Juanes, Pilar Montenegro and Celia Cruz were the big winners at Univision's 2003 "Premio Lo Nuestro A La Musica Latina," a star-studded event that took place last night at the James L. Knight Center in Miami.
In a spectacular celebration of its 15th anniversary, "Premio Lo Nuestro" presented a galaxy of international stars both on stage and as invited guests. Colombian singer/songwriter Juanes stole the show with an electrifying performance that had the audience out of their seats dancing, and took home four awards in the categories of Best Pop Male Artist, Best Music Video, Best Rock Performance, and Pop Song of the Year (with the #1 hit "A Dios Le Pido"), where he tied with Mexican singer Pilar Montenegro.
Montenegro won for Regional Mexican Song of the Year and Pop Song of the Year ("Quitame Ese Hombre"), as well as for Best Regional Mexican Female Artist. She also thrilled the audience with a "techno" version of her winning song.
Salsa legend Celia Cruz won three awards: Best Salsa Performance, Best Tropical Female Artist, and Tropical Album of the Year.
One of the musical highlights of the evening was a medley of top Latin hits from the last 15 years, performed by the artists that made them famous, including Vikki Carr, Son By Four, Los Ilegales, La Mafia, Luis Enrique, Wilfrido Vargas and Olga Tanon.
There were also impressive performances by Mexican superstar Thalia, this year's winner of the People's Internet Choice Award for Favorite Pop Artist; international salsa and pop idol Marc Anthony, who won in the Best Tropical Male Artist category; the duo sensation Sin Bandera, who took home two awards for Best Pop Group and Pop Album of the Year; and top banda groups Banda El Recodo and Conjunto Primavera, both winners in the Regional Mexican genre.
International superstar Luis Miguel, considered one of the greatest Latin artists of his generation, was on hand in a rare appearance to receive the "Premio a la Excelencia" (Excellence Award), a special distinction bestowed upon extraordinary recording artists who have maintained a level of professional excellence throughout their careers.
In a rhythm-packed tribute to Celia Cruz, who was unable to attend the event due to recent surgery, the world-famous salsa group "Fania All-Stars," of which Cruz was a member during the 1970s, reunited for an exclusive performance that rocked the house.
Among the many Hispanic stars who graced the red carpet were: Jon Secada, Alicia Machado, Sofia Vergara, Arath de la Torre, Cynthia Klitbo, Edith Gonzalez, Erika Buenfil, Alejandro Montaner, Valentino Lanus, Maribel Guardia, Alejandra Guzman, Jennifer Pena, Scarlett Ortiz, Jorge Aravena, Saul Lisazo, Rosalyn Sanchez and many more.
The 2003 "Premio Lo Nuestro" award ceremony was hosted by Mexican presenters Marco Antonio Regil, of TeleFutura's "100 Mexicanos Dijeron" (100 Mexicans Said) and Adal Ramones, of Univision's "Otro Rollo" (That's Another Story).
The "Premio Lo Nuestro" awards were created in 1989 to recognize excellence in the Latin music industry in the United States. Winners are voted on by program directors of Latin music radio stations across the country. The award ceremony's live broadcast, an exclusive Univision production, has become the most-watched television program by Hispanics in the United States, beating all-time top-rated events such as the Super Bowl, the Oscars and the NBA finals.
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