LOS ANGELES – Italian vocalist Laura Pausini (search), Spanish alternative singer Bebe (search) and Colombian rocker Juanes (search) won awards Thursday at a revamped Latin Grammys (search) being broadcast in Spanish for the first time.
Pausini, 31, pulled off the night's first upset, receiving the best female pop vocal album for "Escucha" over the favored singer-songwriter Bebe.
"Thank you so much. I haven't prepared anything because I thought that Bebe was going to win," she said, her voice breaking. "I don't have the list of who to thank because it's at home."
The award was Pausini's first Latin Grammy.
Soon afterward, Bebe claimed her own award, for best new artist.
"I didn't expect it. That's the truth," said the native of Valencia, Spain, who led going into the awards with five nominations, including album of the year for "Pafuera Telaranas" and record of the year and song of the year for "Malo."
Dominican merengue and salsa music master Juan Luis Guerra collected two trophies: best Christian album and best tropical song for "Las Avispas."
With a yell, Puerto Rican singer Obie Bermudez raised his Grammy for best male pop artist.
Dedicating his award to his father, Bermudez said: "Nothing is impossible. I am happy, really happy. I swear I was not prepared for this. I want to give my thanks to God."
The Tex-Mex group Intocables won the award for best Norteno album for "Diez."
Mexican heartthrob Alejandro Fernandez (search) kicked off the live Univision Network telecast from the Shrine Auditorium performing "Canta Corazon" with a virtual waterfall as a backdrop. The singer was nominated for best male pop vocal album for "A Corazon Abierto."
In awards presented before the telecast, Juanes won the best rock solo vocal award for "Mi Sangre" — his 10th Latin Grammy — while Mexican rockers Molotov collected the best rock album by a group or duo.
Juanes was also nominated for best rock song for "Nada Valgo Sin Tu Amor." His song "Volverte a Ver" won best music video.
"I want to dedicate it to Colombia, my family and all the people who have supported me," Juanes said.
Los Angeles-based alternative rockers Ozomatli picked up the alternative music album award for "Street Signs," and pop star Marc Anthony's album "Valio La Pena" earned the singer the best salsa album award.
Mexican singer Luis Miguel, known best for sultry ballads, picked up the Ranchero album prize for "Mexico En La Piel."
Puerto Rican-born Elvis Crespo took home the best merengue album award for "Saborealo."
Model and TV personality Rebecca de Alba and actor Eduardo Santamarina co-hosted the show, which included English-language captions for non-Spanish speakers watching at home.
"The Latin Grammys have come home," proclaimed Santamarina, to loud cheers from the audience.
Jiro Yamaguchi with Ozomatli said he was glad to see the show on Univision. "We get more exposure to crowds we don't normally play in front of," he said.
Gustavo Santaolalla, who won producer of the year, said he hoped the English-speaking audience would tune into the show. "Music is the universal language," he said.
The show showcased genres ranging from pop to salsa to reggaeton.
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.
Mexico's pop sensation Aleks 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 was also nominated for album of the year for "Todo El Ano" and song of the year for the album's title track.
Miami-based newcomer J.D. 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."