The singer and composer Joan Manuel Serrat has been awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts 2024 for being “defending dialogue against tension”, as made public today in Oviedo by the jury in charge of granting it. The singer said goodbye to music in 2022 after his farewell tour “The vice of singing. Serrat 1966-2022”, which lasted until the end of the year and ended at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona on December 23. In it, he traveled through different Spanish cities and will also be in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago de Chile (Chile) and Montevideo (Uruguay).

The singer-songwriter, composer, actor, writer, poet and musician is also an honorary Doctor from several Spanish and Latin American universities. He has also been decorated, in addition to Spain, in Venezuela, Argentina, France, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Peru and Mexico. Gold Medal in Fine Arts (1994) and Merit in Work (2006) from Spain, he has been recognized with the insignia of the Order of the Aztec Eagle of Mexico (2010) and the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso the Wise Man of the Government of Spain (2022). Among other distinctions, he has received the National Prize for Current Music (2010), the Latin Grammy for person of the year (2014) and the Odeón de Honor Award (Spain, 2022). In 2023 he was named Adoptive Son of Orihuela and received the Lawyers of Atocha Award for their defense of human rights.

Graduated in Agricultural Technical Engineering, Serrat is considered one of the figures most relevant of Spanish music, literature and folklore since he began his career in 1965. He came into contact with music during his university years. His work has influences from other poets, such as Mario Benedetti, Antonio Machado, Miguel Hernández, Rafael Alberti, Federico García Lorca, Pablo Neruda, Joan Salvat-Papasseit and León Felipe among others; as well as various genres, such as Catalan folklore, Spanish copla, tango, bolero and the popular Latin American songbook, since he has covered songs by Violeta Parra and Víctor Jara.

In 1971the singer-songwriter, actor, writer, poet and troubadour closed a legendary album in a Milan studio, ‘Mediterranean’, a display of light in a gray Spain, which would impact the society of the moment but would soon reach the status of timeless. That job was created more than 50 years ago in a Calella de Palafrugell hotel with 10 simple cancones but round. Like the one that gives the album its title, dedicated to the sea that cradled him since he was a child; a song that would end up being hummed by the entire country. Or ‘Those little things’, which contains one of his most personal and evocative lyrics. Or all the others, from ‘Lucía’ to ‘What’s going to happen to you’, passing through ‘Vencidos’, ‘Pueblo blanco’, ‘The woman I want’, ‘Paper boat’, ‘Uncle Alberto’ and ‘ Wandering’. It is an essential album that traveled through time, to the point of appearing in the top 3 of the best 100 Spanish albums of the 20th century. One of his most inspired works, a summary of his lyrics, his great themes and his emotional search as a singer of the little things.