NEW YORK – Singer Marc Anthony became on Monday the first Latin artist to be presented with the 2019 Order of the Golden Sphinx award, named after a traditional symbol of the Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770, a Harvard University society, during its annual gala in New York.
Apart from bestowing on him its highest honor, the institute, that aims to provide educational and developmental support in all aspects of the performing arts for the underprivileged, also made the six-time Grammy and Latin Grammy winner an honorary member.
“I am honored to receive the Order of the Golden Sphinx Award this year,” Anthony had said in a statement at the end of March, after the announcement of the award.
“Growing up in New York City, I benefited from performing arts programs in our community. The cultivation of new talent around the world is the future of generations everywhere,” he had added.
When the Latin music sensation, accompanied by his sister Yolanda and sons Ryan and Alex Muñiz, went up on stage to receive the award, he was greeted with loud applause from the crowd.
He said during his speech that music came as a blessing in his life and added that it has been his comfort zone since childhood.
Anthony said music taught him to tell stories, fight for his beliefs, and gave him the courage to face the world.
Speaking to EFE, the actor and entrepreneur, said that he was both honored and nervous about receiving the award.
“I don’t know what to expect but Harvard and Hasty Pudding is an immense honor,” he said.
Speaking about his career, he also told EFE that he has taken “precise decisions in precise moments.”
“You can’t make decisions for money or fame. One has to fully understand what one represents. This, so far, has worked very well for me,” he said.
“When I’m no longer there, my music is going to speak in the name of my family, my roots, my friends, everything,” he said.
The institute also showed a video, prior to the award presentation, on his successful career on stage, as a philanthropist and an entrepreneur.
Hasty Pudding Chairman Andrew L. Farkas praised him for the recognition he has received and for his humanitarian work with the Colombian businessman Henry Cardenas through the Maestro Cares Foundation.
The video also recognized the work he did for Puerto Rico after the devastation caused by hurricane Maria in September 2017.
Farkas said that not only does Anthony have a good voice he also has a good heart and highlighted the great friendship that unites them.
“It is our privilege to present Marc Anthony with the 2019 Order of The Golden Sphinx, as his contributions to the world of the performing arts are renowned,” Farkas had said in March, while announcing the award.
“Marc is extraordinarily talented, and has inspired people, young and old, around the world with his music and his generous spirit, and continues to elevate all of those around him while celebrating all that is good in this world,” he added.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a video message said that Anthony was a New Yorker and remembered how he along with his Cleopatra – a jokey reference to his former wife Jennifer Lopez – held a concert that raised about $30 million to help victims of Hurricane Maria.
Previous Order of the Golden Sphinx award winners include Michael Lynton, Chairman of Snap, Inc and former CEO of Sony Entertainment; David Heyman producer of Gravity and the Harry Potter movie franchise and Clive Davis, legendary music producer and Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music, among other names.
The Institute has a Hasty Pudding Club, the oldest social club in the United States, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the third oldest theatrical group in the world, and Harvard Krokodiloes, the main acapella university group in the country.
The gala’s funds are aimed to help various institutions in the field of arts, education and community services.