LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Reggaeton duo Calle 13 cruised to a major victory at the Latin Grammys on Wednesday, scooping up a record nine awards despite limited radio play in some countries, including top honor album of the year for “Entren Los Que Quieran.”
The Puerto Rican group came into the night with a leading 10 nominations for the awards that honor Latin music and started the show in Las Vegas with a fist-pumping rendition of “Latinoamerica,” earning a standing ovation for the tune that celebrates their culture.
The tune later won both song of the year for songwriting and record of the year for the recording of the music.
In winning their Latin Grammys, the top honors in Latin music, singer Rene Perez spoke of Calle 13’s independent spirit and rise to popularity despite little play on airwaves in many countries including the United States.
“To all of Latin America ... long live music,” Perez said, before adding, “no to payola,” the industry term for payments by promoters to radio stations to play music.
Perez dedicated one award “to those who don’t sell out and make real music,” and upon winning another said, “long live true music.”
Along with album of the year, “Entren Los Que Quieran” (“Everybody Is Welcome”) also was picked best urban album, and the group’s “Baile de los Pobres” (“Dance of the Poor”) claimed best urban song.
Before the show even began it was evident a major night was in store for Calle 13 as they swept up four other honors: best tropical song, alternative song, short-form music video and producer of the year.
So complete was Calle 13’s domination -- more wins than any other artist in one Latin Grammy show -- that Venezuela’s Franco de Vita, who won best male pop vocal album for “En Prima Fila,” joked onstage, “lucky Calle 13 wasn’t in this category.”
Even Puerto Rican singer Sie7e, who was named best new artist, thanked Calle 13 for being an inspiration “to create with emotion.”
But the night was not without other key winners. Superstar Shakira scooped up best female pop vocal album for her “Sale El Sol,” and the Colombian singer was given a special award for person of the year. She also gave one of her signature hip-shaking performances, which earned her a huge ovation.
On winning her award, Shakira noted her parents in the audience, referenced the Bible and then said, “Without love, nothing is worth anything. Without love, I am nothing.”
Other key winners were Franco de Vita for best male pop vocal album with “En Primera Fila,” and the international trio Alex, Jorge and Lena won best album vocal pop duo or group for their self-titled CD “Alex, Jorge Y Lena.”
The Mexican band Mana claimed a win for rock album with “Drama Y Luz,” and Puerto Rico’s Tito El Bambino won best contemporary tropical album for “Invencible.”
Writing by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Eric Walsh