Latin Academy Announces 2012 Special Awards Recipients

Latin music stars to receive Lifetime Achievement and Trustees Awards at Nov. 14 celebration
  • Photo: Robert Marquardt/Redferns
    Luz Casal
  • Photo: John Shearer/
    Poncho Sánchez
  • Photo: Toby Canham/Getty Images
    Rita Moreno
  • Photo: Tad Hershorn/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
    Milton Nascimento
  • Photo: Victor Chavez/
    Daniela Romo
September 13, 2012 -- 5:55 am PDT

The Latin Recording Academy today announced the recipients of its Lifetime Achievement Award and Trustees Award. Luz Casal, Leo Dan, Rita Moreno, Milton Nascimento, Daniela Romo, Poncho Sánchez, and Toquinho will be honored with The Latin Recording Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award, and Juan Carmona "Habichuela" and Yomo Toro are the recipients of the prestigious Trustees Award.

These honorees will be acknowledged at an invitation-only ceremony on Nov. 14 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas as part of the weeklong Latin GRAMMY Awards celebration.

"This year's exceptional group of honorees not only beautifully represents our diverse music communities but exemplifies the meaning of being a true pioneer of one's craft as well as being internationally recognized within their respective musical genres," said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy. "We continue the privilege of honoring and celebrating these iconic individuals whose contributions and accomplishments continue to leave an indelible legacy in the world of Latin music and will continue to inspire future generations of musicians and music fans for many years."

The Lifetime Achievement Award is a Special Award presented by vote of The Latin Recording Academy's Trustees to performers who have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording during their careers.

With an international career spanning more than three decades, Spanish-born singer, songwriter and composer Casal is an iconic figure in Spanish rock and pop music. One of the first women to break through the male-dominated rock genre, she has recorded more than 15 solo albums, contributed to several acclaimed and award-winning film soundtracks, sold more than 6 million albums, and received numerous honors in France and Spain, among other countries. Known as the quintessential rock poetess, Casal has performed at many notable festivals and concerts. She has survived two bouts with breast cancer and continues touring throughout the world.

Learning to play the flute and harmonica at age 4 and guitar at age 11, Argentinian singer, songwriter and actor Dan emerged as one of the most recognized composers and vocalists in the Latin world. Considered an integral founder of the "nueva ola" (new wave) style of popular music in the '60s, he relocated to Mexico in the '70s and became the first balladeer to record with mariachi groups, pairing his unique voice with traditional Mexican folk music. His success has led to more than 2,500 musical compositions, with songs recorded in various genres such as ballada, folk, tropical, cumbia, banda, tango, and ranchera, and including translations in more than seven languages. He has sold more than 50 million albums, starred in four feature films and has been honored internationally. 

With a nearly 70-year career in entertainment, Puerto Rican-born singer, dancer and actress Moreno is one of an elite group of performers who have won the industry's top five most prestigious awards: a GRAMMY, Oscar, Emmy, Tony Award, and Golden Globe Award. Adding to her recognitions, she received the highest honor bestowed upon a U.S. civilian when former President George W. Bush awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. Her professional repertoire includes starring in more than 135 feature films and TV series and countless stage productions in the United States and abroad. Moreno is also an esteemed lecturer, sharing her insight on various cultural and industry-related topics with a variety of organizations and universities and she is involved in a number of charities and events.

One of Brazil's top musical innovators, singer/songwriter Nascimento has recorded more than 40 albums and toured worldwide. In 2012 he is celebrating 40 years since the release of his acclaimed album, Clube Da Esquina, which is considered one the most important works of popular Brazilian music. This three-time Latin GRAMMY and GRAMMY winner is known for his falsetto, tonal range and his early works that fused Africanized folk with bossanova, classical, jazz, and pop elements, transforming the tone of Brazilian music forever. His international success has led to collaborations with artists such as Duran Duran; Earth, Wind & Fire; Peter Gabriel; Herbie Hancock; Quincy Jones; Paul Simon; and James Taylor.

Since making her film debut at age 17, the journey for singer, actress and television host Romo has continued with no end in sight. Born in Mexico with a passion for entertaining, she launched her musical career in 1979 with her first album, También Yo, produced by esteemed arranger and 2011 Latin Recording Academy Trustees Award recipient Jesus "Chucho" Ferrer. The album paved the way for chart-topping hits such as "Mentiras," "Celos," "De Mí Enamórate" (written by Juan Gabriel), and "Yo No Te Pido La Luna." With 16 albums, 13 soap operas, 10 stage plays, 11 original live shows, eight television shows, numerous gold and platinum records, and awards in recognition of her acting and singing, Romo has earned the respect and devoted support of millions of fans worldwide.

Influenced by Latin jazz greats Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo, Mexican-American conguero, Latin jazz bandleader and salsa singer Sánchez is considered one of the top percussionists of all time. In addition to congas, he taught himself at a young age to play guitar, flute, drums, and timbales. In 1975 he quickly became a member of famed vibraphonist Cal Tjader's ensemble until 1982. His career has lasted more than three decades and includes more than 30 albums, numerous musical collaborations and a GRAMMY for Best Latin Jazz Performance in 1999. His self-described rhythmic style blends the harmonic sophistication of jazz with American standards and the flavor of Latin American music. Sánchez continues performing in concert halls and local jazz festivals throughout the world.

Renowned Brazilian composer, singer and guitarist Toquinho is the true definition of a musical prodigy. Considered a pioneer of the música popular Brasileira (popular Brazilian music) movement of the '60s, at 14 he began studying guitar with notable impresarios Paulinho Nogueira, Edward Janulo (harmony), Isaias Sávio (classical), and Léo Peracchi (orchestration). As his talent grew, he composed his first big hit, "Que Maravilha," which led to a partnership with lyricist Vinicius de Moraes that would yield 120 songs and numerous live performances abroad. With 75 recorded works and a musical career spanning four decades, he continues working and touring worldwide.

The XIII Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and will be broadcast live on the Univision Network on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. For breaking news and exclusive content, join the organization's social networks as a Twitter follower and a Facebook fan.

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