Lin-Manuel Miranda and Luis Fonsi dedicated their Latin Grammy prizes to their hurricane-ravaged homeland of Puerto Rico on Thursday (16Nov17).

Puerto Rican Broadway visionary Lin-Manuel Miranda received the President's Merit Award for his work, and in his acceptance speech, which he gave in both Spanish and English, he thanked his wife, parents and many collaborators, and paid homage to his Puerto Rican roots.

Speaking passionately about his heritage, he shared his hope to remind U.S. leaders that residents of the Caribbean commonwealth "are human beings, too". The authorities were criticised for taking too long to help citizens after Hurricane Maria hit the country in September.

Despacito, which pays tribute to the now devastated region, took home three major awards. The Luis Fonsi track, featuring Daddy Yankee, was named Record of the Year during the annual ceremony, and Fonsi dedicated the coveted honour to the island territory.

The remix of the global smash with Justin Bieber also earned Best Urban Fusion/Performance and Best Short Form Music Video.

Held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, the night began on a heartfelt note with a moment of silence dedicated to the victims of the September (17) disaster. Rapper Residente then performed the show's opening number Hijos del Canaveral (Sons of Canaveral), sporting a Puerto Rican flag shirt as a tribute to his homeland.

Hosted by actress Roselyn Sanchez and actor, singer Jaime Camil, the evening also included a win for Colombian sensation Juanes, who claimed Best Pop/Rock Album for Mis Planes Son Amarte, while Shakira won Contemporary Pop Album for El Dorado.

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