Estefano tops Latin kudofest

Shakira, Mitchell win song of the year

MIAMI — Writer-producer Estefano was named Latin songwriter of the year for the second year in a row by performing rights org BMI at its 10th annual Latin Awards held Monday.

In the other top categories, BMI tapped Shakira and Tim Mitchell’s hit “Suerte” (its English version is “Whenever, Wherever”) as song of the year, and Peermusic as publisher of the year.

The kudofest at the Eden Roc Resort in Miami Beach was hosted by BMI prexy and CEO Frances Preston and her assistant veepee of Latin music Diane Almodovar.

Although an independent event, the BMI dinner serves as the industry’s kickoff to the annual Billboard Latin Music Conference & Awards 2003, which runs through Thursday.

The BMI awards recognize the writers and publishers of the most performed Latin songs on U.S. radio and television. BMI bestowed its Latin Award on 50 such songs.

Estefano penned three songs — “Necesidad” and “Usted Se Me Llevo La Vida,” both recorded by Alexandre Pires, and “Tu y Yo,” recorded by Thalia — from that list of 50.

In addition to receiving the songwriter kudo in 2002, Estefano shared the same award in 2000 with Marco Antonio Perez, Mario Quintero, Kike Santander and Shakira.

Song of the year “Suerte” was co-written by Shakira and Tim Mitchell and published by Aniwi Music and Foreign Imported Prods. and Publishing. The song is from her multiplatinum Spanish- and English-language album, “Laundry Service.”

Peermusic was named publisher of the year for the fourth time, this year with a record 12 songs on the most-performed list, including Luis Miguel’s “Amor, Amor, Amor,” “Derecho a La Vida” by Conjunto Primavera and “Nada” by Juanes.

BMI is a U.S. performing rights organization that represents more than 300,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in all genres of music.

It hosts annual awards for pop, film & TV, urban and Latin genres as well as in London for its European membership.

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