Billboard Bits: Latin Grammys, Ray Charles, Joe Walsh

News on Latin Grammys, Ray Charles, Joe Walsh

NellySinger/actress Gloria Estefan and actor Jimmy Smits will co-host the third annual Latin Grammy Awards, set for Sept. 18 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Along with Jennifer Lopez and Andy Garcia, Estefan and Smits were the co-hosts of the 2000 inaugural ceremony. Last year's event, which was canceled due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S., was to have featured Smits and Christina Aguilera as co-hosts.

As previously reported, Carlos Vives leads the field with six Latin Grammys nominations. Salsa legend Celia Cruz pulled in four nominations, while Miguel Bose, Emilio Estefan, Juanes, Gian Marco, and Alejandro Sanz each netted three nods for the honors. On Sept. 10, Warner Music Latina will release a Latin Grammys compilation CD that will include nominees from the categories for record and album of the year, best salsa album, best ranchero album, and best music video.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

Accompanied by the Utah Symphony, R&B legend Ray Charles will perform an Oct. 15 concert at Salt Lake City's Abravanel Hall. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Caring Foundation, a Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah organization that provides complete dental treatment plans for uninsured children throughout the state. Tickets priced at $50 and $60 will go on sale Monday (Aug. 26) via Smith's Tix and the Abravanel Hall box office. A limited number of $150 VIP tickets, which include a seat in the first 20 rows and a pre-concert dinner and auction at the Grand America Hotel are available by calling 801-333-5679.

Following George Thorogood and Charlie Daniels, Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh is the latest musician to appear in UPS' NASCAR-themed "Big Brown Truck" television ads. For the latest clip, Walsh reconstructs the lyrics to his 1978 hit "Life's Been Good" in an attempt to convince racer Dale Jarrett to scrap his car for one of UPS' delivery trucks. The ad will debut Saturday (Aug. 24) on the TNT cable network during coverage of the Sharpie 500 from the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. Past TV spots in the UPS campaign have seen Thorogood and Daniels recrafting their respective signature songs "Bad to the Bone" and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."