Latin Grammy favorite Alejandro Sanz won four awards and Brazilian jazz songstress Maria Rita collected two Wednesday at a ceremony aimed at uniting Spanish- and Portuguese-language music with the flash and sizzle of American pop.

Sanz won the male pop vocal album award and album of the year for "No Es Lo Mismo" and song and record of the year trophies for writing and performing the album's title track.

The Spanish crooner, who has previously received seven Latin Grammys and one Grammy, was touring and did not attend the evening's festivities, televised on CBS.

Rita won best new artist and best Brazilian pop music album for "Maria Rita," which was also nominated for album of the year.

"When I was little I used to watch the Grammys with the family and we all knew how important it was to all the artists involved. I'm one of you now," she told the audience.

Milton Nascimento won the best Brazilian song award for writing "A Festa," which had been nominated for record of the year.

Bebo Valdes won for his collaboration with flamenco singer Diego El Cigala in the traditional tropical album category for "Lagrimas Negras."

The Cuban exile said he would not use his win as a means to comment on his homeland's politics. "The music is art. My politics are private," the 85-year-old Valdez said backstage. "It's been 24 years since I go to my country."

Among other winners, Jimmy Gonzalez and Grupo Mazz won best Tejano album for "Live en El Valle," while Los Tigres del Norte collected the Norteno album prize for "Pacto de Sangre."

Skank's "Cosmotron" was picked best Brazilian rock album, classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma's "Obrigado Brazil: Live in Concert" collected best instrumental album, and the late Celia Cruz's "Regalo del Alma" received best salsa album.

Robi Draco Rosa won best music video for "Mas y Mas"; Rosario's "Del Mel Colores" was honored as best female vocal album. Vincento and Alejandro Fernandez earned best ranchero album for "En Vivos Juntos por Ultima Vez."

Comedian George Lopez was host of the fifth annual awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium and appeared onstage riding a white horse while wearing a mariachi band outfit and sombrero.

Lopez said that he understood President Bush speaks some Spanish. He then uttered some of the language in a phrase that, politely translated, means: "Don't lie to me." In English, Lopez joked that it meant "Good luck in your future endeavors." CBS bleeped the joke.

Spain's Sanz took four trophies last night, including album of the year, and Brazil's Maria Rita took two.