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Calle 13, Luis Fonsi set for Latin Grammy awards
Sun Nov 1, 2009 4:22pm EST
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By Leila Cobo
MIAMI (Billboard) - You read it here first. Here are Billboard's predictions for the Latin Grammy Awards, which will be handed out on Thursday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. As always, our choices are based on past voting behavior and recent trends in the Latin music market.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Calle 13 member Rene Perez's profane rant against regional political leaders during the MTV Latin American Awards came three days after the October 12 close of voting for the Latin Grammys. That means the Puerto Rican hip-hop duo still has a shot at scoring album of the year for "Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo." Then again, Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa's death just one week before voting closed makes her a possible winner, out of respect and appreciation for "Cantora 1."
SONG OF THE YEAR
The winner has to be the continental hit "Aqui Estoy Yo," written by Luis Fonsi, Claudia Brant and Gen Rubin for Fonsi's album "Palabras del Silencio." The only other contender here is "Yo No Se Manana," penned by Jorge Luis Piloto and Jorge Villamizar for Nicaraguan singer Luis Enrique. Although a smash stateside, the song is just starting to hit big in other countries.
RECORD OF THE YEAR
"Aqui Estoy Yo" will probably win in this category as well, but Italian pop singer Laura Pausini's "En Cambio No" has a shot too, given its beauty and its hit status in many markets.
BEST NEW ARTIST
Among this year's impressive list of nominees, the winner will be Mexico's Alexander Acha, who has the most name recognition in different countries. Luz Rios, who can sing and write, is a deserving nominee who is, unfortunately, little-known outside the United States.
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Nominees Sergio George and Cachorro Lopez have both won this award before. This year, due to sheer output as well as his impeccable handling of multiple genres, the honor should go to Aureo Baqueiro.
BEST POP DUO OR GROUP ALBUM
This is a hotly contested category with a major Spanish component. Our bet is with Spanish pop/rock band La Quinta Estacion, which straddles Spain and Mexico and whose "Sin Frenos" is one of the most beautiful -- and commercially successful -- albums of the year.
BEST MALE POP VOCAL ALBUM
Who's glaringly absent among the nominees? Luis Fonsi, whose "Palabras del Silencio" would have won hands down. Given the Latin Recording Academy's inexplicable failure to nominate him in this category, our vote goes to Argentine rock pianist Fito Paez's "No Se Si Es Baires o Es Madrid," which was accompanied by a region-wide tour. Continued...
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