LOS ANGELES – Alternative singer-songwriter Bebe (search) carried Thursday's Latin Grammys into a new era, with the awards show being broadcast in Spanish for the first time and showcasing a broad cross-section of music, including hip-hop, reggaeton, R&B and rock.
Bebe, of Valencia, Spain, led the pack with five nominations: record of the year and song of the year for "Malo"; album of the year and best female pop vocal album for her debut, "Pafuera Telaranas"; and best new artist.
Crooner Marc Anthony (search), singer Obie Bermudez, pop sensation Aleks Syntek (search) and rockers J.D. Natasha and Juanes were each nominated in three categories.
Anthony was nominated for best male pop vocal album for "Amar Sin Mentiras" and best salsa album and best tropical song for "Valio La Pena." Colombia's alternative rocker-turned-pop star Juanes had nominations for best rock solo vocal album for "Mi Sangre," best rock song for "Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor" and best music video for "Volverte a Ver."
Mexico's Syntek received nominations for record of the year and song of the year with "Duele El Amor" and best music video for "A Veces Fui." Puerto Rico-born Bermudez (search) was nominated for album of the year and best male pop vocal album for "Todo El Ano" and song of the year for the album's title track.
Miami-based newcomer Natasha was up for honors in the categories of best new artist, best rock solo album for "Imperfecta-Imperfect," and best rock song for "Lagrimas."
Tejano singer Alejandro Fernandez (search) was to kick off the live Univision Network telecast from the Shrine Auditorium. The Mexican balladier was nominated for best male pop vocal album for "A Corazon Abierto."
Those scheduled to perform included Bebe, Juanes, Tex-Mex crooners Intocable, rapper Vico C, and reggaeton superstar Don Omar. Also due to take the stage during the sixth annual awards show were several Latin music greats — Cachao, Ed Calle, Generoso Jimenez, Johnny Pacheco, Arturo Sandoval, John Santos, Bebo Valdes and Orestes Vilato.
Model and TV personality Rebecca de Alba and actor Eduardo Santamarina were co-hosting the sixth annual awards show, which included English-language captions for non-Spanish speakers watching at home.
The broad range of performers nominated reflects the changing face of Latin music, which until recent years had been dominated by traditional ballads, pop songs and regional dance music.