March 23, 2010 22:30 ET

Armando Manzanero, Jorge Luis Piloto, Joan Sebastian, Anthony Santos and Tommy Torres Among Top Honorees at 18th Annual ASCAP Latin Music Awards

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - March 23, 2010) -  Joan Sebastian, Anthony Santos and Tommy Torres were named Songwriters of the Year at the 18th annual ASCAP Latin Music Awards held tonight at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, CA. Armando Manzanero and Jorge Luís Piloto received special ASCAP honors for career achievement, "El Amor" was named Latin Song of the Year, Sony/ATV Discos Music Publishing received the Publisher of the Year award, and the inaugural Independent Publisher of the Year award was presented to Premium Latin Publishing. The songwriters and publishers of ASCAP's most performed songs in Latin Music in 2009 were also honored during the invite-only awards ceremony, which is one of the most attended and celebrated events in the Latin entertainment community.

Univision's radio personality Carlos Alvarez hosted the all-star gathering, which included
"Nuestra Belleza Latina" 2009 winner Greydis Gil as a special guest presenter, and featured live performances by some of today's hottest stars and emerging artists, including Spanish singer/songwriter Shaila Dúrcal, Nicaraguan salsa romantica singer/songwriter Luis Enrique, Mexican singer/songwriter Mónica Vélez, Venezuelan singer Carlos Baute, Colombian singer/songwriter Wilfran Castillo, and Argentinean singer/songwriter/producer Alejandro Lerner. Among the honorees and luminaries in attendance were Maria Conchita Alonso, Marco Antonio Solís, Alexander Acha, Armando Ávila, Amerika Jiménez, Carlos Marmo, Xabier y Edgar Semper (Mambo Kingz), Wise, Diana Reyes, Luz Rios, Jose Manuel Figueroa, Pete Astudillo, Oro Norteño and Larry Hernandez.

Grammy Award-winning songwriter/performer Joan Sebastian, Aventura's lead singer and songwriter Anthony Santos, and songwriter, arranger and producer Tommy Torres shared Songwriter of the Year honors. This is the first time that ASCAP has had a three-way tie in the Songwriter of the Year category, representing the growing popularity and diversity of Latin music. This is the fifth time that Sebastian has been named Songwriter of the Year, and the first time that Santos and Torres have received this honor.

The evening was highlighted with special presentations to two of Latin music's most successful songwriters of our time -- Armando Manzanero and Jorge Luís Piloto.

ASCAP President and Chairman Paul Williams and ASCAP Vice President, Membership Group - Latin Alexandra Lioutikoff presented Armando Manzanero with ASCAP's Latin Heritage Award in recognition of his lifetime of contributions to Latin music. As part of the tribute, Manzanero was honored in song by Argentinean singer/songwriter/producer Alejandro Lerner. Past recipients of the ASCAP Latin Heritage Award include Antonio Aguilar, Celia Cruz, Ricardo Montaner, Ednita Nazario, Franco de Vita, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Olga Tañón and Ricardo Arjona.

Paul Williams and Nicaraguan salsa romantica singer/songwriter Luis Enrique presented Jorge Luís Piloto with ASCAP's Golden Note Award in recognition of his extraordinary songs which have enriched Latin music worldwide. Piloto was ASCAP's very first Latin Songwriter of the Year in 1993. To celebrate his friend's career achievements, Luis Enrique performed a selection of Piloto's songs. Past recipients of ASCAP's Golden Note Award include Omar Alfanno, Joan Sebastian, Jose Feliciano, and Victor Manuelle.

ASCAP Senior Vice President, Domestic Membership Randy Grimmett and Alexandra Lioutikoff presented two Publisher of the Year awards. Sony/ATV Discos Music Publishing received the Publisher of the Year award for their 36 award-winning songs. This is the eleventh time that Sony has received this honor. The inaugural Independent Publisher of the Year award was presented to Premium Latin Publishing who had six of the most performed songs in Latin music in 2009.

"El Amor," written by Tito 'El Bambino' and Joan Ortiz Espada and published by Perfect Latin Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Discos Music Publishing and T Bambino Music, was named Latin Song of the Year.

Awards were also presented throughout the evening in the following categories: Pop, Tropical, Regional Mexican, Urban, and Television.

For the complete list of winners, please visit

Established in 1914, ASCAP is the first and leading U.S. Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing the world's largest repertory totaling over 8.5 million copyrighted musical works of every style and genre from more than 370,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members. ASCAP has representation arrangements with similar foreign organizations so that the ASCAP repertory is represented in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists. ASCAP protects the rights of its members and foreign affiliates by licensing the public performances of their copyrighted works and distributing royalties based upon surveyed performances. ASCAP is the only American PRO owned and governed by its writer and publisher members.