Jennifer Lopez presents ex Marc Anthony with award at Latin Grammys

Jennifer Lopez surprised guests at the 17th annual Latin Grammy Awards Thursday when she performed with and presented an award to her ex-husband Marc Anthony.

She described the father of her eight-year-old twins as “a living legend” as she presented Anthony with the Latin Grammy Awards’ Person of the Year prize.

“Marc, you are a living legend who has laid bare your heart and soul on your musical journey,” Lopez said in Spanish. “We’ve learned so much and we’ve grown so much, and you’ve always been so many things in my life: my mentor, a twin soul, a father who’s not only the Person of the Year, he’s the person of all time.”

The audience cheered, “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss” and the former couple obliged with a small peck.

Anthony and Lopez were wed from 2004 to 2011. He has been married to Venezuelan model Shannon De Lima since 2014.

Anthony, who was feted in a separate ceremony Wednesday, dedicated his award to his five children, whom he said have “sacrificed more than anyone” for his career. He also dedicated the prize to “all those people who told me I would never make it.”

Lopez and Anthony performed Olvidame y Pega la Vuelta together Thursday. Anthony also sang his hit I Need to Know. The former couple also appeared together recently at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton.

Colombian singer Manuel Medrano and Puerto Rican artist Yandel each won two Latin Grammys during a ceremony that began with a strong message in defense of Latinos.

Juanes and Pablo Lopez opened the show with a performance of Tu Enemigo (Your Enemy), backed by a gospel choir and Cirque du Soleil gymnasts. The song includes the lyric, “your hands are my flag and I have a song as my border.”

Anti-discrimination messages

Show host Roselyn Sanchez repeated the lyric after their performance, saying, “the only barriers that should exist are the songs.”

Actor-director Diego Luna, who presented the song of the year award to the composers of La Bicicleta, urged unity among Latinos.

“Together we can fight hate and discrimination,” he said. “We are stronger together.”

Medrano was named best new artist and also won for singer-songwriter album. Yandel won urban song and urban fusion for Encantadora. Other winners included Gente de Zona and Banda El Recodo De Cruz Lizárraga.

Performances were as common as prizes during the ceremony. Laura Pusini, Jesse y Joy and Wisin were among the entertainers who took the stage.

The late Mexican composer Juan Gabriel won three Latin Grammys.

During an untelevised presentation, his album Los duo 2 was named best traditional pop vocal album.

Singer Andres Ceballos of Dvicio, who presented Gabriel’s award, seemed unaware the artist had died. After proclaiming him the winner, Ceballos said Gabriel was not present and that the academy would ensure he received his award.

Considered one of Mexico’s greatest singers and composers, Gabriel died in August at age 66. The Latin Recording Academy recognized Gabriel as its 2009 Person of the Year.

Laura Pusini, Jesse y Joy and Wisin were among the entertainers who took the stage at the event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which was broadcast live on Univision.

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