Marc Anthony to be honored by Latin Recording Academy

SIGAL RATNER-ARIAS
Associated Press
FILE - In this April 24, 2014, file photo, Singer Marc Anthony performs during the Latin Billboard Awards in Coral Gables, Fla. In a gala on the eve of the Latin Grammys in Las Vegas, on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, Marc Anthony will be honored as the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Marc Anthony will be honored Wednesday night as the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year. But when the salsa superstar began his career more than 20 years ago, many doubted that he would be successful.

"My career at the beginning wasn't easy, because I didn't look or sounded like the 'typical salsero.' My sound wasn't considered usual by the purists," Anthony, 48, recalled in Spanish in a recent email interview with The Associated Press. "But all things considered, I had a lot of faith that I had found my voice in that genre the moment (producer) Sergio (George) and I started collaborating in my first album" — 1993's "Otra nota."

Friends and colleagues including Victor Manuelle, Laura Pausini, Prince Royce, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Fonseca and Carlos Vives will take the stage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas to celebrate Anthony's career, singing the salsero's hits.

He'll also be honored for his humanitarian work as co-founder and vice chairman of the Maestro Cares Foundation, which helps rescue impoverished children in Latin America and provides them with critical resources.

Anthony has won five Latin Grammys and two Grammy Awards and says he feels "very grateful" for the direction his career has taken.

"I've been blessed to work with many people that have helped me get to where I am, that have been there from the first day and that whenever a door would close they'd help me find my way back and grow as an artist," he said.

Anthony has sold more than 12 million albums. His hits include salsa songs in Spanish like "Valio la pena" and "Vivir mi vida," as well as pop hits in English like "I Need to Know" and "You Sang to Me."

The Latin Grammy Awards will be presented Thursday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

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Sigal Ratner-Arias is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sigalratner