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MTV VMA's statuette.
MTV VMAs statuette. Photo: MTV.

A very Latin reunion at the VMAs

MTV's 2021 Video Music Awards took place on Sunday, Sept. 12, and was full of Latin flair on the red carpet and stage.

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The 2021 VMAs was one of the most anticipated and largest events to happen in New York since the pandemic began. On Sunday, Sept. 12, the VMAs brought together the most iconic artists of the moment from the red carpet to the stage. The biggest winners of the night were BTS, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish and Justin Bieber, but a distinct Latin presence was felt on stage. 

On the red carpet, artists such as JLo, and Anitta, who expressed gratitude on social media for being the first Brazilian woman to participate in the VMAs, dazzled. For many artists, the VMAs represent an achievement of a dream, as many of them used to watch the awards when they were kids and noticed there was little or no Latino representation at the time.

"It's been several years since we watched these awards and there wasn't as much Latino power. It's a great opportunity that the VMAs gives us to bring our new stuff and I'm very grateful," said Ozuna. 

Puerto Rican producer Tainy said: "I grew up watching these awards and to be nominated, to be on the stage... it's a combination of emotions. I know I'm not alone in this, many of my colleagues are crazy about going to sing and that people can enjoy their songs," and also noted that he did not stop working during the pandemic.

Anitta, who celebrated being the first woman from Brazil at the VMA’s in an elegant and glamorous dress, was one of the most acclaimed on stage. She performed her song "Girl from Rio" and said she was proud to represent her country and see other Latinos "breaking down walls and coming together with American culture."

"We are exchanging and combining cultures and experiences, it's fantastic," the singer continued.

Dominican Leslie Grace, star of In the Heights, appeared as emcee and declared not only to be a fan of many of the night's artists, such as Ozuna and Camila Cabello, but also celebrated "that tonight we have so many Latino artists representing our community, and with excellence." 

Cabello also filled the stage with Latin flavor with "Don't Go Yet," and sounds of her Cuban roots, as she danced to the rhythm of salsa accompanied by a host of backup dancers.

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