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Calle 13 leads Latin Grammy noms with five [UPDATED]

September 17, 2009 |  2:00 pm


Alternative reggaeton duo garnered five nominations, the most of any artist, for the 10th annual Latin Grammy Awards announced Thursday at the Conga Room in downtown Los Angeles.

Among the nominations, the Puerto Rican half-brothers are up for album of the year for their third studio offering, "Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo." They'll compete against Andres Cepeda, Luis Enrique, Mercedes Sosa and Ivan Lins & the Metropole Orchestra. 

"It's great -- we're up for album of the year! For me, that's just so awesome," Calle 13's René Pérez, a.k.a. Residente, said in a telephone interview following the announcement. "It's a great day. We're very happy to be nominated so many times." 

In addition to album of the year, "Los de Atras Vienen Conmigo" is nominated for best urban music album. The first single from the album, "No Hay Nadie Como Tú" featuring Café Tacuba, is up for record of the year and best alternative song.

Calle 13 also will compete in the short-form music video category for "La Perla," featuring Ruben Blades.

The pair has pushed beyond the limitations of reggaeton with its eclectic mix of hip-hop, samba, cumbia and other Latin American styles. And, in the process, they've collected five Latin Grammys since 2006. 

"For us, the Latin Grammys are an honor," said Perez, who heard about the nominations at his home in Puerto Rico. "They celebrate the art of music."

A mix of veterans and newcomers rounds out the nominations for this year's awards.

There's a seven-way tie for artists with three nominations. Brazil's Ivan Lins & the Metropole Orchestra, Ivete Sangalo and Caetano Veloso; musician/producer Jose Lugo; songwriter Jorge Luis Piloto; Puerto Rican salsa guru Gilberto Santa Rosa; and Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Wisin y Yandel.

Other multiple Latin Grammy nominees included Puerto Rican reggaeton star Daddy Yankee, Italian vocalist Laura Pausini, Guatemalan singer Ricardo Arjona, Argentine rockers Babasonicos and Mexican singer-songwriter Luz Rios, who was nominated for best new artist with India Martinez, Claudia Corsi, Alexander Acha, and Chocquibtown.

Rios and Nicaraguan salsa singer Luis Enrique were on hand to announce the nominations Thursday, along with rocker Beto Cuevas, reggaeton artist Tito "El Bambino," pop singers Shaila Durcal and Luis Fonsi and actors Jimmy Smits and Andy Garcia.

Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel will be honored as the 2009 Latin Recording Academy person of the year during a concert and black-tie dinner the day before the awards ceremony, which is set to take place Nov. 5 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Over the span of Gabriel's 30-year career, he has sold more than 100 million albums and produced albums for more than 50 artists, including Paul Anka and Lucha Villa.

Previous recipients of the person of the year honor include Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan and Julio Iglesias.

The awards ceremony will air live on the Univision Network. 

Click here for a complete list of nominees.

--Yvonne Villarreal

Photo: Eduardo Cabra, left, and René Pérez of Calle 13. Credit: Sony BMG

UPDATED AT 2 P.M.: Additional information on the Latin Grammy nominees was added to the initial post.