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2010 Latin Grammy Awards: Mexican rock act Camila has a winning night

CAMILA_AP_6

Camila, the Mexican soft rock group, captured the award for song and record of the year with "Mientes" at the 11th annual Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday night. The ceremony, at the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, had the feeling of a kind of coronation party for the group, which has surged to hemispheric popularity over the last five years.

Camila also won best pop album for "Dejarte de Amar," the record that yielded "Mientes."

Toward the other end of the generational spectrum, the veteran 53-year-old artist Juan Luis Guerra from the Dominican Republic took home the album of the year trophy for his contemplative, socially conscious "A Son De Guerra."

As per its custom, the Latin academy tilted toward familiar names at this year's event, bestowing awards on such venerable perennial winners as Tropicalia godfather Gilberto Gil, Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz and Guerra.

In perhaps the ceremony's most moving gesture, the academy demonstrated its support, and possibly also its sympathy, for Gustavo Cerati, the former frontman for the seminal Argentine rock band Soda Stereo during the 1990s, who went on to launch a highly successful solo career.

The singer-songwriter, who has been hospitalized in Buenos Aires in a coma since early this year after suffering a stroke, won the best rock album award for “Fuerza Natural” (“Force of Nature”) as well as best rock song for “Dj Vu."

Ricky Martin introduced Placido Domingo as the Latin academy’s person of  the year.  “I’m filled with happiness, with emotion,” said the superstar Spanish tenor who, when he’s not jetting around the globe performing or conducting opera, is also the general director of the Los Angeles Opera.

Backstage, Domingo put in a good word for “El Postino,” the new opera by Mexican composer and L.A. resident Daniel Catan that had its world premiere this fall at L.A. Opera and will soon be staged in Vienna.

Unsurprisingly, the award for best new artist went to the Cuban-Canadian fusionist Alex Cuba, whose influences encompass classic U.S. soul and funk as well as traditional Cuban and Caribbean music of all types.

Cuba wore silver high-top sneakers, a purple leather tie with a white blazer and jeans, and a glittery calavera belt buckle. Cuba thanked his father, who taught him music, and expressed gratitude for being able to make music that bridged the disparate worlds of capitalist North America and Fidel Castrol’s Cuba.

“My music lives this spirit that tries to unite everyone,” Cuba said.

Cuba also collaborated as a songwriter on the album “Mi Plan” with his fellow Canadian, the polyglot pop artist Nelly Furtado, who won the best female pop vocal album trophy for that record. It was the first Spanish-language album for Furtado, who primarily sings in English and Portuguese. She described her artistic embrace of Spanish as “a flower that blossomed.”

The 18-member Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizarraga took up the entire press stage backstage after picking up its fifth Grammy, for best banda album, for their “Me Gusta Todo de Ti.”

The family-based group from the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa has existed in one form or another since it was founded decades ago. In response to a question about how they are helping to counter the drug-related violence that has ravaged Sinaloa and other parts of Mexico, the band’s leader replied, “The thing we can do is make music that has a different theme, that gives another message. ... With beautiful things the world can change.”

-- Reed Johnson

RELATED:

- Latin Grammys 2010: Red carpet arrivals

2010 Latin Grammy Awards winners

Photo: Camila accepting its award for record of the year. Credit: Associated Press

 

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