Colombian singer Juanes sweeps Latin Grammy awards

Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:41am EST
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By Chris Baltimore

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Colombian rock singer Juanes swept the Latin Grammys on Thursday, tying up the top three categories for work from his album "La Vida ... Es Un Ratico."

Houston, which has a large Hispanic population, hosted the Latin Grammys with nominations embracing performers from Spain to Brazil and recognizing music as diverse as samba, alternative rock and tropical.

Much of the spotlight at the ninth annual event stayed on the black-clad Juanes, who goes by his single nickname. A darling of the Latin Grammy academy, Juanes won five awards, bringing his career total to 17 -- a record.

Juanes won for top record, top album and song of the year for his album, with a title that translates to "life is but a little moment."

"I'm happy with life, music, God, the academy," said Juanes, who the Houston Chronicle dubbed as "Latin America's answer to Bono," the activist frontman of Irish rock band U2, for the Colombian's pursuit of causes like land mine victims.

Singer-songwriter Kany Garcia of Puerto Rico, 25, won best new artist and for work from best female pop vocal album for her 2007 work, "Cualquier Dia."

Earlier in the week singer Gloria Estefan was named the Latin Grammy artist of 2008 -- the first woman to win the award. Estefan was one of the first Latin singers to break into the popular U.S. music scene during the 1980s with the Miami Sound Machine.

Estefan praised Houston for its "great energy" and recalled -- seemingly fondly -- a performance in the fourth-largest U.S. city in 2004 when a male fan tried to pick her up and carry her offstage.   Continued...

<p>Colombian singer Juanes poses with the five Latin Grammy Awards he won for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, Best Male Pop Vocal Album and Best Short Form Music video at the 9th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Houston, Texas November 13, 2008. The awards bring his total Latin Grammy wins to 17, breaking Alejandro Sanz's record of 14. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>