LOS ANGELES – Capping a week dominated by the national debate on immigration policy, Sunday's 2006 ALMA Awards celebrated positive portrayals and outstanding achievements by Hispanic artists from the worlds of music, television and film.
Anthony received the Celia Cruz Award for Excellence in Music, and R&B crooner Brian McKnight feted the singer by performing his Grammy-nominated hit "You Sang to Me" in both English and Spanish. Garcia took home the Anthony Quinn Award for Excellence in Motion Pictures.
"You know Anthony Quinn is a great inspiration to me and to all of us," the Oscar-nominated actor said backstage. "So the fact that his name is associated with this award and that my name is associated with him is a big honor for me."
Colombian songstress Shakira and reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee were named outstanding musical performers. Shakira also won the Best Spanish Album award.
"Lost" stars Michelle Rodriguez and Jorge Garcia were each recognized for their supporting roles on the popular ABC television drama. "The West Wing" and series star Jimmy Smits also won awards.
Actress Q'Orianka Kilcher, actor Michael Pena and director Fernando Meirelles were recognized for their achievements in film.
Politics and the Latin rhythms of reggaeton played central roles in the program hosted by "Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria. Guest stars included Carmen Electra, Michael Douglas, Jessica Alba and Jessica Simpson.
"Like anything else, it's a wonderful experience to be able to unite and come together," actor Edward James Olmos said. "We've been watching it happen throughout the last month throughout the United States of America. And this is one of the moments that unites the entertainment industry and I'm very grateful for it."
The National Council of La Raza, the country's largest Hispanic advocacy organization, created the ALMA Awards in 1995 to honor Hispanic performers and promote positive images of Hispanics in entertainment.
Sunday's ALMA's, which stands for American Latino Media Arts and also means "soul" in Spanish, will air June 5 on ABC.