The roll of 2011 Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award honorees, announced Tuesday, includes a couple of names well known to English-speaking listeners: Linda Ronstadt and Jose Feliciano.
Ronstadt, who is of Mexican descent, was already a major rock star when she released her all-Spanish album “Canciones De Mi Padre” in 1987. The collection, which featured traditional Mexican mariachi music, sold 2 million copies and remains the bestselling non-English language album in U.S. music history. It spawned the sequels “Mas Canciones” (1991) and “Frenesi” (1992). All three collections were Grammy winners.
Puerto Rican singer-guitarist Feliciano became a crossover star in 1968, when his version of the Doors’ “Light My Fire” reached No. 3 on the pop singles chart. He’s the winner of seven Grammys and Latin Grammys, and his recordings include the theme for the sitcom “Chico and the Man” and the yuletide perennial “Feliz Navidad.”
The other 2011 Lifetime Achievement recipients include Colombian salsa singer-songwriter-composer Joe Arroyo, who, in a tragic coincidence, passed away today in Barranquilla, Colombia, at the age of 55. Also receiving honors are superstar Brazilian vocalist Gal Costa; Alex Lora, a Mexican rock pioneer of the ’60s; Argentine instrumental ensemble Les Luthiers; and Afro-Uruguayan percussionist Ruben Rada.
The Latin Recording Academy’s Trustees Awards, presented to non-performers for their contributions to the field of recording, will go to songwriter-composer-producer Manuel Alejandro, Mexican arranger Jesus “Chucho” Ferrer and mambo composer-arranger Ray Santos.
Honorees will be acknowledged at a ceremony on Nov. 9 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas during the weeklong Latin Grammy Awards celebration.