Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 | 11:55 a.m.
Last-minute rehearsals Wednesday and today reached fever pitch as performers and presenters met backstage at Mandalay Bay Events Center for the 14th annual Latin Grammy Awards, a three-hour telecast.
It’s the sixth time — and fifth consecutive year — that the star-studded show has been broadcast from Las Vegas on Univision, and it’s here to stay as an annual glamorous event.
“We continue to think that Las Vegas is the best place for the show, although there were offers to move it elsewhere,” said Gabriel Abaroa, president of the Latin Recording Academy. “All of our artists like being in Las Vegas.”
The show will mark the first U.S. appearance of the new Miss Universe, stunning Venezuelan beauty Gabriela Isler. She was crowned at Donald Trump’s 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow two weeks ago, and my pal Michael Boychuck is providing his Hair and Makeup Academy stylists to make her the knockout presenter of the night.
Our hometown guitar guru Carlos Santana, whose resident show is at nearby House of Blues in Mandalay Bay, will join revered TV host Don Francisco and singers Charo and Ricky Martin, among others, as presenters.
Backstage Wednesday in the Distinctive Assets gifting suite, I learned that Marc Anthony and Pitbull will be performing along with Natalie Cole and Miguel Bose, who was honored Wednesday as Latin Person of the Year in a salute to his 30-year-plus career.
Mexican singer and novella actress Lucero returns as host. Colombian singer Vives leads the nominations with five nods alongside Javier Garza, Illya Kuryaki and The Valderramas.
The Distinctive Assets gifting lounge was a popular hangout for the performers and presenters. Founder Lash Fary said: “This perk is a way to thank all the participants for their support of Latin music’s eminent award. It’s an ideal marketing opportunity for companies looking to place their products in the hands of worldwide trendsetters and legends.”
Distinctive launched the celebrity swag business 15 years ago to leverage the power of the Hollywood community. The lounge, presented by L’Oreal Paris, included Polaroid sunglasses, Fujifilm instant cameras and film, L’Oreal cosmetics and skincare, engraved bottles of Ciroc vodka, Dav weatherproof luxury footwear and Malibu Jane and CM Beachwear.
LAX at the Luxor hosts the awards after-party with performances by J. Alvarez, Fito Blanko, Crooked Stilo, Echo Hits, Yexian and DJ Nelson.
Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners (and nominees!) in advance, and be sure to check back to Vegas DeLuxe for all the red carpet and awards photos.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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