Juan Luis Guerra Wins Big in Vegas

  Juan Luis Guerra '82

At the November 8, 2007, Latin Grammy Awards festivities in Las Vegas, tropical music superstar Juan Luis Guerra '82 was the runaway favorite. Guerra took home five trophies for his latest recording La Llave de Mi Corazón, which won the Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Merengue Album awards. The title track also took the top spot in the Best Tropical Song category. Additionally, the album won the Best Engineered Album award for its engineering team of Allan Leschhorn, Luis Mansilla, Ronnie Torres, and mastering engineer Adam Ayan. In his various acceptance speeches, Guerra, a born-again Christian, thanked Jesus Christ and dedicated the awards to his wife and two children. Guerra closed the show by singing his hit "The Voyage" with his backup group 440 and guest drummer Sheila E.

The night before the awards ceremony, Guerra was honored with the Latin Recording Academy's 2007 Person of the Year award in recognition of his career and lifetime achievements. In addition to his numerous musical successes, Guerra is known for his humanitarian efforts in his native Dominican Republic, where he established the Juan Luis Guerra Foundation. The organization has built hospitals and other facilities and helped poor children in need of medical care. Panamanian music star Ruebén Blades made the presentation to Guerra. Accepting the award, Guerra said, "I want to dedicate this award to the Dominican Republic." Referencing the destruction wrought on the Dominican Republic by tropical storm Noel just a few days prior, he continued, "In recent days, we've had some difficult moments, but we are a strong and courageous people."

This trip to Las Vegas brings Guerra's total number of Latin Grammys to nine.