994, he ran for the presidential election in Panama, but lost in third place. Then, in 2004, he supported the candidacy of Martín Torrijos, who appointed him Minister of Tourism in his government until 2009.