Angela Álvarez made history at the Latin Grammys this Thursday by winning the award for best new artist at the age of 95.
The singer tied in the category with musician and songwriter Silvana Estrada, but had already set a record entering 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,” Alvarez said accepting his award on stage at the Latin Grammys in Las Vegas.
The Cuban woman’s passion for music began in her youth. Her father discouraged her from pursuing a career in music, but she found joy in performing for her family. The mother of four, grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of 15 immigrated to the United States in the 1960s, according to Billboard.
Over the years, he sang to his family about his life and developed a collection of songs that he composed. With the encouragement and support of his grandson, he eventually recorded and released a collection of his songs in 2021.
The Latin Grammy nomination came as a surprise to her, Alvarez 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 I have. Some people give up, but I didn’t. I’ve always struggled,” he said.
Álvarez concluded his speech on Thursday with words of inspiration.
“To those who have not fulfilled their dream, even though life is difficult, there is always a way out and with faith and love you can achieve it, I promise you,” said Álvarez. “It’s never too late.”