Billboard Bits: Latin Grammys, Martsch, Classical Brits

News on Latin Grammys, Doug Martsch, Classical Brits

Latin GrammyThe third annual Latin Grammy Awards are set for Sept. 18 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. The awards will be broadcast live by CBS in the U.S. This year, the Latin Grammys will present winners in two new categories: best contemporary tropical album and best Christian album, for a total of 41 categories. Nominations are expected to be announced in July.

This will be the second time the Latin Grammys have been televised. Last year's awards, which had been scheduled to take place Sept. 11, were postponed and eventually canceled in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the U.S.; winners, led by Alejandro Sanz with four, were announced during a press conference in late October.

-- Leila Cobo, Miami

DougBuilt To Spill guitarist Doug Martsch's long-completed solo debut has been set for a tentative September release by Warner Bros. The album, titled "Now You Know," was recorded at Martsch's home studio in Boise, Idaho, and has been in the can for about two years. In the spring of 2000, he told Billboard it had been inspired by old folk and blues music and that it was full of "simple songs in open guitar tunings, with just one or two parts." Look for the artist to play some solo acoustic shows in support of it later this year.

Built To Spill has been off the road since last fall, when it toured in support of its most recent Warner Bros. album, "Ancient Melodies of the Future." That set debuted at No. 94 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 73,000 units in the U.S., according to SoundScan.

-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.

CeciliaItalian opera singer Cecilia Bartoli leads the field with three nominations for the third annual Classical Brit Awards, set for May 23 at London's Royal Albert Hall. Her album "Gluck, Italian Arias" (Decca/Universal) is up for Rover album of the year; she is also nominated for female artist of the year and the critics' award, an honor decided by a panel of U.K. media members. Veteran Hollywood composers Tan Dun, Howard Shore, and Hans Zimmer will compete for the contemporary music award, a new category.

Conductor Sir Simon Rattle and tenor Russell Watson took top honors last year; Rattle's EMI Classics recording with the Berliner Philharmoniker of Mahler's Symphony No. 10 was named ensemble/orchestral album of the year and received the critics' award, while Watson's "The Voice" (Decca) was named album of the year and best-selling classical debut.

-- Lars Brandle, London


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