According to The New York Times, there was a healthy mix of new talent (for example, Jesse & Joy) and expected winners (such as Juan Luis Guerra-shown above with Juanes) at the 13th annual Latin Grammy Awards last Thursday. The award for album of the year went to “MTV Unplugged,” by Juanes, the Colombian songwriter who now has 19 Latin Grammys, matching the record number held by the Puerto Rican hip-hop group Calle 13. Among the many winners harking from the Caribbean, were Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra, Cuban-Canadian Alex Cuba [see previous post Alex Cuba Wins Latin Grammy, Releases “Ruido”], Dominican singer Millie Quezada, Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, Cuban guitarist/singer Eliades Ochoa, and Puerto Rico’s Don Omar.
The [awards] anointed a new favorite for the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences: Jesse & Joy, Mexican siblings whose heartbroken ballad “¡Corre!” (“Run!”) was named song of the year (an award for the songwriters) and record of the year (for the recorded single), stealing the spotlight from frequent Latin Grammy winners. Joy Huerta, of the group Jesse & Joy, performed on Thursday night at the 13th annual Latin Grammy Awards. In the awards show, broadcast from Las Vegas on Univision, Jesse & Joy’s third album of pop-rock, “¿Con Quién Se Queda El Perro?” (“Who Gets the Dog?”), was named best contemporary pop album, while another single by the duo, “Me Voy” (“I’m Leaving”), received the best music video award. Jesse & Joy, whose last name is Huerta, won the Latin Grammy for best new artist in 2007; this year they started running out of people to thank.
[. . .] The award for album of the year went to “MTV Unplugged,” by Juanes, the Colombian songwriter who now has 19 Latin Grammys, matching the record number held by the Puerto Rican hip-hop group Calle 13. “MTV Unplugged” was also named best long-form video. Juanes performed alongside the guitarist Carlos Santana, who pumped bluesy tension into Juanes’s “Fíjate Bien” (“Just Imagine Well”), a song about land mines.
Juan Luis Guerra, the Dominican songwriter who produced Juanes’s album and went into the show with the most nominations, shared the album of the year award and was named producer of the year. He had the arena audience dancing to his merengue “En El Cielo No Hay Hospital,” (“In Heaven There Are No Hospitals”), a song of the year nominee. (Mr. Guerra was also the guest singer on the recording of best tropical song, Milly Quezada’s “Toma Mi Vida,” although the award is given to the songwriters, not the performers. Ms. Quezada’s album “Aquí Estoy Yo” (“Here I Am”) was named best contemporary tropical album.) [. . .] Arturo Sandoval, a Cuban trumpeter who defected to the United States in 1990, won the awards for tango album, “Tango Como Yo Te Siento” (“Tango, How I Feel You”) [. . .]. Eliades Ochoa, a Cuban guitarist and singer who was a member of the Buena Vista Social Club, won best traditional tropical album for “Un Bolero Para Ti” (“A Bolero for You”).
[. . .] The beginning and end of this year’s Latin Grammys were the domain of Pitbull, a Cuban-American rapper who builds risqué party songs with an international assortment of collaborators; he lost in the urban song category to the Puerto Rican reggaeton rapper Don Omar. Pitbull started the evening strolling around the stage amid dozens of bumping, grinding, gold-costumed women, in and out of cages. The night’s closing song, “Crazy People” (with Pitbull and the Dominican rapper Sensato), was broadcast after 11 and had some silent, presumably censored, moments. The dancers tore away straitjackets to reveal pink unitards, filled the air with feathers from pillow fights and kept on shimmying.
Watch Don Omar, Lucenzo, et al here: