Dominican singer, songwriter and arranger Juan Luis Guerra, Colombian singer, songwriter and guitarist Juanes and Guatemalan singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona are among the prominent Latin Grammy nominees for 2012 that received multiple nominations, announced Tuesday at Belasco Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.
"I'm happy," admits an ecstatic Juanes, who received five nods. "I want to dedicate these nominations to my fans and my country."
The bachata and merengue performer Juan Luis Guerra led the nominations with six; Mexican pop duo Jesse & Joy and pop, rocker Juanes each earned five.
"I feel very happy, very excited and honored to be here," says Juanes, who began his solo career in L.A. in 2000. "Eleven years ago, my career began with the [Latin Grammy's]. I'm just like wow. It's such a great opportunity to promote my album and also to celebrate my music." In 1998, he disbanded his rock group Ekhymosis before moving to LA. - where he became an international megastar.
Juanes, born Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez in Medellín, Colombia, carries an impeccable music catalogue filled with chart-topping hits and top-selling albums, including his latest work Juanes MTV Unplugged. A winner of one Grammy and 17 Latin Grammy awards, Juanes' past and current success could be classified as an unmeasurable feat within the Latin music industry.
"I don't know. I just try to do the best from my heart and soul. I've loved music since I was a child," confesses a humble Juanes, who never imagined himself exercising another profession other than performing music. "I just give my life for [music]. It's something that I take extremely serious."
Juanes, as the other nominees, works plenty hard.
The likes of Ricardo Arjona, Edgar Barrera, Carla Morrison, Arturo Sandoval, Ivete Sangalo, and 2012 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Caetano Veloso are up for four awards.
Chico Buarque, ChocQuibTown, Don Omar, Rafael Dragaud, Gregg Field, Javier Garza, Gilberto Gil, Ulises Hadjis, Roberto Talma, and Martin Terefe are among those who each attained three nominations.
For Album of the Year, there are 10 nominees, including Ricardo Arjona (Independiente), Bebe (Un Pokito De Rocanrol), Juanes (MTV Unplugged), Reik (Peligro) and Arturo Sandoval (Dear Diz (Everyday I Think Of You)).
In the category of Record of the Year, Juanes and Ricardo Arjona compete against each other. Ricardo Arjona's sensational collaboration with Gaby Moreno in "Fuiste Tú" has experienced so much pulsating recognition over the music waves that it is being recognized as the potential record of the year for the Latin Grammy. Such is the case with Juanes and Joaquín Sabina in "Azul Sabina," a duo for the ages; it's just beautiful.
"Joaquín Sabina wrote this song about the problems we have in life. When you fall, the most important thing to have is enough strength to get up, keep going and never look back," Juanes says of the inspiring "Azul Sabina."
He added that the tune represents the New Orleans blues era of the 1950s. "I really love that time of music. So, I just really wanted to go back to those years and just do something about it."
Those two melodies will also battle for the Song of the Year award, as well as Jesse & Joy and Tommy Torres's co-written song of "¡Corre!," Juan Luis Guerra's "En El Cielo No Hay Hospital," Alejandro Sanz's "No Me Compares" and Reik's "Creo En Tí," written by Kiko Cibrián, Gilberto Marín, Julio Ramírez & Mónica Vélez. This section sports 10 nominees, too.
Interestingly enough, 15 total Cuban musicians appeared on the list of nominees, including Chuchito Valdes, Los Van Van, Eliades Ochoa, Leo Brower, Paquito D'Rivera, Tania Leon, and Arturo Sandoval, among others. Indeed, Cuban artists continue to musically grow while delivering stellar music.
The Latin Grammy's take place Thursday, Nov. 15, in Las Vegas.
For a complete look at the Latin Grammy nominees, click here.