Last night I attended one of the biggest and most prestigious events celebrating Latin music: Premio Lo Nuestro.

Aside from it being a pretty damn cool event to go to (perks of having a parent company like Univision), I was looking forward to getting in touch with my Hispanic roots. See, just like former pocho and “Half Like Me” funny man Al Madrigal, I’m a half-y: my mom’s family is Cuban, I speak Spanish—and I’m totally out of touch with what’s going on in Latin-American culture.

This was my chance to turn that around.

The party went down in Miami at the American Airlines Arena. The awards show, in which the fans select the winners, just closed out it’s 27th year and is an homage to musical excellence in four genres: pop, tropical (didn’t know that was a thing), regional Mexicana (also didn’t know this to be a thing) and urban.

Advertisement

Here’s an I’m-at-an-awards-show-and-I-don’t-really-know-what’s-going-on-but-it’s-awesome recap:

1) The red carpet only sounds like a glamorous experience.

This needs a new name. I thought I’d just be going for a well-lit stroll. In reality, I felt like a football player as I blocked and tackled my way down the press line with Fusion’s Mariana Atencio.

2) I saw more glitter and bling here than I did at the Miss Universe Pageant. 

Last month I attended the Miss Universe Pageant. The dresses were a disappointment. Last night, my thirst for all that shines was satiated.

3) Pitbull is who you want as your show opener.

Mr. 305 proved he really is Mr. Worldwide. He opened the show with some serious hip swaying that got everyone on their feet and ready to party.

4) Drake is everywhere.

No lie. Perhaps the most surprising thing I learned last night is that Drake jumped on a bachata (bluesy guitar music that originated in the Dominican Republic) track, Odio, with “The King of Bachata” Romeo Santos.

5) My forever crush, Ricky Martin, is searching for the next big thing.

My man (let me live) got his start with a boy band, Menudo. Last night, he announced he’s searching for the next big Latino boy band on La Banda.

6) Marc Anthony goes deep.

When Anthony accepted his award for Best Tropical Artist, he made it known he’s proud to be Latino, and reminded the crowd that while Latinos come from many different places, in a moment as big as this, they’re all united as one.

7) “I’m going to catch a ride back with you.”

As I left the event, I saw one of the cars headed back to the hotel and decided to jump in (note: I was allowed to do this) with three other attendees. I literally opened the car door and introduced myself. I’m glad I did because my new friends, a TV host, Luz, and singers/actors, Federico and Tiago, couldn’t have been any nicer.

Advertisement

So, does this half-y feel more in touch with Latino culture? Most definitely. I have a few new songs to add to my playlists, a partial answer to where my innate love of shiny things comes from, and hope that this new Latino boy band fills the *NSYNC-shaped hole in my heart.

Nikki is reporting on culture, events and other fun things.