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Afro-latinos talk diversity and justice at Latin American Music Awards

Afro-latinos speak up for more racial diversity and representation in Latin spaces.   -  
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South African Zozibini Tunzi Miss Universe 2019 official Instagram

Latin Music

Artists and entertainers gathered Thursday in Miami, Florida United States for the Latin American Music Awards -- to celebrate a hopeful revival of the music industry hit hard by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

2019 elected Miss Universe South African beauty Zozibini Tunzi who has seen much of her reign be hampered by lockdown measures last year was in high spirits.

"I'm very excited. I haven't had a lot of live events because of the pandemic obviously, so I'm very excited to be outside and seeing people and seeing the artists perform."

Afro-Dominican actress Dascha Polanco continues to use her star power for more ethnic and racial diversity in Latin spaces.

"I think that as an artist, I advocate especially a lot for diversity and how important it is for us to reflect what the true world represents and unit. And to see beyond the bias.

"The film ("In the Heights") does a beautiful job with the music, with telling the story of us having a dream and pushing through all the obstacles and adversity to get it done.

"And so for me, diversity is-- is us. You know, it sounds like, look in the mirror and what do you see? You see a diaspora of beauty, of colour, of differences.

"But the beauty of it all is how we all with a difference, we all, always have a dream. We all aspire to be. And for me, inspiration and to inspire others is most important."

Ziggy Marley -- son of late reggae icon and Pan-African revolutionary Bob Marley, also uses his platform to the betterment of Afro people within global society

"My father's music, my music and others like us have always addressed the social issues that we face as a society. So you would like more music that is complementary to the movement of justice and equality to be spread around the world ."

The Latin American Music Awards -- speckled with an array of performances by international artists, sought to honour the best in Latin music.

As usual, Pitbull looked like he was having more fun than anyone during his performance of 'Ten Cuidado' alongside El Alfa, Lenier, Omar Courtz and IAmChino.

Maluma and Ziggy Marley sang their catchy hit Tonika' while Carlos Vives and Ricky Martin debuted their joyful new song, 'Cancion Bonita.'

Although he was not in attendance, Bad Bunny won big with awards for the artist of the year, album of the year, favourite male artist and favourite urban album categories.

'Taki Taki' artist Ozuna -- whose body of work was recognized with a special award, was shocked when his longtime collaborator and friend Wisin announced that his grandmother was there to give it to him. He wept as he clung to her and then dedicated his speech to how she has been his everything.

Among the night's other special moments was the Legendary Award, given to Jose Luis Rodriguez, aka "El Puma."

The Venezuelan legend sang solo then alongside Carlos Vives, Carlos Rivera, Sofia Reyes and David Bisbal. He thanked his fans above all in his acceptance speech.

In addition, the Icon Award went to Alejandro Fernandez who accepted remotely, revealing that he has tested positive for COVID-19 as he urged the audience to get vaccinated -- as a way to return to normality and continue to bring Latin music to the world.