Barba Dominates Billboard Latin Awards

The Associated Press
Thursday, April 26, 2007; 11:07 PM

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The brawny, cowboy hat-sporting Mexican singer Mariano Barba dominated the 2007 Billboard Latin Music Awards on Thursday. In an unusual turn, he took top song of the year _ a prize usually given to pop stars like Shakira.

Barba won three awards in the Mexican regional music category and "Hot Latin Song" for his ballad "Aliado del tiempo," or "Ally of Time," also the title of his album.

The awards honor the most popular albums, songs and performers in Latin music as determined by sales and radio airplay data published on Billboard's weekly charts.

Mexican artists did well overall. Teen pop phenomenon RBD took home three awards, including best tour, while fellow Mexican pop singer Paulina Rubio opened the show and picked up two awards for her album, "Ananda." Mexican rockers Mana also won twice.

Colombia's Shakira and Haitian-American rapper and producer Wyclef Jean won best duet for their smash hit, "Hips Don't Lie."

Puerto Rican Toby Love won in both hip-hop and tropical categories, a nod to the popularity of both genres among fans. But in an upset, the most nominated group, Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Rakim y Ken-Y, took home only one of seven nominations, for their song "Down."

Singer, songwriter and actor Miguel Bose received the Billboard Lifetime Achievement award for his roughly 30-year career. Bose has made nearly two dozen albums and starred in numerous films in Europe and Mexico. His latest album, "Papito," is a compilation of his classic songs performed as duets with artists such as Ricky Martin.

Venezuelan singer Ricardo Montaner was also honored for his work with disabled children and those living in poverty across Latin America.

Spanish-language soap star Marlene Favela and singer-actor Carlos Ponce hosted the event in Coral Gables, just south of downtown Miami. NBC subsidiary Telemundo aired the show.

© 2007 The Associated Press