Juan Luis Guerra Leads Latin Grammy Nominations
Juan Luis Guerra Leads Latin Grammy Nominations

A slew of Latin artists, from pop star Ricardo Arjona to Brazilian icons Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and rockers Carla Morrison and Juanes, are nominated for Album of the Year for the 13th annual Latin Grammy Awards, airing live Nov. 15. The avalanche of names is a result of the first year the awards include 10 nominations in the four categories in the General Field: Record Of The Year, Album Of The Year, Song Of The Year, and Best New Artist.

"It feels great to be nominated again," Morrision said by e-mail after finding out she had three nominations, including one for Song of the Year. "I made this record with all my heart and the producers Juan Manuel Torreblanca and Andrés Landon got the best out of me. I'm such a lucky girl."

With so many names in the fray, it was hard to determine what was what. But in terms of sheer numbers, the leading finalist was Juan Luis Guerra with six nods, including one for Record of the year (for "En El Cielo No Hay Hospital") and two as songwriter for Song of the year (for "En El Cielo No Hay Hospital" and "Azul Sabina" from Juanes' MTV Unplugged album).

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Following Guerra in number of nominations is Mexican pop duo Jesse & Joy, whose song "Corre" has been a runaway hit in sales and radio. The duo is up for Album of the year with Con Quien se Qeuda el Perro and Song and Record of the year for "Corre."

Following with four nods each are pop star Ricardo Arjona, Edgar Barrera, Juanes, Carla Morrison, Arturo Sandoval, Ivete Sangalo and Caetano Veloso.

"It's even more exciting to get nominated today because it seems to get harder each time," said Juanes, who helped announce the nominees. "Twelve years ago I didn't even know what all this meant, but the Latin Grammy is a key that opens doors and this nomination still opens doors for me and many other artists."

Nominations to the Latin Grammys are given in 47 categories in 18 Fields, including Producer of the Year. There, the nominees are Moogie Canazio, Gregg Field & Arturo Sandoval, Sergio George, Juan Luis Guerra, and Martin Terefe.

The Latin Grammys will air live on Univision from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

One of the biggest surprises at this year's nominations announcement was the addition of five extra nominations for each of the four major categories, a move that Latin Recording Academy president/CEO Garbriel Abaroa Jr. says was widely criticized.

"People had this fear that if you had 10 spots for each of the four major categories then you wouldn't have good enough artists," Abaroa said. "We had so many good artists that many were still left out. I don't mind taking a risk. This is a good change and we can always go back if need be."