December 4, 2013
By Paula Gordon
The face of music in the United States is changing. There are more than 50 million Hispanics living in the United States making them the single largest ethnic group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For the first time, the host of the American Music Awards this year was a Cuban-American: Pitbull. Although some viewers believed that the AMAs were less American because Pitbull was the host, he was born in Miami Florida to Cuban parents, and is as American as anyone else. He is known for his catch phrases such as “dale” and his preference to wear white. He is only 32-years-old, but his name is well known in Latino and American homes alike.
This cross-cultural style is typical of the well-known artists of the 21st century. In comparison to Marc Anthony, who won the award for Best Latin Artist and sings primarily for a Spanish-speaking audience and is popular in countries outside of the United States, these artists reflect the changing demographic of Latinos. Increasingly, the Hispanic population in this country doesn’t speak Spanish or is bilingual, and they are constantly trying to integrate themselves into traditional American culture.
At the same time, singers such as Jennifer López reveal the importance of her culture and Hispanic side. Her rendition and tribute in the AMAs was not only a tribute to Celia Cruz, the first Latina to ever perform on the AMAs, but also a representation that shows that no one can take away our Hispanic heritage and culture. The faces of the audience members such as Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake show us that although the Latin beats and music is permeating popular culture, the windows into our traditional culture, like salsa dances, are impressive and less visible to the general public.
This emphasis in Spanish-speaking artists reveals the intentions of TV networks that are trying to tap into the millions of people who watch TV every day. The 14th Latin Grammy Award show debuted the week before the AMAs and reached 9.8 million viewers, while the AMAs reached 12.9 million viewers, according to the Nielsen Corporation. Hispanics represent an audience full of possibilities for companies that understand that Hispanics want to be represented the same way that white Americans are in the majority of other programs on larger television networks in English.
Hispanics will not disappear in the rest of the 21st century. On the contrary, it’s more probable that Latinos will control more of the market for a variety of goods and services, not lost among those the music industry. Although Pitbull was one of the first Hispanic hosts of a music awards program, he will surely not be the last. Dale, Hispanics in the United States.
Source: Technician Online