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Friday, 10 May, 2002, 07:36 GMT 08:36 UK
Gabriel scores at Latin music awards
Shakira
Shakira has a parallel career in the pop market
Mexican singer-songwriter Juan Gabriel triumphed at the annual Billboard Latin music awards on Thursday.

The 52-year-old singer-songwriter walked way with the awards for best songwriter, Latin track and Latin vocal duo track - as well as the airplay award for his Abrazame Muy Fuerte.

Puerto Rico-born Marc Anthony was another star of the show, winning awards for top Latin album and top Tropical/salsa album.

Ricky Martin
Ricky Martin received an award for humanitarian work
Colombian singer Shakira, who recently hit number two in the UK singles charts, won a special viewers' choice award.

The Billboard awards honour the genre's songs, albums and performers according to their performance in the magazine's sales and radio airplay charts.

The ceremony took place at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida.

Other winners included Mexican singer Christian, who won the Latin artist of the year award and his compatriot Luis Miguel, who won pop album of the year for Mis Romances.

Another Mexican, Lupillo Rivera, was nominated for six awards and won two - for regional Mexican artist of the year and new artist on the scene.

Texan artist Jaci Velasquez won the female pop album of the Year, for Mi Corazon.

Salsa group El Gran Combo, regulars on the scene for four decades, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

'Beautiful language'

Canadian singing star Celine Dion made an appearance at the ceremony to receive a special award in recognition of her artistic career.

She thanked the audience in Spanish and sang to them in the same language.

"Spanish is a very beautiful language to speak, and even more so to sing," Dion said afterwards.

Also appearing was the Cuban veteran Celia Cruz, as well as Marco Antonio Soliz, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jon Secada and Elvis Crespo.

Pop/Latin crossover star Ricky Martin received a special Spirit Of Hope award, for his humanitarian work.

The ceremony will be transmitted in the US by Spanish-language network Telemundo on Sunday evening.

See also:

31 Oct 01 | Music
Latin Grammys finally revealed
05 Apr 01 | Music
UK's taste for salsa
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