Rubén Blades Bellido de Luna (born July 16, 1948), known professionally as Rubén Blades, is a Panamanian musician, singer, composer, actor, activist, and politician, performing musically most often in the Afro-Cuban, salsa, and Latin jazz genres.
As a songwriter, Blades brought the lyrical sophistication of Central American nueva canción and Cuban nueva trova as well as experimental tempos and politically inspired Son Cubano salsa to his music, creating "thinking persons' (salsa) dance music". Blades has written dozens of hit songs, including "Pedro Navaja" and "El Cantante" (which became Héctor Lavoe's signature song). He has won nine Grammy Awards out of seventeen nominations and five Latin Grammy Awards.
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