A Latin Grammy Award is an award by The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The Latin Grammy honors works produced anywhere around the world that were recorded in either Spanish or Portuguese and is awarded in the United States. However, both awards have similar nominating and voting processes, in which the selections are decided by peers within the music industry.
The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences was formed by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences in 1997. It was founded by Michael Greene and Producers & Songwriters Rudy Pérez & Mauricio Abaroa. Rudy Perez was the Grammy Florida chapter"s first President of the Board. The following year, the Latin Grammys were introduced with over 39 categories included limited to Spanish and Portuguese-speaking recordings. This move was criticized by other musicians who did not perform in Spanish or Portuguese namely Haitian and Jamaican artists as well as Celtic musicians from Spain. In 2000, it was announced that the 1st Annual Latin Grammy Awards would take place at the Staples Center on September 13, 2000. On July 7, 2000, the nominations were announced in Miami, Florida, USA. The first telecast took place at the Staples Center and was broadcast. As a result of protests by Cuban exiles for allowing musicians from Cuba to perform on stage, the Latin Grammys were moved to Los Angeles due to safety concerns. The following year's show was canceled due to the September 11, 2001 attacks, which was the same day the show was to take place. In 2002, the academy elected its first independent Board of Trustees. In 2005, the broadcast was moved from CBS to Univision where the whole telecast was in Spanish. Voting members live in various regions in the US and outside of the US in regions including Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. To be eligible a recording must have been recorded in Spanish or Portuguese. The eligibility period is July 1 to June 30 for a respective awards ceremony. Recordings are first entered and then reviewed to determine the awards they are eligible for. Following that, nominating ballots are mailed to voting members of the academy. The votes are tabulated and the five recordings in each category with the most votes become the nominees. Final voting ballots are sent out to voting members and the winners are determined. Winners are later announced at the Latin Grammy Awards. The current President & CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences is Gabriel Abaroa, who is related to Mauricio, one of the founders.
Altogether there are three events: the Life Achievement when renowned artists are honored for lifetime achievement; Person of the Year, when one artist is honored at a gala dinner, and Grammy itself, an award that brings together artists from all over Latin America and Spain and that today is broadcast live to 80 countries, including Brazil, by channel Univision (TNT in Brazil).
^"Latin Recording Academy FAQ". Retrieved 2011-01-22. "Q: Which product can participate in the Latin GRAMMY? A: Any product that has been released in the eligibility period and which is recorded in Spanish or Portuguese."