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"I know a lot of times, people have a bad image of my country. That's why it's so important for me to be here, to represent the other side of Colombia."
——Juanes, on winning five Latin Grammys
COLOMBIAN JUANES
SWEEPS LATIN GRAMMYS
Singer-songwriter Wins Five Major Awards at Miami Bash After Celia Cruz Tribute
Colombian singer Juanes was the big winner at the fourth annual Latin Grammy Awards in Miami, grabbing five statues, including Album of the Year for Un Dia Normal (A Normal Day) and Record and Song of the Year for "Es Por Ti'" (It's For You). He also won best Rock Solo Album and Best Rock Song for "Mala Gente."

Juanes, wearing a black T-shirt that read, "Se Habla Espanol,'' said he hoped his win would help people appreciate his homeland.

"I know a lot of times, people have a bad image of my country,'' he said. ``That's why it's so important for me to be here, to represent the other side of Colombia.''

Hosted breezily by comic George Lopez, the nationally televised CBS broadcast got off to a rousing start with a medley tribute to the late Celia Cruz, who just a year ago kicked off the Latin Grammys with an electrifying performance.

"Azucar!'' (sugar)—Cruz's trademark rallying cry—was the final shout of the tribute, performed by Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, India and others. The Queen of Salsa, who won an award at the Latin Grammys last year, died of a brain tumor in July.

Cruz's husband, trumpeter Pedro Knight, watched from the audience as veteran Venezuelan salsa singer Oscar D'Leon showed fans he has recovered from the multiple heart attacks he suffered earlier this year by singing on the tribute.

The ceremony included energetic performances from Thalia, Bacilos and Molotov, but also featured non-Latin artists; Juanes performed with the hip-hop group the Black Eyed Peas, while Brazilian singer Alexandre Pires sang with American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson.

The fusion of American and Latin American pop cultures also included presenters such as singer Natalie Cole, actors Jessica Alba and Adam Rodriguez, and even tennis champion Venus Williams.

Although they didn't obtain visas to attend the show, the Cuban acts Orishas and Ibrahim Ferrer were honored in the pre-ceremony. In all, 12 nominated Cuban acts—including pianist Chucho Valdes and the popular group Los Van Van—were unable to get a visa in time to attend.

Gustavo Santaolalla, who produced Juanes' record breaking album, won three times; two awards for Record and Album of the Year and another award for arranging and producing Bajofondo Tango Club, the best Pop Instrumental Album.

Claiming two awards was composer-arranger Paquito D'Rivera, for Best Classical and Best Latin jazz albums, and Mexican Joan Sebastian, for Best Regional Mexican Song and Best Banda Album.

Bebu Silvetti, the early disco pioneer who worked in various genres, was honored posthumously as producer of the year. The 59-year-old legend died in July of complications from pneumonia. Veteran musician Willie Colon accepted the award for Silvetti.

See http://www.latingrammys.com for a full list of winners.

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