Juanes delivers music with a message at historic AIDS awareness concert
Juanes performed for a cause on Thursday night in Washington D.C.
Grammy-award winning rocker Juanes wowed an audience of around 2,000 with crowd favorites like “Mala Gente” and “Volverte a Ver” during a concert to promote AIDS awareness.
Headlining ”The Beat Goes On IV” Thursday night at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., where the International AIDS Conference is currently taking place, Juanes called on those in attendance to work together to combat the deadly syndrome.
“The battle has not been finished,” he said in Spanish to an audience both old and young, Latino and non-Latino, gay and straight that roared its approval.
Throughout his career, Juanes has dedicated himself to more than just music, championing causes that range from the removal of land mines back home in Colombia to protecting indigenous languages.
He said that unless the world works together to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, “it’s like being asleep to the problem.”
Juanes (who stopped by our rehearsal booth at Premios Juventud to host a live Twitter chat with fans) conducted the entire concert in Spanish. He has said repeatedly that while he respects artists that do not, he prefers to sing in Spanish because he thinks and feels in the language.
The concert celebrated the 20th anniversary of Lifebeat, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching youth about HIV/AIDS and STD prevention.
President Obama lifted a ban on people traveling to the U.S. with HIV in 2009, allowing the conference to take place in the country for the first time in 30 years. 25,000 delegates from around the world were expected to attend.
The last event in Lifebeat’s “Beat Goes On” concert series was more than a decade ago in Washington, D.C. when the AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed on the national mall. Bon Jovi, Patti Smith and Chaka Khan performed at that concert.
(Photos: Alejandra Lascurain)