During one of the biggest nights in music, Camilizers had a MAJOR reason to celebrate: their queen Camila Cabello had the historic honor of opening the 2019 Grammy Awards. She wasn’t alone, either: her electrifying squad consisted of Ricky Martin, J Balvin, Young Thug, Arturo Sandoval and her own family members as she riffed, danced and powered through “Havana.” Not bad for her first year being nominated, right?!
“The performance is based off my grandma’s childhood,” she told E!’s Ryan Seacrest before the show. “She grew up in … a house full of rooms, and everybody shared a common patio, and there would just be jam sessions and stuff, and the whole thing is based off of my family, and I have my family in the performance. So I feel very protected!”
After legendary musician Sandoval kicked off “Havana” with his trumpet, Camila popped up in one of four colorful rooms based off her grandmother’s childhood. As she sang and danced from room to room, her father Alejandro and sister Sofi appeared in the apartment below, “complaining” about the volume of her singing – but we certainly weren’t complaining about her on-point vocals.
Bringing her grandmother’s childhood jam sessions to life, Camila quite literally didn’t stop dancing after leaving the stage’s apartment setup. Before long, Young Thug joined Camila to slay his own verse on the Grammy-nominated song, and dozens of dancers (in outfits as colorful as the apartment rooms themselves) joined to bring the record’s Latin-infused instrumental to life. And to end her portion of “Havana,” Camila perfectly executed every ad-libbed riff and run we could’ve asked for.
Adding more star power to the stage, Camila welcomed Ricky Martin as he performed his 2006 hit “Pégate” in Spanish, proving he’s still got what it takes to slay a performance 28 years after dropping his first album. Camila and Ricky danced together, too, in a moment that brought together an original trailblazer in Latin music with the first Latina woman to open the Grammys.
Hiding behind Camila and Ricky – and holding a newspaper with a headline that read “Build Bridges Not Walls” – was J Balvin, who brought his 2017 hit “Mi Gente” to the Grammy stage and confirmed, yes, it’s still a bop. And with Arturo closing with more of his trumpet skills, the opening performance of Latin powerhouses came to end, but set an electrifying mood for the rest of the night.
While Camila unfortunately didn’t go home with either of the gramophones she was nominated for, her collaborative performance meant it was night was obviously still a resounding success. “This night is about celebrating,” she told E! before the show. “I really just wanna enjoy it!”