MIAMI, FL. (Telemudo announcement) - The 2005 Billboard Latin Music
Awards, the most important and prestigious event in Latin music, will honor the extraordinary careers of two of Latin music's biggest stars, singer/songwriter Marco
Antonio Solis with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Tropical singer Juan Luis Guerra
with this year's Spirit
of Hope Award. The artists will be saluted at the 2005 Billboard Latin Music
Awards, which will be broadcast live from the Miami Arena
by Telemundo on Thursday, April 28 at 7PM ET/PT. The winners of the two special Billboard awards are chosen by the magazine's editors.
Marco Antonio Solis, considered one of the great songwriters of contemporary Latin pop, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his distinguished 20-year musical career. Solis' artistic path began as the leader of Los Bukis, considered Mexico's biggest-selling romantic group. He went solo in 1995, and since then, he's had 12 titles on the Billboard Top Latin albums chart, including four No. 1 titles and nine on the Top 10. His most recent album, "Razon de Sobra," also debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart last year. Solis is this year's biggest finalist for the 2005 Billboard Latin Music Awards, competing for eight awards in seven categories including: Hot Latin Track of the Year ? "Mas Que Tu Amigo;" Hot Latin Tracks Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Latin Pop Album of the Year, Male - "Razon de Sobra;" Latin Greatest Hits Album of the Year, Regional Mexican Airplay Track of the Year, Male Solo Artist, and Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year.
Solis, who describes himself as a true romantic, says his secret lies in knowing the precise words to use when expressing romance. "The right phrase has to be at the tip of your tongue," he says. "If you're truly in love, it will never sound trite."
Juan Luis Guerra, recognized as the person who took Bachata-the traditional music of the Dominican Republic-to the mainstream, will be honored with this year's Spirit of Hope Award for his humanitarian work through the Juan Luis Guerra y 4.40 Foundation. Guerra created the organization over 10 years ago to provide the poor children of his native Dominican Republic with visual care.
The Foundation has since evolved to provide mostly medical attention to children, from open heart surgeries to burn treatments. The Juan Luis Guerra y 4.40 Foundation is funded solely by money collected by shows performed by Guerra and his group, and by occasional donations from outside organizations.
A born again Christian, Guerra says the work he does with his foundation is part of his new calling. Guerra's newest album, "Para Ti," is a finalist in three categories for the 2005 Billboard Latin Music Awards including: Tropical Album of The Year, Male, Latin Christian/Gospel Album of The Year, and Tropical Airplay Track of The Year, Male.
"We work with children who have health problems, but we consider all cases," says Guerra, of his Dominican Republic-based foundation. "If a person needing a transplant comes to us, we will help them, but our priority is the children."
While finalists and eventual winners of the 2005 Billboard Latin Music Awards are determined by performance on the Billboard charts, winners of the Lifetime Achievement and Spirit of Hope
Awards are decided by an editorial committee based solely on merit specific to that award. Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing career achievement, include Armando Manzanero, Marco Antonio Sol's, Los Lobos, Mongo Santamaria and Banda El Recodo. The Spirit of Hope Award, recognizing humanitarian contributions, has previously been awarded to El General, Mana, Ricky Martin, Olga Tañón and Soraya.