Puerto Rico’s Calle 13 wins 4 Latin Grammys and counting, both urban and alternative awards

By Raquel Maria Dillon, AP
Thursday, November 5, 2009

Calle 13 wins 4 Latin Grammys in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Puerto Rican duo Calle 13 scooped up four gold gramophones at the Latin Grammys Thursday night, with their politically charged reggaeton winning best urban album for “Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo.”

The half brothers that make up Calle 13 — Rene Perez, who is known as “Residente,” and Eduardo Cabra, or “Visitante” — posed for cameras on the carpet before the ceremony with their mother and salsero Ruben Blades.

The Panamanian legend and Calle 13 later performed “La Perla,” their ode to a seaside slum in San Juan, while dancers from Cirque du Soleil’s “Mystere” leaped across the stage, adding a touch of Sin City theater to the show. The duo won best short-form video for “La Perla.”

“To all the people who make music in this moment of independent music, to hell with record labels! This is the moment for those of us who make real music,” Residente said after winning for best alternative song for “No Hay Nadie Como Tu.”

That song — a lyrically complex collaboration between Mexico City rockers Cafe Tacvba and Calle 13 — also won record of the year.

The outspoken Residente marched down the aisles of the auditorium at the Mandalay Bay Events Center and dedicated the Latin Grammy for record of the year to the children of government workers who lost their jobs in Puerto Rico.

“And to Mercedes Sosa. Her music will live forever,” he said.

The popular Argentine singer-songwriter died in October at age 74 and won posthumously in the folklore category for “Cantora 1,” an album of duets.

Sosa helped found the “Nuevo Cancion” movement by merging folk traditions and leftist politics in the 1960s. The Latin Recording Academy paid homage to her with a brief video of her performances, set to the gentle anthem, “Gracias a la Vida.”

“Mercedes Sosa represents courage and strength for those of us continue to support her efforts,” for social justice in Latin America, Blades said.

Italian singer Laura Pausini, who won best female pop vocal album, performed “En Cambio No,” to open the show, which was hosted by Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez and Mexican singer and actress Lucero.

Performance highlights included Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz and Alicia Keys singing her “Looking for Paradise,” Spanish folk rocker Natalia Jimenez of La Quinta Estacion belting out “Me Dueles” and Juan Gabriel’s medley of hits with a mariachi band and folkloric dancers in colorful skirts.

The audience stood and sang along to “El Principio” and “Hasta Que Te Conoci,” and busted out laughing when Gabriel swung his glass in the air to the rhythm of “No Me Hagas Llorar,” spilling his wine glass across the stage and all over his lace covered jacket and pink vest.

Showgirls lent some Las Vegas-style “City of Sin” flavor to a hip-shaking salsa jam by Venezuelan Oscar D’Leon and Puerto Rican Gilberto Santa Rosa. The showgirls also appeared to do splits and cancan kicks while Los Tucanes de Tijuana played “Se Fue Mi Amor,” which won for best regional Mexican song.

When Luis Fonsi’s won song of the year for “Aqui Estoy Yo,” Spanish singer David Bisbal jumped on him and kissed on cheek.

Most of the 49 awards were handed out during a pre-show ceremony. The variety of categories befitted the diverse musical traditions of the Americas, including best albums in Christian, grupero and Brazilian sertaneja music.

The Latin Recording Academy honored Mexico’s prolific singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel with its person of the year award.

“For Mexico!” said the “Divo of Juarez,” as he kissed his statuette.

Mexican rock band Jaguares won for best rock album by a duo or group for “45″ and lead singer Saul Hernandez won best rock song for “Entre tus Jardines.”

Hernandez composed the song for his wife, because, he said, “Men aren’t always right.”

Chucho and Bebo Valdes, father and son from Cuba, won best jazz album for “Juntos para Siempre.” Alexander Acha, the son of Mexican balladeer Emmanuel, won for best new artist.

Members of the Latin Recording Academy voted for the winners of the 10th annual awards.

On the Net:

— www.latingrammys.com

will not be displayed