Commercial success stories triumphed over critical darlings at Thursday's Latin Grammys, with Juanes, Julieta Venegas, Wisin & Yandel, Flex and Kany Garcia emerging victorious during 9th annual awards in Houston.

Colombian rock star Juanes won for Album of the Year and Best Male Pop vocal album for "La Vida Es... Un Ratico." His "Me Enamora" also won for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Short Form Music Video. In accepting his Album of the Year award, Juanes said alternative artists Gustavo Cerati, Café Tacvba and Andres Calamaro "have all inspired my music, which at the end of the day is popular."

Puerto Rican singer/songwriter Kany Garcia emerged victorious in a Best New Artist field that included Mexican alternative singer-songwriter Ximena Sariñana, a commercial success in Mexico who has yet to break big in the U.S. Garcia also took home the award for Best Female Pop Vocal album for "Cualquier Dia." Garcia dedicated her award to Puerto Rico and to Mexico, for being "my second home," and from which she was able to break the continental U.S. market.

In the night's first upset, Wisin & Yandel beat out critics' favorite Tego
Calderon when they won Best Urban Album for "Los Extraterrestres." The duo was not there to accept their award. In the urban song category, Flex's "Te Quiero," a song that ruled the charts relentlessly in pop and regional Mexican versions, emerged the winner.

Alternative/pop singer-songwriter Julieta Venegas won earlier in the day for Best Long Form Music Video and Best Alternative Album.

Alternative rock legends Café Tacvba, who entered the night with the most nominations, walked away with awards for Best Rock Song ("Esta Vez") and Best Alternative Song ("Volver A Comenzar").

Juanes bounded onstage to receive his first award after opening the show with his hits "Me Enamora," and "Odio Por Amor," plus a joint performance with R&B artist John Legend. Backed by a gospel choir, Legend dueted with Juanes in heavily accented Spanish on a translated version of Legend's "If You're Out There" from his new album.

Hosts Cristian de la Fuente and Patricia Manterola kicked off the Univision telecast by announcing that the night's theme would be "change" -- a familiar refrain in the 2008 election year.

In accepting his Record of the Year award, Juanes said, "You've chosen the correct President."

After her "90 Millas" won for Best Tropical Traditional Album, Person of the Year Gloria Estefan answered a reporter's question backstage about her hopes for a change in U.S.-Cuba policy with the election of Barack Obama as president.

"If we had a possibility of bettering relations with Cuba that would be great, but as long as the Castro brothers are there, it's an impossibility," said Estefan. "Until they are out of there, we're not going to see things [get] much better for the Cuban people."

After an introduction by actor Andy Garcia, Estefan brought the house down with "Mi Tierra" and "Oye Mi Canto," followed by a collaboration with Carlos Santana and Jose Feliciano on "No Lloren."

Another standout performance came from Julieta Venegas, who won earlier in the evening for Best Long Form Music Video and Best Alternative Album. Venegas performed "El Presente" with multinational accordion jammers Emiliano Zuleta, David Lee Garza, Michael Salgado and Fernando Otera. Jimmy Zambrano, Jorge Celadon and Mariachi Vargas also had everyone on their feet in a pan-Latin collaboration.