Five gramophones for Juanes, two for Kany García and a wealth of unforgettable songs

Por Lena Hansen
Updated Noviembre 14, 2008
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The Ninth Annual Latin GRAMMY awards was one of the most memorable ceremonies in the show's history. The event, which was celebrated last night at the Toyota Center in Houston, TX, and aired live on Univisión, centered on the theme of global change. Juanes opened the show with his song “Odio por amor”, and was accompanied by a gospel choir.

The second act was African American singer John Legend who filled the stage with his soul music and – playing a duet on the piano with Juanes – sang the Spanish version of his new song “If You're Out There”, a shout-out to the next generation to make responsible choices when it comes to taking care of our planet.

Patricia Manterola –who hosted the show with Cristián de la Fuente– said that this year the Latin GRAMMY awards show included songs that incite a profound change for our world. One of these songs was “El presente” by Julieta Venegas, a little diddy about living in a carpe diem way.

With accordion in hand, Venegas united with other accordion players who made an homage to folkloric music. The accordion could be heard in all kinds of music, from Tejano music and Colombian Vellenato to Argentinean Tango music.

Olga Tañón and Jenni Rivera's duet made the crowd go wild. The merenguera and the Banda diva sang “Cosas del amor” together, and Vikki Carr, also joined in, after winning the Excelencia Musical award.

Another memorable moment was when actor Andy García presented his friend and compatriot, someone “who always takes her country with her, no matter where she goes.” Who else could it be? Gloria Estefan, of course, who the Latin Recording Academy named Person of the Year. Accompanied by her band, Miami Sound Machine, the Cuban music diva got everybody to dance to “Mi tierra” and “Oye mi canto”. Carlos Santana and José Feliciano joined in on a version of “No llores”. Estefan dedicated the honor to her family and the legends of Cuban music, including Celia Cruz and Israel López “Cachao”.

Alejandra Guzmán also spoke at the ceremony. Copying a look right our of Madonna's current tour, the rocker sang “Fuerza” on top of a red piano. Belinda and Flex also captured the audience with their Vaselina style when they sang “Baby te quiero”, and Café Tacvba gave “Esta vez” a rock edge.

Kanny García and Tommy Torres –the most recently anointed pop rock stars– gave it their all, and Spanish singer Rosario Flores closed the show with her anti-violence hymn “No dudaría” with Juanes, Olga Tañón, Antonio Carmona, Tommy Torres, Belinda and Jeremías.

Without a doubt, the winner of the evening was Juanes, who took home five awards: Best Male Pop Vocal Album, and Album of the Year for “La vida es un ratico”, along with Best Recording of the Year, Song of the Year (“Me enamora”) and Video of the Year. Other winners were: Kanny García (Best New Artist and Best Female Vocal Pop Album) and José Feliciano (Best Contemporary Tropical Album), among others.