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Latin 02/09/2001

Estefans to skip Latin Grammys after Miami move

- MIAMI (Reuters) - Disappointed over the Latin Grammys' decision to move the show from Miami, Latin pop diva Gloria Estefan and her husband, music producer Emilio Estefan, have decided not to attend the awards show in Los Angeles this month, the Miami Herald reported Saturday.

Last month, Grammy chief Michael Greene abruptly announced the show would be moved from Miami to Los Angeles because of concerns that protests by Cuban exile groups against artists from communist-run Cuba could threaten the safety of performers and spectators.
"The only reason we were participating in the Grammys this year is because it was a dream for us that it would be in our city that we love," Emilio Estefan told the Herald. "It's nothing against the Grammys or the Cuban community, I just wish things would have worked out."

Emilio Estefan, who has three projects nominated for Latin Grammy Awards at next month's show, rose to fame as the mastermind behind the Latin-meets-American sound of the Miami Sound Machine. He was a prominent figure at last year's Latin Grammys, nominated for six awards and named Person of the Year.

Havana-born Gloria, a hugely popular figure in this heavily Cuban city, presented awards and performed at last year's show.

The couple plays a prominent role in the booming Latin music scene in Miami, home to such Latin stars as Ricky Martin, Julio Inglesias and numerous Latin record labels.

Miami has lobbied hard to host the Latin Grammys since last year, hoping to prove the city can tolerate such an event. But Cuban exile politics have caused organizers to shy away.

In a Los Angeles Times interview, Greene said he doubted that the show would come back to Miami any time soon. "There would have to be a seismic shift in the political leadership of the city of Miami ... for us to be able to go back," Greene told the Times.

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