Colombian bombshell Shakira and reggaeton newcomers Calle 13 of Puerto Rico dominated the seventh annual Latin Grammy Awards last night (Nov. 2) in a show celebrating music from throughout the Americas and Spain. Shakira won five of the six Latin Grammys for which she was nominated and held center stage throughout the ceremony at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
Her album “Fijacion Oral Vol. 1” captured album of the year and best female pop vocal album, and the single “La Tortura” won record of the year and song of the year.
“Fijacion Oral Vol. 1” also won best engineered album, with credit going to engineers Gustavo Celis, Serban Ghanea, Mauricio Guerrero, Rob Jacobs, Kevin Killen and Dave Way and mastering engineer Vlado Meller.
Meanwhile, Calle 13 symbolized the spectacular rise of reggaeton, a Latin form of hip-hop that has become enormously popular with young listeners. The duo of half brothers Rene Perez, better known as “Residente,” and Eduardo Cabra, or “Vistante,” captured awards for best urban music album for the debut record “Calle 13,” best new artist, and best short form music video for “Atrevete Te, Te!”
The show started with a medley performed by a gyrating Shakira accompanied by Spain’s Alejandro Sanz, who played guitar and sang along with her on a version of “La Tortura” more tame than that of the sizzling video.
But there was plenty of spice in the show. At one point, a female dancer licked the face of Mexican superstar Thalia during a performance of the artist’s “Seduccion.”
The crowd came alive when Mexican group Mana shared the stage with Juan Luis Guerra of the Dominican Republic. Guerra later said he might tour with Mana once his next record comes out.
Puerto Rican star Ricky Martin, who was honored as the Latin Grammy’s man of the year for his campaign against trafficking in prostituted children, punctuated a rousing performance by warning, “To those traffickers, we are at war.”
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a grand entrance, following a bevy of dancers in red dresses. He even tried out his beginner Spanish on the crowd, saying “I, too, love New York and Latin music.”
The awards were hosted by Mexican soap star Lucero and Puerto Rican salsa star Victor Manuelle and televised on the Univision network. They honored recordings released from April 2005 through June 2006.
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