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BMI Songwriters and Publishers Win Big at 12th Annual Latin Awards in Las Vegas; Ceremony Highlighted by Special Tribute to BMI Icon Carlos Santana

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LAS VEGAS (D.Baron Media Relations/ - Performing rights organization BMI presented its 12th Annual Latin Awards tonight with top honors going to Emilio Estefan and Estefano as Songwriters of the Year, "Fotografia" by Juanes as Song of the Year, and SER-CA Publishing, Inc. as Publisher of the Year. The black-tie ceremony, hosted by BMI President & CEO Del Bryant and Assistant Vice President of Latin Music Diane J. Almodovar, recognized the writers and publishers of the past year's most performed Latin songs on US radio and television. The invitation-only gala was held for the first time in Las Vegas at the Four Seasons Hotel and featured a special tribute to BMI Icon Carlos Santana.

Multiple Grammy winning songwriter/producer Emilio Estefan and six-time BMI Latin Songwriter of the Year Estefano shared the Songwriter crown this year by placing three titles each on the most performed list of 50.

Emilio Estefan's award-winning tracks included Cristian Castro's "No Hace Falta," Shalim's "Se Me Olvido Tu Nombre," and Victor Manuelle's "Tengo Ganas." As head of Estefan Enterprises, which includes music publishing, music and movie production, several restaurants and managing the career of his superstar wife Gloria Estefan, the Cuban-born entrepreneur is best known as founding member and leader of groundbreaking crossover group the Miami Sound Machine.

Estefano accepted his sixth BMI Latin Songwriter of the Year Crystal for his award-winning songs "Ahora Quien" by Marc Anthony, "Quitemonos La Ropa" by NG2, and "Y Todo Queda En Nada" by Ricky Martin. He also won the top honor in 1995, 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Born in Colombia, the multitalented songwriter, artist and producer got his start in Miami in the early 90s and has written hits for Julio Iglesias, Thalia, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Chayanne, Paulina Rubio and many others.

"Fotografia," written, published and performed by Colombian rocker Juanes (featuring Nelly Furtado) and co-published by peermusic III ltd., was named BMI Latin Song of the Year for tallying the most US radio and television performances. The international hit is from the nine-time Latin Grammy winner's multiplatinum CD, Un Dia Normal, which has garnered more awards than any other Latin album in history. Juanes, who now has a total of seven BMI awards, was recently named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World."

SER-CA Publishing, Inc. was named Publisher of the Year, boasting six titles on the Latin song list, including three by Norteno/Tejano fusion band Intocable. The honor is given to the publisher with the highest percentage of ownership of songs on the most performed list. Founded 40 years ago in Monterrey, Mexico, by Don Servando Cano, the company focuses on Regional Mexican artists like Ramon Ayala, Cornelio Reyna, Bronco El Gigante de America, Grupo Pesado, Duelo and Los Invasores de Nuevo Leon, among others.

The gala ceremony also paid tribute to multiple Grammy Award-winning artist Carlos Santana, who was named a BMI Icon for his "unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers." The first songwriter to receive the Icon honor at BMI's Latin Awards, Santana joins a distinguished list of past honorees, including James Brown, Brian Wilson, Dolly Parton, Isaac Hayes and Van Morrison.

The Icon presentation featured a special musical salute with performances by Mana guitarist Sergio Vallin, Conjunto Primavera lead singer Tony Melendez, Jaguares percussionist Leo Munoz and Latin rock group Ozomatli. From his most recent hits, including 2004 Pop Song of the Year "The Game of Love" (featuring Michelle Branch), "Smooth" (featuring Rob Thomas), and "Why Don't You & I" (featuring Chad Kroeger), to Santana Band classics like "Evil Ways," "Black Magic Woman," and "Oye Como Va," Carlos Santana has been creating a unique fusion of passionate, guitar-powered music for more than 30 years, creatively blending potent rock and roll with blues-driven elements and sensuous Afro-Cuban rhythms.

Double award-winning songwriters included Ramon Gonzalez Mora, Juanes, Luis "Louie" Padilla, Archie Pena, A.B. Quintanilla III, Mario Quintero, Kike Santander and Jose Miguel Velasquez. Publishers earning two or more Citations of Achievement were Sony/ATV Music Publishing (including Sony/ATV Acuff Rose and Sony/ATV Latin Music Publishing LLC); Foreign Imported Productions and Publishing, Inc.; Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp.; peermusic (including Peer International Corp. and peermusic III ltd.); Disa Latin Publishing LLC; Kike Santander Music LLC/Santander Songs; World Deep Music Publishing Corporation; EMI Music Publishing (including EMI-Blackwood Music, Inc. and EMI Music Publishing Italia (SIAE)); Iron Tigga Music/King of Bling Music; Nati Publishing; Seg-Son Music, Inc.; Songs of Camaleon; and Universal Music Publishing (including Universal Music Italia (SIAE) and Universal-Musica Unica Publishing).

Another of the evening's highlights included the announcement of the winner of the 2nd annual BMI Foundation/peermusic Latin Scholarship. This year's $5,000 scholarship recipient was 22-year-old Mexican singer/songwriter Manelick de la Parra for his song "Me Toco Amarte." Established by the BMI Foundation and funded by the generosity of the peermusic publishing companies, the scholarship is awarded annually through a competition for original Latin songs and instrumental compositions.

Now marking its 65th year in business, BMI is an American performing rights organization that represents approximately 300,000 songwriters, composers and publishers in all genres of music, including Spanish-language music. With a repertoire of approximately 4.5 million musical works from around the world, the non-profit-making corporation collects license fees from businesses that use music, which it then distributes as royalties to the musical creators and copyright owners it represents.

High-resolution photos of the 2005 BMI Latin Awards are available for downloading to registered users at Please see contacts below for a Spanish version of this release. For a complete list of award-winning songs, please visit

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