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The Biggest Night in Latin Music just got bigger with the addition of Yalitza Aparicio as host of the 2020 Latin Grammy Awards.

The Oscar-nominated Roma star will take the stage alongside singer Carlos Rivera and television host Ana Brenda on Nov. 19 in the live Miami Broadcast airing on Univision at 8 p.m. ET/PT. 

“It’s my first time being a host and I’m really excited to be part of such an important award show,” Aparicio tells EW in Spanish. “We’re living in unique times which requires a lot of extra care. The experience will certainly be different than previous years, but none of this will affect the incredible surprises we have planned for viewers. It’s going to be so much fun!”

Yalitza Aparicio
Credit: Araya Diaz/Getty

The theme for the night’s celebration is “Music Makes Us Human,” which is what clinched the deal for Aparicio. Not only does she believe in the message passionately, but she explains how a particular genre keeps her motivated amid the pandemic.

“We had been in discussions for some time about having me host, but it was the theme of the night that really caught my attention,” she explains. “I really believe in that message, especially now as we find ourselves in such critical times where so many people are feeling isolated. Music has the power to motivate and to lift our spirits. I select what I'll listen to based on what my needs are at the time. If I need some energy, I crank up the Reggaeton. I’m the type of person that needs music in order to get my day going. If I don’t play Reggaeton in the morning, I’ll go back to sleep.”

Yalitza Aparicio
Credit: Univision

She adds of her favorite artists, “Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you how much I love Daddy Yankee’s music. I am obsessed with him! Well, let me correct myself. I am obsessed with his music. He is one of the pioneers of the genre, you can’t not love his music. Another pioneer I admire is Ivy Queen, who will be performing at the Latin Grammys. Who hasn’t gotten down to her music?”

Aparicio, who says she’s taking the time to learn beyond her experience working on Roma before deciding on her next film project, says she understands now what her presence in a tentpole adds to the conversation about representation and diversity in Hollywood. The Mexican-born actress continues her battle to break down barriers for Latinas with indigenous and mestiza origins, who have long been reduced to playing stereotypes in media and have been excluded from taking center stage at award shows and other prestigious events.

“Every step I take, I carry with me a community that doesn’t see themselves reflected in media. I work hard to ensure we are represented the right way,” she says emphatically. “I am conscious of the fact that I am not alone in this world. We are an important part of society and I carry every voice out there that feels silenced due to lack of representation in Hollywood. I know who I am and nothing will deter me from lifting up others.”

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