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Never too late: This 95-year-old won Best New Artist at the Latin Grammys

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Nov 21, 2022 4:04 pm

It's never too late to follow your dreams.

A 95-year-old Cuban artist named Angela Alvarez has won the coveted Best New Artist award at the 2022 Latin Grammys. The grandmother is the oldest person to receive the award in Latin Grammys history.

Alvarez always had a penchant for music and songwriting, but her father didn't support her in her dreams growing up. She kept her talent hidden—until another family member years later gave her the chance.

Alvarez had been writing songs throughout her life. It started from her early years to her experience, losing her husband to cancer, to post-Revolution Cuba wherein she had to send her four children to the United States to flee the country's oppression.

Luckily, music made its way into her genes with her grandson, Carlos Jose Alvarez, who made a name for himself as a composer in the US. But he never forgot his grandmother's songs that she would perform back in Cuba and then Louisana where she would eventually migrate.

"She has been singing to us since we were kids," Carlos shared with TODAY. "Every chance she had to grab a guitar, she was singing to us."

Carlos was convinced to sign on his grandmother when a friend of his asked if he was "waiting for her to die" before he would go on to produce his music. 

“One day, I called her up and I said ‘I want you to sing me the songs that you compose," Carlos added.

"She walks out of a room with these notebooks that were like more than 40 songs and the songs were like a diary of her life."

"My grandson was the one who helped me get to where I am now," Angela said during her Nov. 19 acceptance speech. "I want to dedicate this award to God and my homeland Cuba, I will never forget."

“I promise you, it’s never too late," she added.