On Thursday, a group of Cuban musicians led by reggaeton duo Gente de Zona won Song of the Year at the 2021 Latin Grammy Awards for 'Patria y Vida,' a defiant hip-hop song that has become the anthem of Cuba's anti-government protest movement.
Gente de Zona, Yotuel of the hip-hop group Orishas, and singer-songwriter Descemer Bueno worked on the song alongside two Cuban rappers, Maykel Osorbo and El Funky, who are part of a dissident artists' collective on the communist-run island.
In a gesture of solidarity with fellow activists in Cuba, the group appeared on stage in Las Vegas dressed in white. “Patria Y Vida” was one of the big stories from the Latin Grammys this year: It won Best Urban Song and Song of the Year
“This is for my country, for freedom of expression, and for the freedom of the Cubans,” said singer Bueno
"Homeland and Life," the winning song's title, is a play on the long-standing Cuban credo "Patria o Muerte," which has been plastered on buildings and billboards across the island nation since Fidel Castro's 1959 socialist revolution.
Maykel Osorbo, a member of the group who was imprisoned in Cuba early this year, was unable to attend the ceremony.
After receiving the song of the year award, Yotuel addressed on behalf of the group and dedicated the award to Osorbo.
“To a free Cuba, to Maykal Osorbo, and let us all say, ‘Patria y Vida,’ Yotuel said.
Photo Credit: Rodrigo Varela/Getty