The veteran rock group Maná played a series of durable throwbacks before being honored as the Latin Recording Academy’s Person(s) of the Year in Las Vegas.
The band opened with “En El Muelle De San Blas.” Lead singer Fher Olvera delivered his vocals with raspy fervor and the crowd hurled every word back at him. Then they moved into “Labios Compartidos,” a strum-heavy tune made for swaying and arena sing-alongs. The band closed with “Clavado En Un Bar,” which swings between sweet reggae and driving, slashing rock.
Maná released two albums under the name “Sombrero Verde” before releasing their debut LP, Maná, in 1987. They have had a wildly successful career that includes a nearly unfathomable 133 gold records and 256 platinum records. On Thursday, they became the first band to be recognized as Person(s) of the Year, an honor that has previously been handed to Alejandro Sanz, Shakira, Caetano Veloso, Marc Anthony and more.
In a statement in September announcing the band’s selection, Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President and CEO of the Latin Recording Academy, praised Maná for merging art and activism. “In addition to becoming worldwide Latin music icons, their members have championed for social justice, global equality, and encouraged environmental protection using the force of their melodies and lyrics, which repeatedly remind our communities of our strength, resilience, and our inherent cultural value,” he said.
Maná frontman Fher Olvera added, “It is a grand and unexpected recognition to an extensive career, a beautiful and passionate one that we continue to enjoy as if it were the first day.” During his acceptance speech in Las Vegas, he reiterated his commitment to fighting for the rights of women and immigrants.