Latin Grammys leaving Miami

Forum to host kudofest, safety of attendees an issue

MIAMI — The Latin Grammys are ditching Miami and going back to Los Angeles after organizers decided Cuban-exile protests would pose too great a security threat.

Recording Academy president-CEO Michael Greene said the kudofest will be held on its scheduled date, Sept. 11, but at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood.

The city of Miami altered last week the security perimeter around the American Airlines Arena that had been agreed upon by the academy and the city two months ago.

“We then learned that more than 100 Cuban-American groups now would be allowed to demonstrate in a high-traffic area for Grammy activities,” Greene said, “potentially putting our guests at serious risk. Further, the academy was made aware that protesters had secured tickets to the show and were organizing a disruption to the live telecast itself.”

L.A. hosted the first Latin Grammys last year. Miami had lost out on the inaugural show in part because a local ordinance, later ruled unconstitutional, barred Cuban nationals from performing at the American Airlines Arena, the Grammys’ favored venue.

Local politicos lobbied hard to bring the show to Miami, and losing it is a huge black eye to its cultivated reputation as a capital of Latin music. Greene said the economic benefit to the city would be $35 million. Arrangements were apparently proceeding until just a few days ago when the city approved a two-block protest area, part of which is just a half block from the arena entrance.

Noting that many of the expected 7,000 attendees would still have to walk past the protesters, Greene opted out. “I can’t guarantee the security of our people,” he said. “Having to run that gauntlet is demeaning at best.”

Eye backs decision

A spokesman for CBS, which will air the kudocast, said, “We support NARAS’ decision to do what they believe is in the best interest of the performers, the guests and the event itself. And we are confident that Los Angeles will once again be an outstanding host to this exciting showcase for the best in Latin music.”

The Latin Grammys considered moving the show to the National Car Rental Center in nearby Broward County, but that idea was rejected because police there could not guarantee safety either, Greene said.

“We will begin work immediately to try and resolve these issues and bring the Latin Grammys to Miami in the near future,” Greene noted.

(Josef Adalian in Los Angeles contributed to this report.)

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Azim Rashid

    Columbia Records Names Azim Rashid Head of Urban Promotion

    Azim Rashid has been named senior vice president and head of urban promotion at Columbia Records, SVP Promotion/Operations Jim Burruss announced today. The Sony Music label’s urban roster includes Lil Nas X, Taylor the Creator, Russ, Dej Loaf Dominic Fike, OBN Jay and Polo G, among others. Rashid arrives from Roc Nation where he also served [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Universal Music Says ‘Many’ Suing Artists’ Masters Were Not Damaged in 2008 Fire

    UPDATED: Late Friday the attorneys representing Soundgarden, Steve Earle and the estates of Tom Petty and Tupac amended their lawsuit against Universal Music Group over damages to their music archives as a result of a 2008 fire. While most of the amended complaint updated details in the original document — adding information about UMG’s alleged [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • Music fans listen to the band

    Woodstock Gets a Low-Key 50th Party With Ringo, Santana and That Album Cover Couple

    After efforts to stage a massive event celebrating Woodstock’s 50th anniversary failed to materialize, the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in New York’s Catskills region became the only game in town. For months, organizers quietly promoted a weekend of concerts that would put the focus on the 1969 event and its musical and cultural [...]

  • Carrie Underwood, left, and Reba McEntire

    CMAs Make Hosting Change: Brad Paisley Exits, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire Are In

    The CMA Awards have had the most consistent hosting situation of any music awards show in television, but 11 years after installing Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood as the reliable faces of the telecast, even ABC and the Country Music Association have decided it’s time for a switch. Come Nov. 13, Underwood will return for [...]

  • Ava Max iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Portraits,

    Megan Thee Stallion, CNCO, Ava Max to Perform at VMAs Pre-show

    CNCO, Megan Thee Stallion and “Sweet but Psycho” singer Ava Max (pictured) have been added to the performer lineup at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. The three will take the stage during the VMAs’ red carpet pre-show, hosted by Terrence J and Nessa. Zara Larsson will join the two hosts as a special correspondent. [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen FYSEE Opening Night with

    Bruce Springsteen Drops Introspective Trailer for 'Western Stars' Film

    While initial reports about Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming documentary around his recent “Western Stars” album said that it would essentially be a concert film, the first trailer for it, which dropped today, suggests it’s going to be a more introspective outing, more in line with his autobiographical performances at “Springsteen on Broadway” in 2017 and 2018, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content