Angela Álvarez made Latin Grammy history on Thursday by winning the award for best new artist at age 95.
The singer tied in the category with musician and songwriter Silvana Estrada, but she had already set a record going into the event with her nomination as the oldest musician ever nominated in the category.
“I want to dedicate this award to God and to my beloved country, Cuba, which I will never be able to forget,” Álvarez said accepting her award on stage at the Latin Grammys in Las Vegas.
The Cuban-native’s passion for music began in her youth. She was discouraged from pursuing a career in music by her father but found joy performing for her family. The mother of four, grandmother of nine and the great-grandmother of 15 immigrated to the United States in the 1960s, according to Billboard.
Over the years, she sang for her family about her life and developed a collection of songs she composed. At the encouragement and support of her grandson, she eventually recorded and released collection of her songs in 2021.
The Latin Grammy nomination came as a surprise to her, Álvarez told CNN en Español last month.
“I felt very, very proud to be able to tell my story, to touch people who have probably gone through the same or more than what I have gone through. There are people who give up, but I did not give up. I always fought,” she said.
Álvarez concluded her speech on Thursday with words of inspiration.
“To those who have not fulfilled their dream, although life is difficult, there is always a way out and with faith and love you can achieve it, I promise you,” Álvarez said. “It’s never too late.”
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