Karen Martinez, left, and Juanes arrive at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year tribute honoring Alejandro Sanz at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Latin Grammy Awards open with tribute to Puerto Rico

November 16, 2017 - 8:27 pm

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latin Grammy Awards opened with a moment of silence for hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, followed by a performance by one of its native sons.

Wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the Puerto Rican flag, rapper Residente performed his song "Hijos del Canaveral," a tribute to his homeland.

Residente tops nominees with nine nods for his self-titled solo debut, and he took home a Latin Grammy before the show even began. "Residente" was named best urban album during a pre-telecast ceremony where most of the awards are presented.

Other early winners included Natalia Lafourcade, the hit song "Despacito" and rocker Juanes, who also claimed the first prize awarded during the live telecast: best pop-rock album for "Mis Planes Son Amarte" ("My Plans Are to Love You").

Entertainers Jaime Camil and Roselyn Sanchez are hosting the ceremony at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, which is being broadcast live on Univision.

The largest celebration of Spanish-language music comes at a time when many Latinos are wondering if there's anything to celebrate this year as they've felt the effects of the Trump administration's immigration agenda and their communities were destroyed by natural disasters. The Latin Recording Academy has promised performances by Alejandro Sanz, Luis Fonsi, Maluma and more.

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Cohen reported from Los Angeles.

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