MEXICO CITY (AP) .— Sometimes one wonders what would have happened if Rubén Blades had been President of Panama. Would it have been good? Was he hated? Was it better if not?
“I think it would have been good for the country,” said Blades last night in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was named Person of the Year by the Latin Recording Academy and awarded the Latin Grammy for Album of the Year for “Salswing” was! “and best salsa album for” Salsa plus “, both with Roberto Delgado & Orquesta.
“People say that power corrupts; I don’t think so. I believe that power is unmasked, ”he added.
“They don’t buy from you if you don’t sell yourself… Public service is worth more to me than a Grammy or all the Grammys I’ve earned or whatever they give me. There is nothing like serving your country and your people, period ”.
He continued his career
What has happened since he ran for president in 1994 is that he has remained loyal to music and acting (his fans are still waiting to see more of his scenes than Daniel Salazar on Fear The Walking Dead ), and it finally happened. the luxury of holding a public service position as tourism minister from 2004 to 2009, luckily without the corruption or nepotism scandals that often plague Latin American politicians. In fact, as you can see in the 2018 documentary Yo no mi llamo Rubén Blades, you can still walk calmly through the streets of Panama and the people greet you.
After breaking away from the music of Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers in the movie “Rock Rock Rock!” Blades, born in Panama in 1948, entered music through a back door in the 1970s when he was ten, but has not parted with it since.
“Contrary to what people say who don’t know what they’re talking about, I didn’t leave Panama to become a musician, I left Panama because I didn’t want to be a lawyer in a dictatorship,” said Blades, his parents left the country before him because of a problem with military leader Manuel Noriega.
“When I came to Florida to be with my family, they did a lot of jobs there and I couldn’t help them because my law degree wasn’t working, it wasn’t working, and I called Fania, which is the biggest salsa record company. “
Fania’s Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz recorded “Guaguancó triste” by Blades in 1971 and were hoping they would find him a job as a songwriter or musician. What they had at their disposal was a position in charge of the label’s correspondence.
“I started in the mail, and that’s where Ray Barretto found me … They said, ‘The guy over there who posts stamps, he sings and writes songs,” recalled Blades.
“Barreto visited me and I auditioned and he put me in the orchestra with Tito Gómez, may he rest in peace, and that’s how I started in New York in 1974.”
“Looking for guave”, “Pedro Navaja”, “Plastic”, “Forbidden to forget”, “Looking for America” and “Disappearances” are some of the songs by the Fania postman who, if you count the awards, the Night before last, 10 Latin Grammys and nine Grammys.
“As long as I can sing and offer the audience the quality that I ask of myself and that the audience is used to from me, I will continue to work. But the moment I feel the voice or the disposition, the enthusiasm, I don’t feel it anymore, that’s the day when I stop immediately, just as I stopped smoking, ”he assured me.
“Music will never leave me, because music helps you spiritually, even helps you therapeutically and keeps you connected to the best that is in the universe.”
On Wednesday, Blades was celebrated at the traditional Person of the Year benefit concert by dozen of artists including Andrés Calamaro, Vicentico, Flor de Toloache, Diego Torres, Farruko and Joaquín Sabina performing versions of his songs.
“That he (Sabina) traveled here from Spain to share with me was very special to me,” he said.
“I said, ‘You would have done it for Zoom.’ That surprised me and I appreciate it very much, I admire him very much ”.
“I was also surprised by Christina Aguilera because I didn’t even know she knew me,” he added of the American singer who performed “Camaleón” in an arrangement similar to the Ecuadorian gang.
The day before yesterday, Thursday, during the televised awards ceremony, René Pérez “Residente” thanked him for “educating” him with his music, educating him with his texts and opening the doors of his house for him.
“We have been friends for a long time. I have a lot of admiration for René, ”said Blades.
The 73-year-old star emphasizes that music and acting are teamwork. His companions on screen, for whom he has collected more than 50 film and television films, include Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Danny Glover, Robert De Niro …
“I learn a lot from my teammates,” said Blades. “I really enjoy working and learning from other people.”
However, he regretted that there weren’t many Latino characters in film and television in the United States.
Another priority in Rubén Blades’ life was his search for social justice, advocating for causes ranging from fighting hunger and poverty to helping migrants and HIV patients. The artist says that “fame provides a stage and an opportunity to express opinions that should have an impact and be positive in society.”
Along with Blades, Camilo was the top winner of the 22nd delivery of the Latin Grammy with four gold gramophones. Another winner was Juan Luis Guerra.
Reference from yucatan