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Readers Responses to Cólón-Estefan Praise of Folly / Los lectores Responden al editorial Colón-Estefan Praise of Folly

By/Por: Readers


In response to the recent editorial presented by JAQO pertaining to the controversy over the Latin Grammy’s and accusations of political folly made by Willie Colon against Sony Music and the Estefan’s, I offer an alternative point of view.

Everyone knows that the music industry in general is literally ridden with politics and there are established monopolies which tend to manipulate which artist will be effectively marketed to the general public and which will never get past the desk of an A&R representative.

This industry is not unlike any other, which stands to benefit monetarily from the promotion of a select few with the right connections. More often than not, artists with powerful political affiliations tend to gain greater support from record companies, the media and advertisers whom are always looking to capitalize on the spoils of their own manufactured product.

Anyone who believes that record companies actually promote the most talented musicians available in the industry is disillusioned. The fact of the matter is, the public will respond to anything the record companies effectively market and support. Maybe not to the tune of selling as many records as the Beatles but if you put enough marketing resources behind it, you can record the sound of a sampled fart over a funky beat and ‘hype it up’ enough to sell enough records to get a Grammy...even a Latin Grammy if the fart is in Spanish. Popularity is often manufactured by those whom possess enough power and influence to manipulate public opinion.

I think the message which Willie Colón was trying to get across, is that the Estefan Empire does not adequately represent today’s Salsa music community.

Nor were they the first, or the best, which this genre has had to offer.
They were effectively able to cross over to a predominantly English speaking market back in the ‘80’s’ but since then they have built a political monopoly which has influenced which artists will be given favor at such award ceremonies as the Latin Grammy’s.

I think the appropriate title for this ceremony should have been the ‘Latin Shammy’s’. As true pioneers and the ‘best & brightest’ stars of today’s Salsa music were not invited to attend because the Estéfan’s ego was taking up too much room at the arena where the event was held.

Evidence of the disparity in talent possessed by Gloria Estéfan in comparison to other artists in today’s Salsa music was most clearly evident during her recent performance televised nationwide from the Bahamas, where she made the most embarrassing mistake of her career, in sharing the stage in a duet with the incomparable voice of Marc Anthony. Performing her own song [Mi Tierra], Marc reminded her of just how ‘out of her league’ she truly is in today’s Salsa music.

In closing, I found JAQO’s editorial to be both long-winded and excessively verbose. Willie Colón is entitled to his opinion which by the way is constitutionally protected by law. The Latin Grammy’s was a great disappointment to many, many people in our community. If you don’t like Willie’s message, simply don’t listen to him. That is what makes this democratic country so great…freedom of speech.

The combination of political messages & music is nothing new. Although most people would rather listen to lyrics about love, sex or money, there is a market out there for everything. Willie Colón is not the first artist to also dabble in social activism. Just listen to the lyrics of some Willie Chirino songs and you will find examples of political overtones. If you like the music the artist is presenting and embrace the principles of open dialog, then you will come away with a greater appreciation for the art form itself. Good, bad or indifferent.

Hey, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong… :)

I like the editorial page because it encourages open dialog about a variety of different topics.

Hopefully, people will use it responsibly and not take it too seriously.


Esta página fue actualizada / this page was updated on 25-May-2013
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