Juanes Tops Latin Grammys With Five Wins
Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes fulfilled predictions of a stellar night and swept five awards at the fourth-annual Latin Grammy Awards, held last night (Sept. 3) at the AmericanAirlines Arena in MColombian singer-songwriter Juanes fulfilled predictions of a stellar night and swept five awards at the fourth-annual Latin Grammy Awards, held last night (Sept. 3) at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.
Juanes, who had been nominated for five awards, won record of the year and song of the year for "Es Por Ti" (It's for You), album of the Year and best rock solo vocal album for his runaway hit "Un Dia Normal," (A Normal Day) and best rock song for "Mala Gente" (Bad People).
"It's the most impressive day of my life," Juanes told reporters after the show, after adding his five trophies to his previous four Latin Grammy awards.
Miami-based multinational band Bacilos won the best tropical song category for "Mi Primer Millon (My First Million)," their funny and fast-moving account of trying to hit the musical big time by getting on the radio and off their bicycles.
They also won best pop album by a group for "Caraluna" and had the audience at the gala night dancing when they performed "Mi Primer Millon."
Spaniard David Bisbal, a blond heartthrob who leaped to fame as winner of a national talent show, won the award for best newcomer.
A glitzy night of stars from the Latin music world, aired live in the United States on CBS, opened with a musical tribute by an array of artists including Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan to the "Queen of Salsa," Cuban-born Celia Cruz, who died in July aged 77.
But the tone of the event, led by Mexican-born television comedian George Lopez -- who peppered the show with jokes about Hispanics in the United States and Miami -- was of raucous good humor.
Hopping up and down to the stage to get his awards, Juanes echoed the feel of Latin music boom in the United States by switching, mid-sentence, between Spanish and English, and wearing a black tee-shirt adorned with the words "se habla espanol" (Spanish spoken).
Miami, a heavily Hispanic city that is home or second home to many Latin artists and a center for the Latin music industry, was delighted to have played host to the fourth annual Latin Grammys awards after losing them at the last minute in 2001 amid a dispute over Cuban exile protesters.
Only a handful of protesters -- angry at Cuban artists from the Communist-ruled island being nominated -- were outside the stadium where the event was staged on Wednesday night after it turned out that no nominees from the communist-ruled island would show up.
Cuba accused Washington of deliberately barring its musicians from attending and the State Department said some of the musicians had not submitted visa applications in time. U.S. officials also blamed the government of President Fidel Castro for playing politics with the Cuban musicians by delaying their visa applications.
In the event, the only Cuban living on the island to win an award was Ibrahim Ferrer, one of the veteran musicians whose career was relaunched with the Buena Vista Social Club. He won Best Traditional Tropical Album for his "Buenos Hermanos" (Good Brothers).
Cuban band Orishas won Best Rap/Hip Hop Album for their "Emigrante," (Migrant). The Orishas, who live in Europe but have never broken with Cuba, had been reported as saying they would not attend without their colleagues from the island.
For a complete list of winners, visit the official Web site for the Latin Grammy awards.
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