Stars Aplenty for Latin Grammys

The 11th Annual Latin Grammys showcased a variety of artists, veteran and newcomers alike from all genres of music. 

The awards ceremony, held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, was broadcast live on Univisión in the United States and across Latin America.

At the jubilant event, which drew reggaeton artists in jeans, mariachis in traditional garb and actresses in slinky gowns, viewers enjoyed the performances of some odd pairings: Ely Guerra rapping while synchronized swimmers kicked their legs upside down in pool; Enrique Iglesias performing with reggaeton duo Wisin y Yandel; Canadian-Portuguese folk-rocker Nelly Furtado and pioneering female hip-hop MC Mala Rodríguez getting their groove on with the b-boy crew JabbaWockeeZ.

The hosts, Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez and actress Lucero, worked their way through a list of 47 categories in diverse genres with devout followings, from sertaneja in Brazil to Tejano in the American Southwest, with some awards presented during the pre-show.

Mexican pop-rock group Camila won recording of the year and song of the year for "Mientes" and for best group vocal album for "Dejarte de amar." Dominican singer-songwriter Juan Luís Guerra, whose career stretches over more than two decades, won album of the year and best contemporary tropical album for "A son de Guerra," and best tropical song "Bachata en Fukuoka," adding to his previous 12 Latin Grammys.

Others, such as Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz, won best male pop vocal album for "Paraíso Express," bringing his career total to 17 Grammys.

"When I saw the opening of this Latin Grammys show, I got very emotional. I was at the first one," he said. "And see how far we've come."

Venezuelan reggaeton duo Chino y Nacho burst out of their seats when they win for best urban album was announced.

Reporters asked them what he planned to do with his gold gramophone. "Put some shots in there and drink it," Nacho said.

Bronx-born Prince Royce sang his chart-topping bilingual version of "Stand By Me" with Ben E. King, the song's original composer and singer.

King's granddaughter first played him the song. The difference between the original and the bachata version? "You can dance faster," he told reporters later.

Ricky Martin sang "Lo mejor de mi vida eres tu," with Natalia Jiménez of the Spanish pop band La Quinta Estación. He also presented the Person of the Year award to Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo.

Marc Anthony sang "Y como es el" along with José Luís Perales, who popularized the song in the 80s.

His wife, Jennifer López, who sat in the front row, seemed moved by his second song, "Tu amor me hace bien" which brought the audience to their feet to dance.

Rapper Mala Rodríguez's defiant but danceable hip-hop song, "No pidas perdon," won in the best urban song category, beating out her male Puerto Rican colleagues, including Daddy Yankee and Don Omar.

"Now they will always, always, always say, 'the winner of a Latin Grammy, Mala Rodríquez.' Sounds good," she said.

Best alternative song went to the Colombian hip-hop group Choc Quib Town for "De donde vengo yo," an earworm of a song about the remote Pacific coastal region of El Chocó and its distinctive Afro-Colombian culture.

"Long live the African people of Latin America!" said Gloria Martínez, as she choked back tears of joy, resplendent in a royal blue head wrap and a shimmering yellow gown. Martínez said she chose the dress to wear the colors of Colombia and "to feel like myself."

"They're broadcasting this in the plazas in El Chocó. We're so proud. This is national news, for the Pacific to win a Grammy," she said.

Mexican Ely Guerra brought home best alternative album for "Hombre invisible," her first independent recording.

"We who make alternative music used to watch this from far away, so to win feels really good," she said.

Even though Gustavo Cerati, lead singer of '80s sensation Soda Stereo, has been in a coma since he suffered a stroke after a concert in Venezuela in May, he was honored for his recent solo work. Cerati won best rock song for "Deja Vu" and best rock album for "Fuerza Natural."

Alex Cuba, a Cuban-Canadian songwriter and producer who has worked with Nelly Furtado, won for best new artist and promised "you're going to hear lots from me really soon." Furtado's "Mi Plan" won for best female vocal album.

Pedro Fernández wore an elegant white charro suit to sing "Celosa" and "Amarte a la antigua," which won best regional Mexican song.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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