September 1, 2000

Gloria Estefan, Andy Garcia, Jennifer López and Jimmy Smits will Co-Host the Inaugural Latin Grammy Awards

Gloria Estefan, Andy Garcia, Jennifer López and Jimmy Smits have been named as the first set of co-hosts for the first Latin GRAMMY Awards, it was announced today be Michael Greene, President/CEO of the Recording academy. To best exemplify the diversity of Latin music, multiple hosts with unique backgrounds will guide the historic celebration of Latin music.

In addition to their hosting duties, López and Estefan will also perform on the telecast. The awards show will be telecast live from Staples Center in Los Angeles on September 13, 2000 by the CBS Television Network, (9-11p.m. EDT/PDT).

"These entertainers have established themselves as leading forces in the industry, and their efforts have helped open doors for other Hispanics," said Greene. "Plus, they are all multi-faceted artists with universal appeal to both non-music and music fans, while their involvement highlights the worldwide scope of the Latin GRAMMYs. They also are true friends of the both the Latin Academy and the Recording Academy, consistently providing their unwavering support. We are delighted they have agreed to help us present this historic recognition of the international Latin music community."

The 1st Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards will be telecast domestically by CBS, marking the first time a largely Spanish-language program will air in prime time. The show, which will feature performances from some of the genre's biggest artists, will be seen internationally in over 120 countries.

Leading the nominations for the Latin GRAMMY Awards are Emilio Estefan Jr. and Carlos Vives, who both earned six nods, and Marc Anthony and Shakira, with five each. The ceremony will boast awards in 40 key categories covering many genres and sub-genres of Latin music.

Gloria Estefan has set the standard by which all other bilingual recording artists are now measured. As a two-time GRAMMY winner, and a nominee for three Latin GRAMMYs, her English- and Spanish- language albums have put her at the forefront of Latin music crossover. With the recent release of her album Alma Caribeña (Caribbean Soul), Gloria continues to display the explosive talent and energy that have helped to propel Latin music to where it is today. Her constant support and participation have made her a vital part of the Latin Academy and a role model in the Latin music community.

Andy Garcia is a Golden Globe and Oscar nominee, as well as a music producer and director. He has become one of the industry's most prominent Latino artists who has achieved fame both as a successful actor and musician. His current involvement as executive producer and star of the HBO telefilm For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, the dramatic account of the three-time GRAMMY winner and 12-time GRAMMY nominee, exemplifies Garcia's dedication to his heritage. As a consistent contributor to the Latin Academy and participant in all LARAS events, he has demonstrated his commitment to the success and long deserved recognition of Latin music artists.

As both a GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY nominee, Jennifer López's explosive style, talent and raw beauty have captured the attention of both music and film audiences. Her gutsy fearlessness and determined ambition have made her a highly sought-after role model within the Latin community. As the hottest Latin actress in Hollywood, López's fiery spirit and pride in her roots have made a splash in an industry formerly dominated by stereotypes. Her music career was launched in 1998 with her debut album On The Six. Her sophomore album, Passionate Journey, will be released in the fall.

Jimmy Smits, a longtime friend and supporter of the Latin Recording Academy, is best known for his award winning work as a Latin actor who has crossed over all boundaries. His dedication to his Latin heritage is apparent as founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, whose mission is to increase access for Hispanic artist and professionals while fostering the emergence of new Hispanic talent. The Emmy award-winning Smits is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking role as attorney Victor Sifuentes on the NBC TV series " LA LAW." His work on "NYPD Blue" also earned him a Golden Globe.

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