The first ever Latin Grammy Awards Wednesday were super-charged with 11 performances, VHI's Rebecca Rankin reports for CBS News.
Producer-songwriter Emilio Estefan, Mexican crooner Luis Miguel and Argentine rocker Fito Paez led the list of Grammy winners, each winning two trophies.
Ricky Martin, Celia Cruz and Gloria Estefan paid a heartfelt tribute to mambo legend Tito Puente, who died in June. Puente won a posthumous award for best tropical performance. A Cuban singer in his 70s, Ibrahim Ferrer, won the "best new artist" Grammy.
Seven months after winning eight Grammy Awards, Carlos Santana earned a Latin Grammy, too, for best pop instrumental performance. Santana, who won best record for Smooth in February, had the chance to win the same award at the Latin Grammys for a different song, Corazon Espinado, a duet with the Mexican rock band Mana.
The awards were issued in advance of the two-hour televised ceremony from the Staples Center, with Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Andy Garcia and Jimmy Smits as hosts.
As CBS News Correspondent Teresa Estacio reports, the awards show is the culmination thus far of a Latin music movement riding upon the popularity of stars such as Martin, Gloria Estefan, and Lopez. They were started by an offshoot of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, which produces the Grammys. The telecast was to be seen in more than 120 countries.
With a broad definition of Latin music anything sung in either Spanish or Portuguese the first nominations caused some controversy. The record company Fonovisa threatened a boycott, complaining that the Latin Grammys slighted Mexican styles such as norteno, tejano and ranchera.
There also was some grumbling that television producers were favoring artists who sing in English and are better known among Americans. Martin, Christina Aguilera and 'N Sync were scheduled to perform.
"I hope these awards will unite people," Emilio Estefan said. "Latinos were discriminated against for many years. I feel now we're making progress in bringing recognition to our culture."
Estefan, Gloria's husband, was honored as producer of the year for his work on eight separate albums. He also directed the winner of best music video, Gloria Estefan's performance of No Me Dejes De Querer.
Miguel's Amarte Es Un Placer won best pop album. A song from that album, Tu Mirada, was honored as best male pop vocal performance.
Paez was the songwriter for Al Lado Del Camino, which won the Latin Grammy for best rock song. The same song won best male rock vocal performance.
A tearful Audrey Puente, a television news personality in New York City, accepted the trophy for her father. She said he was particularly proud of his album, Mambo Birdland, and hoped it would win an award.
"Not only was he a great musician and humanitarian, but he was a great lader for the Latin community," she said.
Ferrer, the best new artist, came to prominence recently through his work on the Buena Vista Social Club album.
The 2,600 members of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences were eligible to vote in the 40 award categories.
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