The green carpet never happened as rain fell over Las Vegas, but there were no dampened spirits during the 14th edition of Latin Grammys which celebrated the well-known faces of music and some of the newer voices.
The night belonged to two tropical veterans. Colombian singer Carlos Vives, who took three trophies: best tropical fusion album for his album "Volví a Nacer" (Sony Music Latin), song of the year and best tropical song for the track of the same name. Producer Sergio George took his trio of wins for producer of the year, best salsa album and for producer/mixer for Marc Anthony's record of the year win for "Vivir Mi Vida." Julio Reyes also won three awards, including best engineering for Kany Garcia’s self-titled album.
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“Thank you to the public for not forgetting [me],” Vives said, referring to his nearly-a-decade-away from the spotlight. “I want to thank everyone who worked on this project. We just completed 20 years of working together.”
Salsa star Anthony said that his feel-good anthem “Vivir Mi Vida” means that “I’m living a very special time in my life.”
Singer/songwriter Draco Rosa, who earlier this year announced his bout with cancer had cleared, won for album of the year for "Vida" (Sony Music Latin). Looking surprised as he walked up to receive his award, while his wife wept, the entertainer gave a short but tender speech.
“Thank you to the family,” Rosa said, as his eyes circled the room. “Everybody, I love you all. Thank you.”
Alejandro Sanz, who was honored for best contemporary pop vocal album for "La Música No Se Toca" (Universal Music Latino), performed live on the Univision broadcast with students from Berklee College of Music. The Spanish singer recently spent time at the Boston-based school after receiving an honorary doctorate degree.
“Those students are the future,” Sanz said backstage. “I’m thankful to see them perform. They are the hope for music and they are the future of the Latin Grammys.”
In Mexican music, La Arrolladora Banda El Limón and Banda Los Recoditos tied for best banda album, while Intocable won for best norteño album.
One of the night’s biggest moments was a performance by Ricky Martin and Rosa. Both artists, once members of Puerto Rico’s teen group Menudo, performed “Más y Más.” Equally electrifying was Anthony’s performance of “Vivir Mi Vida.”
Best urban song prize went to Argentinean duo Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas for “Ula Ula,” a song that was chosen as the theme of a Target commercial this summer. The duo, who hadn’t recorded for several years, did an impromptu rendition of the song backstage at the media room.
One touching moment of the night was a tribute to Miguel Bosé who was named this year’s Latin Grammy Person of the Year. The Spanish singer performed songs with his friends Laura Pausini, Juanes and Ricky Martin before ending the set by himself with his song “Amante Bandido.”
“It was a very emotional night for him,” said, Pausini, who serenade the singer the night before during the Person of the Year gala. “Our friendship goes back many years outside of work. I admire him a lot.”
Bosé, who has also dedicated his life to helping students through music education and bringing awareness to the fight against HIV/AIDS, was touched by the accolades.
“I gave this award to Ricky a few years ago in New York,” Bosé said. “Now he’s awarding me. This award is for Bosé the singer, but it’s also for someone who believes in important causes.”
Guatemalan singer Gaby Moreno was named best new artist. Backstage the singer said her first Latin Grammy was a sweet win especially since she’s been supported by veteran singer Ricardo Arjona, who signed her to his label.
“I’m so excited,” Moreno said. “Arjona opened the doors to Latin America. This album under Metamorfosis is dedicated to fans who speak Spanish.”
Earlier in the day, during the pre-telecast, the Latin alternative Venezuelan band La Vida Bohème took the prize for best rock album. Sergio George was crowned producer of the year and later, during the evening telecast, he also won for the best salsa album, "Sergio George Presents Salsa Giants."
The high-energy early show at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas moved swiftly with Mexico pop singer Natalia Lafourcade and neotango Argentinean/Uruguayan band Bajofondo taking awards for best alternative music album and best instrumental album, respectively.
“We are not a mainstream group or pop,” Bajofondo’s Juan Campodonico said. “This makes the recognition by the academy even more important.”
Lafourcade took prizes for best alternative music album and best long form music video for “Mujer Divina: Homenaje a Agustin Lara.” The songstress was overcome with emotion as she walked up to the stage to remember the late Lara for his inspiration.
“Thank you, flaquito,” Lafourcade said, thanking the legendary Mexican singer/songwriter with his “skinny” nickname. In a backstage interview, she added, “I dedicate these awards to my family -- the Sony team and everyone who helped make this happen.”
Other wins during the pre-telecast included best Brazilian rock album going to “Ao Vivo: Rock in Rio” by Jota Quest and best Brazilian song going to singer/songwriter Roberto Carlos for "Esse Cara Sou Eu."
Best pop/rock album went to Chilean singer Beto Cuevas for “Transformación” and best rock song went to Cachorro Lopez and Vicentico for “Creo Que Me Enamore.”
Best tropical album went to Dominican singer/songwriter Juan Luis Guerra for “Asondeguerra Tour,” best traditional tropical album went to Arturo Sandoval’s “Un Siglo de Pasion” and best tropical song went to Andres Castro and Carlos Vives for "Volvi a Nacer."
Best ranchero album went to Vicente Fernandez’s “Hoy,” best regional song went to Pedro Fernandez for “Cachito de Cielo” (a track from “No Que No”) and best Tejano album went to David Lee Garza for “Just Friends.”
“This was a dream for me,” Lee said as he accepted his award. Later in a backstage interview, the crooner said enthusiastically that “we’ve been nominated several times and we never won until now.”
Best short form music video went to singer/songwriter Alex Cuba’s “Eres Tu” with directors Christian Bielz and Taylor Fox.
“This award is very important for me because it really was a community effort,” Cuba said, referring to people who supported the project. “We are going to have to celebrate for a week.”
Mexican singer/actress Lucero, who hosted the Latin Grammys, took time to meet with the press backstage and said that the rain did not dampen any spirits. “I think the rain is a good sign,” Lucero said. “It’s rare that it rains in Las Vegas. What happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. So no one tell anyone it rained.”
For a complete list of the winners, go to LatinGrammy.com.