The Latin Grammy awards are upon us once again. It's a night when the hottest stars in the Hispanic entertainment cosmos gather together in one spot. And this year, that spot is ... Where else? Sin City.
They couldn't have picked a better locale. Last year's show in La La Land seemed fitting. The year before was in Houston, which came out of nowhere. Upon second glance, though, it makes sense when you're pandering to the millions of Mexican viewers who make up the vast majority Univision's viewership.) But Vegas in 2010 just has a nice feel to it.
The real question is whether or not Vegas' sports books are going to be making any money from the awards. After all, if you can place bets on things like who will be the next fatty to get voted off The Biggest Loser, or whether or not Heidi Montag's new implants will make her float when she tries to get in the pool at The Palms, why not make a little wager to see who takes Tropical Album of the Year?
To that end, Crossfade decided to enlist famed Puerto Rican astrologer (and likely Liberace aficionado) Walter Mercado to give us his picks. But apparently, Mercado had something better to do than provide his astrological insight, so I'm just going to make this shit up myself.
Record of the Year
Maria Bethania -- "Tua"
Buika -- "Se Me Hizo Facil"
Camila -- "Mientes"
Jorge Drexler -- "Una Cancion Me Trajo Hasta Aqui"
Alejandro Sanz -- "Desde Cuando"
Now, we're not exactly sure what "Record of the Year" is supposed to mean since no one buys records anymore. But we can still take a swing at who's going to win this one. There's stiff competition, but the award goes to...
Camila for "Mientes"! These guys do what they've done best since they took the Latin pop world by storm with their unstoppable debut, Todo Cambio, and that's pull at listeners heartstrings with blues-tinged, pop-rock power ballads that feature some of the tightest harmonizing you've heard since Boyz II Men.
Album of the Year
Bebe -- Y.
Miguel Bose -- Cardio
Camila -- Dejarte De Amar
Juan Luis Guerra -- A Son De Guerra
Alejandro Sanz -- Paraiso Express
This one's a little clearer in terms of the category. But the competition is just as stiff. Bosé's coming off a big last release with Papito, and finds himself in the middle of a big tour. Meanwhile, JLG is the godfather of Tropical music. Camila are, of course, enjoying a very strong sophomore effort with Dejarte De Amar. But the award goes to...
Camila again! It's a tough call with the success of both Guerra's and Sanz's most recent offerings, particularly with Sanz's Alicia Keys duet. But the Mexican trio has just dominated radio charts too handily over the past year not to take this thing.
Song of the Year
Descemer Bueno & Enrique Iglesias -- "Cuando Me Enamoro"
Alejandro Sanz & Tomas Torres -- "Desde Cuando"
Ruben Blades -- "Las Calles"
Mario Domm & Monica Velez -- "Mientes"
Jorge Drexler -- "Una Cancion Me Trajo Hasta Aqui"
Another tight category. Drexler's no newbie to Grammys, and Mario Domm's group Camila is already cleaning up in our predictions. Then you have the prolific Mr. Blades. But the award goes to...
Descemer Bueno & Enrique Iglesias for "Cuando me Enamoro"! The track is just too good, and the fact that Enrique paired up with Juan Luis Guerra hits this one out of the park.
Best Female Pop Vocal Album
Bebe -- Y.
Estrella -- Black Flamenco
Nelly Furtado -- Mi Plan
Kany Garcia -- Boleto De Entrada
Rosario -- Cuentame
Did someone say catfight? I've personally seen women get up and storm out of the show for losing this one. Of course, none of these lovely ladies is likely to do that tomorrow night. The award goes to...
Kany Garcia for Boleto de Entrada! Nelly's foray into Spanish music has been noteworthy, but Kany's pipes are just too much. This pint-sized Puerto Rican singer-songwriter could be underwater and you'd still hear her clear as a bell.
Best Urban Music Album
Cartel De Santa -- Sincopa
Chino y Nacho -- Mi Niña Bonita
Daddy Yankee -- Mundial
Mala Rodriguez -- Dirty Bailarina
Vico C. -- Babilla
This category is interesting this year. It pits some very hot, very up-and-coming names in Chino y Nacho against some established big dogs, like Daddy Yankee and Vico C. Then you have Spanish rapper Mala Rodriguez and Cartel de Santa offering up underground options. But the award goes to...
Chino y Nacho for Mi Niña Bonita. These guys only appeared Stateside in the last year, but they've taken over the airwaves and really won over the reggaeton fan base with their catchy, tropical, radio-friendly tracks.
Best Rock Album
Bohemia Suburbana -- Bohemia Suburbana
Andres Calamaro -- On the Rock
Gustavo Cerati -- Fuerza Natural
Chetes -- Hipnosis
Viniloversus -- Si No Nos Mata
This one seems pretty straightforward. Give the damn thing to Cerati. Aside from being a living legend and credited with founding Rock en Español, his Fuerza Natural proved to be a very strong release. Plus, there has to be some sympathy vote going his way for the seemingly permanent coma he's been in since collapsing after a show in Venezuela back in May.
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Best Contemporary Tropical Album
Juan Luis Guerra -- A Son de Guerra
Lucrecia -- Album De Cuba
Prince Royce -- Prince Royce
Tecupae -- Tiempo
Johnny Ventura -- Volvio La Navidad
This one's tricky, because, well, the tropical music categories never quite seem to go the way you're expecting. Moreover, you have the venerable Juan Luis facing off against one of this year's new radio darlings, Prince Royce. Sure, Lucrecia, Tecupae, and the maestro Johnny Ventura are also in the running. But I think it'll come down to these two. But there can only be one winner. And the award goes to...
Juan Luis Guerra for A Son de la Guerra. Sorry, Prince, you just can't go toe-to-toe with Juan Luis and expect to walk away with this one. The guy is an icon, and he's stormed the airwaves this year, showing he's just as relevant today as he was in the early 440 days.
Hope you've enjoyed these picks, and that you enjoy the show. Just don't blame us if you put money on our horses to win.