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Undeterred by a torrential rainstorm that shut down the green carpet, the stars of Latin music gathered to award Carlos Vives with song of the year for "Volvi a Nacer" at the Latin Grammys in Las Vegas.
The telenovela star turned vallenato revivalist performed the song while dancers in traditional Colombian "pollera colora" dresses waved their skirts to the delight of the audience at the 14th annual awards show Thursday night.
Vives dedicated the award "to all the children of Latin America because they have made this song even bigger. And of course, to my country, Colombia."
He also racked up awards for best tropical fusion album and best tropical song by the midpoint of the show.
When Sergio George, a salsa producer from New York, won best salsa album for "Salsa Giant," and brought his fellow nominees on to the stage with him for an impromptu chorus, the public went wild and clapped along to the clave beat.
George also won for producer of the year and for best salsa song with Vives for "Volvi a Nacer."
The audience also screamed for superstar Marc Anthony and the Mexican acts: Banda el Recodito and Paquita la del Barrio's tongue-in-cheek serenade of Don Francisco from "Sabado Gigante."
Guatemalan-American singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno won best new artist.
"What an honor, my first Grammy!" she said in Spanish. "This award — I want to dedicate it to all my people in Guatemala. For Guate!"
Moreno's first two bluesy albums featured both English and Spanish songs, but her third, "Postales," is entirely in Spanish.
Pitbull's "Echa Pa'lla (Manos Pa'rriba)" won for best urban performance.
"This is for all the Latinos in all the world," he said, brandishing his golden gramophone statuette.
The Argentine funk-rock duo Illya Kuryaki and the Valderramas won best urban song for "Ula Ula," while Mala Rodriguez's "Bruja" won best urban album.
Last year's big winner, the Mexican duo Jesse & Joy, sang "Llorar" with Camila's Mario Domm.
The show also paired Ricky Martin and fellow Menudo alumnus, Draco Rosa, who is touring again after being cleared of cancer earlier this year.
Two new acts, Colombia's Maluma and Inglewood, California's Becky G also paired up.
Singer/songwriter Pablo Alboran, who is massively popular in his native Spain, but not as well-known in the United States, also performed.
The show, which aired on Univision in the United States, was hosted by Mexican actress and singer Lucero.
The flood of stars expecting to parade down the green carpet at the Latin Grammys was washed out by a real thunderstorm in Las Vegas on Thursday.
The fashion parade never quite got started as starlets in sparkling skin-tight gowns scampered indoors into the pressroom to avoid real fashion disasters.
The carpet, colored green to represent Heineken as a sponsor, got soggy, but the 14th annual awards show went on inside.
Wisin of the duo Wisin & Yandel kicked off the show by driving onto the stage at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in a dune buggy. His opening song, with a pounding chorus of "Live life, let the party continue," was appropriate for the wet weather.
The awards show, hosted by Mexican singer-actress Lucero, was being broadcast on Univision in the United States and includes 48 awards in 19 categories.
Puerto Rican singer Draco Rosa was competing for song of the year (for "Mas y Mas" with Ricky Martin) against flamenco diva Buika ("La Nave del Olvido") and Colombian actor-turned-vallenato-star Carlos Vives (for "Volvi a Nacer").
The funky Argentine duo Illya Kuryaki and The Valderramas was nominated for five awards.
Two talents who work behind the scenes were favorites to rake in the awards: Javier Garza, a sound engineer from Florida who has worked with a long roster of Latin music's superstars, and Julio Reyes Copello, the Colombian producer behind Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Paulina Rubio, Ricky Martin, Thalia and Nelly Furtado.
Following the untelevised pre-ceremony, electro-tango group Bajofondo, salsa producer Sergio George and Mexican pop-rocker Natalia Lafourcade led the award count with two each.
Bajofondo's "Pena en me Corazon" won for best alternative song and "Presente" for best instrumental album.
Lafourcade won best alternative album and best long video for "Mujer divina - Homenaje a Agustin Lara."
On Wednesday night, stars from across the Americas gathered to honor the Latin Recording Academy's Person of the Year, Miguel Bose. Ricky Martin, Juanes and Laura Pausini paid tribute to the Spanish singer for his music and his charitable work.