Musician named 2009 person of the year

Mexican singer-songwriter-producer Juan Gabriel will be honored for his musical and philanthropic achievements as the Latin Recording Academy’s 2009 person of the year.

Kudos will be celebrated at the 10th Latin Grammy Awards ceremony Nov. 4 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, with the ceremony to be televised live on Univision. Nominations will be announced Thursday.

Latin Recording Academy president Gabriel Abaroa called Gabriel “an extraordinary entertainer who has never forgotten his roots, while at the same time having a global impact.”

Born Alberto Aguilera Valadez in Paracuara, Michoacan, in 1950, Gabriel scored his first hit, “No Tengo Dinero,” in 1971. He has recorded in every style from ranchera to disco, racking up hits on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border and claiming sales of more than 100 million albums worldwide. He is a six-time Grammy nominee.

His material has been widely covered, and he has also produced more than 100 albums by artists including Paul Anka, Lola Beltran and Rocio Durcal.

His charitable activities include annual performances for children’s foster homes and the 1987 establishment of Semjase, an orphanage and music school that he funds personally.

Gabriel joins Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Carlos Santana among others as a Latin Recording Academy person of the year honoree.

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