Juan Luis Guerra, Calle 13, Ricky Martin Sweep Latin Grammy Nominations

Juan Luis Guerra

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Juan Luis Guerra isn’t much of a morning person.

“It took me a while to gather all my senses,” said Guerra. “I’m not used to getting up so early.”

But getting up early Wednesday morning proved to be beneficial as the Dominican singer/songwriter led the way with five Latin Grammy nominations, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year, for the awards’ eighth edition ceremony to take place in November. The nominees were announced early this morning here in Miami, at the nightclub Mansion in Miami Beach.

Calle 13 and Ricky Martin followed suit with four nominations each for Residente O Visitante (Resident Or Visitor) and MTV Unplugged, respectively. Miguel Bose, Franco De Vita, Carlos Jean, and Kevin Johansen received three apiece.

“It’s definitely been a special year for me and this only makes better,” said Guerra, as he faced a bevy of reporters and televisions cameras inside the club. “I feel truly honored by all the nominations.”

Guerra’s most recent production, La Llave De Mi Corazon, (The Key to My Heart) is also in the running for Album of the Year, Best Merengue Album, and Best Tropical Song.

“I think its proof that the merengue genre is alive and well,” added Puerto Rican merenguero Elvis Crespo, whose Regreso El Jefe, (The Boss is Back) was also nominated for Best Merengue Album. “It’s a rhythm that will never die.”

Guerra said he is set on spreading that rhythm all over the world. “There are a lot of places like France, Italy and Japan that my music hasn’t reached and I want to take it there. I also want to do whatever possible to make sure we live with peace and harmony.”

A mild surprise, Cuban singer/songwriter Issac Delgado received two nominations for En Primera Plana (On The Front Page), his first album since defecting from Cuba last year.

“I never expected this, to be honest with you,” said Delgado, who was nominated for Best Salsa Album. “I was really satisfied with the final product but I never expected this.” “La Mujer Que Mas Te Duele," (The Woman That Hurts You The Most), Delgado’s duet with Puerto Rican salsero Victor Manuelle, is up for Best Tropical Song.

The Latin Grammy Awards show, which will be held Thursday, November 8 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, will be televised by Univision Network. -- Fernando Ruano Jr.

To read the complete list of nominees, visit the official Grammy web site here.

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