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September 18, 2002
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Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz swept the major categories at the Latin Grammy Awards ceremony for the second year running on Wednesday. Up for four awards, at the end of the night the singer took home trophies for Album Of The Year for MTV Unplugged and Record and Song Of The Year for Y Solo Se Me Ocurre Amarte.

“It embarrasses me principally because all the artists who are here deserve it as much as I do,” the crooner said backstage, adding: “Two years in a row is too much”. Last year, the crooner’s song and album El Alma Al Aire earned him four Latin Grammys – for Record, Album and Song Of The Year as well as Best Male Pop Vocal Album. 

During the lavish ceremony at Los Angeles’ Kodak Theatre, awards were given to nominees in 40 different categories. Colombian singer Carlos Vives and Mexico’s Ramon Ayala Y Sus Bravos De Norte won two gongs apiece. Vives – who was nominated in a record six categories – took home the Best Contemporary Tropical Album Award for Dejame Entrar,and shared the Best Tropical Song honour, a songwriter’s award, for the album’s title track. 

Ayala and his group triumphed in the Best Norteno category with El Número Cien, and Best Regional Mexican Song Del Otro Lado Del Porton.Cuban-born legend Celia Cruz picked up the gong for Best Salsa Album with La Negra Tiene Tumbao and Colombian star Shakira scooped the trophy for Best Video with Suerte – the Spanish version of her huge English hit Wherever, Whenever.

To qualify for a Latin Grammy, an album must be at least 51 per cent in Spanish or Portuguese, and at the ceremony presenters used a combination of English and Spanish. “Excuse me, but I gotta talk to my people in Spanish,” Shakira said before switching languages for her acceptance speech. 

Much of the attention before the ceremony focused on Washington’s visa denial for Cuba’s 22 Grammy nominees. Pianist Chucho Valdes didn’t get the chance to accept his award in person for Best Pop Instrumental Album for Canciones Ineditas – his first Grammy after decades in the business. Presenters ranged from Hector Elizondo and Daisy Fuentes to Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync's Justin Timberlake. The show included performances from guitar legend Carlos Santana, Shakira and Thalia.

Photo: ©

Alejandro Sanz scooped three gongs this year including Album Of The Year for MTV Unplugged and Song Of The Year for Y Solo Se Me Ocurre Amarte

Photo: © AFP

Photo: ©

Colombian star Shakira picked up an accolade for Best Video with Suerte - the Spanish version of her huge English hit Wherever, Whenever

Photo: © AFP

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