LAS VEGAS, Nov 9 (Reuters) The tropical romance of Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra and the edgy urban sounds of Puerto Rico's Calle 13 garnered some of the top Latin Grammys in the annual awards ceremony.
Halfway through the awards yesterday, Guerra had picked up four Latin Grammys, including record of the year, best tropical song and best merengue album for ''La Llave De Mi Corazon.'' Guerra, who took the music of the Dominican Republic to the world stage 20 years ago with ''Ojala Que LLueva Cafe,'' was also chosen this year as ''person of the year'' by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
The provocative Calle 13 won best urban music album for ''Residente O Visitante,'' which mixes the duo's reggaeton roots with adventurous excursions into other Latin genres like cumbia and bossa nova.
The most famous of Puerto Rico's music exports, Ricky Martin, won best long-form music video for his ''MTV Unplugged'' and opened the eighth Latin Grammy awards with two songs.
La Quinta Estacion, a Mexican group that originated in Spain and is also popular in the United States, won best pop group album with ''El Mundo Se Equivoca.'' Brazilian veteran singer and composer Caetano Veloso took the prize for top singer-songwriter album with ''Ce'' and best Brazilian song for ''Nao Me Arrependo.'' The Latin Grammy awards have been held since their inception in the United States, where Hispanics account for 15 percent of the population and are the fastest-growing demographic group.
Hispanics of all ages gathered in the Las Vegas venue to catch glimpses of some of the biggest stars from their native countries.
Las Vegas is about one-fourth Hispanic.
REUTERS AM ND0912