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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Bruno Del Granado

Aired September 2, 2003 - 19:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: It is going to be mui caliente in Miami tomorrow night, not because it's always hot in South Florida. The explosion of Latin music in this country will be recognized at the Latin Grammy Awards. The question is, what can we expect? Ana Maria Montero lets us know.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANA MARIA MONTERO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Ricky Martin will perform. Gloria Estefan will be in the audience, and "American Idol's" Kelly Clarkson will be on stage, performing with Brazilian Alexandre Berre (ph). It's the fourth annual Latin Grammy Awards in Miami. As the Hispanic population in the U.S. has increased, so has the popularity of Latin music.

GUSTAVO SANTAOLALLA, PRODUCER: I'm convinced that the DNA of this country has changed, you know, and that there's a component that is Latin and that is there. I think, you know, United States, you know, it's a part of United States is Latin.

MONTERO: If you don't already know this, take a good look. And while you're at it, give it a listen.

Here is Colombian singer/songwriter Juanes and tracks from his album "Un Dia Normal" have been burning up the "Billboard" Latin charts for weeks. With five Grammy nods this year, he hopes to add to his pile of four statutes.

However, the evening's top nominee with six is actually a trio of musicians who call themselves Bacilos. Their album, "Caraluna," already won at the traditional Grammy event of last February.

The show will open with a special tribute to the queen of salsa, Celia Cruz, who died in July, ending a career that spanned more than five decades.

Latin Grammy organizers hope that this year's lineup, which also includes comedian George Lopez as the host, outdoors last year's poor telecast ratings, proving that Latin music is finally crossing over into the mainstream.

Ana Maria Montero, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: And there's certainly nothing new about the popularity of Latin music in the U.S. From Xavier Cougat (ph) to Tito Puentes to Santana to Gloria Estefan to Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias, I could go on and on. It seems like the sheer number of chart-topping acts has exploded.

Bruno Del Granado, Maverick Records executive, joins us now from Miami to talk about all the latest developments. Bruno, good to meet you. Who -- I think for a lot of people their eyes sort of perked up when they started hearing a lot of Latin music with Ricky Martin, I think it was back in '99, when he sort of exploded on the scene, though he had certainly been around a long time. Who is the next Ricky Martin? I mean, is it -- who would you say it is?

BRUNO DEL GRANADO, MAVERICK RECORDS: All indication, Anderson, is that's going to be Juanes. He has five nominations, including album, song and record of the year.

COOPER: And he's from Colombia.

DEL GRANADO: He's from Colombia, yes. Colombia right now is ground zero for creative Latin music. Of all the countries right now in Latin America, some of the better sounds are coming out of Colombia, whether it's Juanes, or Carlos Vives, or of course, Shakira or Soreilla (ph). It really is ground zero.

COOPER: And we're looking at Juanes right now. What about Thalia? I mean, she's gotten a lot of press in the U.S., her husband is Tommy Mottola, big record producer. She's made a big splash. How is she doing?

DEL GRANADO: Well, Thalia's English language debut came out in July, debuted at number 11, sold 100,000 copies the first week. It's going to be interesting to see what happens to her in the next coming months. Don't forget, she has a very long career in Spanish. She released nine albums, she's the biggest selling female singer in Mexico, of all time. Successful soap opera TV star.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: ... huge in these tele novellas. I mean, she's a huge star.

DEL GRANADO: Massive, massive, whether it's the Philippines, Russia, Mexico, China, she is the biggest soap opera star in the world.

COOPER: It's so fascinating how people in the United States, you know, the first time they're sort of hearing about Thalia, but she's huge all over the world.

You know, we talked in the piece about crossing over from, you know, from a Latin audience to a mainstream U.S. audience. But it seems kind of like 1999, you know, a while back, it seems now a lot of stars are kind of crossing back over and recording albums only in Spanish. Ricky Martin comes to mind. I think Enrique Iglesias as well. DEL GRANADO: What they're basically doing, Anderson, is going back and tapping into their existing Latin fan base. Don't forget, Ricky Martin, before he recorded "The Cup of Life" and "Living la Vida Loca," had recorded six albums in Spanish. Sold 30 million records. Enrique, the same. His debut album came out in '94 and it sold six million copies to a very broad Hispanic audience.

And what they're doing is, they're crossing over, recording albums in English, successful as they can be, but then going back and covering their bases again. And what we're seeing now is artists who are U.S. Hispanic or Hispanic-born here in the States of Hispanic origin, like Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera, who are doing the opposite thing. They are recording English language albums and then going back and cutting Spanish versions of those albums.

COOPER: All right. Bruno Del Granado, we'll watch the awards. Appreciate you joining us for an update. Thanks very much.

DEL GRANADO: Thank you.

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