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The Grammys | Latin

Our predictions by genre

February 23, 2003

In the top Latin category, the race is anybody's guess, because all the nominees are newly emerging artists.

Best Pop Album: Miami's Jorge Moreno's Latin Grammy as last year's best new artist makes him the likely winner, though Bacilos, a folksy Miami trio, and Sin Bandera, a smooth duet from Mexico, have strong publicity pushes behind them. The daring (and deserving) choice: Argentina's Diego Torres, whose "Color Esperanza" is an uplifting anthem for a troubled Latin America.

Best Rock/Alternative Album: Colombian alt-rocker Juanes is the likely winner. He's been sweeping awards throughout Latin America and Spain with his breakthrough album "Un Dia Normal," though it's more pop than rock. Kinky, a dynamic tropical/electronica band from Mexico, made a splash with its self-titled debut, but not enough to knock off Juanes. Mexico's Mana is too banal and Sindicato Argentino del Hip Hop is a distant longshot. The deserving candidate is Orishas' "Emigrante," a gritty but beautiful blend of rap and salsa.

Best Salsa Album: In a bland year, the hands-down favorite is veteran singer Celia Cruz. But the only contender projecting the true energy, originality and spark of this dance genre is Cuba's Maraca, with his Afro-Cuban timba-salsa fusion "Tremenda Rumba."

-- Agustin Gurza

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