Tropical producer Sergio George and and reggaeton hitmakers Wisin & Yandel were early winners tonight (Nov. 13) at the 9th annual Latin Grammy awards, presented at Houston's Toyota Center.
On the strength of his work on Marc Anthony's "El Cantante" soundtrack and several other songs by Gloria Trevi and others, George beat out a diverse field of pop and alternative producers including Best New Artist nominee Ximena Sarinana. "El Cantante" also won Best Salsa Album.
George brought his young daughter onstage with him to accept his award. The producer says his next career move is launching a children's group in early 2009.
In the night's first upset, Wisin & Yandel beat out critics' favorite Tego Calderon when they won Best Urban Album for "Los Extraterrestres."
Later, duranguense duo Los Horoscopos de Durango beat veteran singer/songwriter Joan Sebastian in Best Banda Album for "Ayer, Hoy y Siempre." Sebastian went on to win for Best Regional Mexican Song for "Estos Celos," from Vicente Fernandez' "Para Siempre" album. That release won for Best Ranchero Album.
The night's most-nominated act, Cafe Tacvba, so far have won one award, for Best Alternative Song for "Volver a Comenzar." Other winners announced during the pre-telecast awards included Julieta Venegas, a double winner for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Long Form Music Video for her "MTV Unplugged."
Backstage, Jose Tillan, co-producer of Venegas' "Unplugged" special, dedicated his award to "those who are in love in the state of California. They should have the same rights as me and my wife have," said Tillan, referring to the state's recent vote to ban same-sex marriage.
Best Rock Solo vocal album went to Andres Calamaro, for "La Lengua Popular," who joked backstage, "I thought in order to win this award I'd have to go into Juanes' house and steal it." It was his first Grammy.
Juanes' "Me Enamora" won for best short-form music video, and Belanova won for Best Pop Album By a Duo Or Group with vocal for "Fantasia Pop." Emilio Estefan, whose wife Gloria was honored last night as the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year, won for his production of his wife's album "90 Millas," winner of Best Traditional Tropical Album.
Costa Rica scored its first Latin Grammy, with classical contemporary composer Carlos Jose Castro winning an award for his composition "Concierto Del Sol." "I hope to be the first of many that make it here," said Castro.