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People Staff
August 21, 2007 AT 02:00 PM EDT

Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra, 51, was named Person of the Year by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (LARAS), the producers of the Latin Grammy Awards, for his professional, cultural and philanthropic achievements.

“The Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and its board of directors are proud to recognize Juan Luis Guerra, an extraordinary musical talent, rich in cultural roots, as a true creative visionary,” said Gabriel Abaroa, the Academy’s president, in a press release. “This consummate and dynamic performer has utilized numerous musical styles, evoking a unique sense of perfection and passion in the world of his melodies. It’s truly a privilege to recognize such a talented and decent human being,” added Abaroa.

The performer of hits such as “La bilirrubina” will be the eighth Person of Year named by LARAS. Last year Puerto Rican Ricky Martin received the honor. Earlier recipients were José José, Carlos Santana, Gilberto Gil, Vicente Fernández, Julio Iglesias and Emilio Estefan. A gala dinner honoring Guerra will take place on November 7 in Las Vegas, as a forerunner event to the eighth Latin Grammy Awards ceremony.

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