Natalie Cole, Draco Rosa, Carlos Vives Among Latin Grammy Nominees
Spanish musician Alejandro Sanz and Mexican singer Julieta Venegas are also nominated for the 14th annual music awards show.
Pop music in various forms made a strong showing this year in the Latin Grammy nominations with familiar faces in the running, including Colombian singer Carlos Vives, Spanish star Alejandro Sanz and Mexican Latin alternative songstress Julieta Venegas. Natalie Cole, whose first Spanish-language album debuted at No. 1 on the Latin Albums chart, and Draco Rosa, whose Vida marked a spectacular return for the artist from his battle with cancer, took three nominations each.
Artists such as Argentine rap/hip-hop/rock band Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas, a leading nominee in five categories, and Spanish singer-songwriter Pablo Alboran, who are popular in their own countries but do not have massive followings in the United States, highlighted the international nature of the Latin Grammy selection process.
"Remember one of our main differences from the Grammys is that we are international," Gabriel Abaroa Jr., president/CEO of the Latin Recording Academy, told Billboard at the early morning nominations press conference in Hollywood. "[Nominees] can be from the biggest Latin American country or they can be from the smallest. It can be a Latin artist from Canada or from Europe. All that matters is the music."
Abaroa was also quick to point out that Colombian singer-songwriter Juanes was unknown when he was first nominated years ago.
This is the second year that the four main award categories included 10 nominations in the general field that includes record of the year, album of the year, song of the year and best new artist.
Record of the year nominees include Alboran's "Tanto", Marc Anthony's "Vivir Mi Vida," Buika's "La Nave del Olvido," Andres Cepeda's "Lo Mejor Que Hay en Mi Vida," Natalie Cole's duet with Juan Luis Guerra's "Bachata Rosa" and Santiago Cruz's "Desde Lejos." Also nominated in this category are Draco Rosa featuring Ricky Martin for "Mas y Mas," Alejandro Sanz's "Mi Marciana," Caetano Veloso's "Abracaco" and Carlos Vives' "Volvi a Nacer."
Album of the year nominees include Rosa's Vida, Alboran's Tanto, Bajofondo's Presente, Miguel Bose's PapiTwo, Cepeda's Lo Mejor Que Hay en Mi Vida and Cole's En Espanol. Guaco's Escultura, Gian Marco's Versiones, Sanz's La Musica No Se Toca and Vives' Corazon Profundo also compete in that category.
"I've always fought to do my art and forge a new way," said Rosa, for whom Vida marked a commercial turning point in a long career that he began as a singer with the group Menudo. "In the end, staying true to your passion is a big deal. I'm glad to be alive and standing here with three nominations."
For a complete list of the nominees, go to LatinGrammy.com.