Three tie for BMI Latin songwriter of the year

Gustavo Santaolalla also honored at awards ceremony

MIAMI -- Three singer-songwriters -- Juan Luis Morera Luna and Llandel Veguilla Malave (better known as Wisin & Yandel), along with troubadour Espinoza Paz -- tied for the Latin songwriter of the year award at the 15th annual BMI Latin Music Awards.

The event, which took place Thursday at the Beverly Wilshire, also honored composer and producer Gustavo Santaolalla as a BMI icon.

Santaolalla was honored for his "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." His contributions include his production work alongside Anibal Kerpel for artists like Juanes and Cafe Tacuba; his Oscar-winning scores for such films as "Brokeback Mountain" and "Babel," as well his recording career, most recently with Bajo Fondo Tango Club.

The BMI awards honor the writers and publishers of the past year's 50 most-performed Latin songs in U.S. radio and television. The song of the year award went to "De Rodillas de Pido," penned by Jose A. Sosa, published by Siempre Music and performed by Los Alegres de la Sierra. Indie publisher Editora Arpa Musical received the Latin publisher of the year nod, with the highest percentage of copyright ownership of the year's most-performed songs. Its roster included Espinoza Paz's songs as well as hits like Mariano Barba's "Aliado del Tiempo."

The songwriter of the year nod went to Wisin & Yandel for the second consecutive year, thanks to a string of hits that include "Noche de Entierro (Nuestro Amor) and "Pegao." On his end, Paz, who just launched his own solo recording career, earned his trophy with three songs among the Top 50 of BMI's most performed compositions, including "Mil Heridas," performed by Banda Cuisillos, and "Te Compro," performed by Duelo.

A special recognition was given to Mexico's Banda EL Recodo for their 70 years in the industry.

The ceremony also included he presentation of the BMI Foundation's fifth annual peermusic Latin Scholarship, awarded annually through a competition of original Latin songs and instrumental compositions. The winner was 21-year-old Daniela Blau of Simmons College, who received $5,000.