The alternative rock band Black Guayaba was also among the winners of this year's ASCAP Awards

Por Lena Hansen
Updated Mayo 19, 2008
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It was one of music's biggest nights and Puerto Rico's most beloved sonero, Víctor Manuelle, took home a big prize. The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers honored the singer's 15-year trajectory with the Golden Note Award during the 16th annual ASCAP Awards gala, held on Friday, May 16th, at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Miami Beach.

“It's really an honor for me to receive this award honoring my trajectory and my career as a composer from ASCAP,” Victor Manuelle –who will soon release the album ‘Soy' under his own label Kiyavi Records– said about this feat. “I feel extremely nervous and extremely proud to be here with so many recognized songwriters,” he added, after receiving a standing ovation. Other Golden Note recipients include groundbreakers like José Feliciano, Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

Mexican singer and songwriter Marco Antonio Solís “El Buki” also hit a home run. The ballad king -whose musical trajectory spans over three decades- won ‘Composer of the year' for the second year in a row. This year Solís was praised for seven hit songs, including “Basta Ya,” also picked as Regional Mexican Song of the Year.

Solís “is one of the most influential singer-composers in Latin America,” ASCAP said in a statement. “His music has remained as original as it was when he first started rising on the charts, a feat achieved by transcending trends and generations and following his own creative vision.”

New talents, like Puerto Rican alternative rock band Black Guayaba, were also recognized. The band members -who performed their hit ‘Volver a Empezar' during the ceremony- took home the Vanguard Award for helping to redefine the future of Latin music with their unique sound.

Black Guayaba is the first Latin talent to receive this trophy, previously awarded to The Beastie Boys and Bjork, among other innovators. “We feel really honored to be the first Latinos to receive it,” Carlos Colon, the band's keyboardist said. “We hope to keep making music people like.”

‘Bendita Tu Luz,' written by Maná's lead singer Fher Olvera and performed by the Mexican band and Juan Luis Guerra, won Rock-Pop Song of the Year, while ‘Tu Recuerdo,' written by Tommy Torres and performed by Ricky Martin and La Mari, Chambao's lead singer, won Best Pop Ballad. The Latin Song of the Year award went to “Mi Corazoncito,” written by Anthony Santos and performed by Bachata crooners Aventura.

Other winners include: Olga Tañón, Ricardo Arjona, Rubén Blades, Celia Cruz, José Feliciano, Tito Puente, Arturo Sandoval, Joan Sebastian and Gilberto Santa Rosa. For more information, log on to