Juanes , who has become a voice for social causes, remained in the running for song and record of the year.
He also opened the show's live broadcast with an emotion-filled duet with soul singer John Legend. Backed by a chorus, Juanes and Legend performed "If You Are Out There," a new collaboration that's scheduled to be released next week.
In another early award, Puerto Rican singer Kany Garcia picked up the best new artist honor, winning against Mexican alt-pop sensation Ximena Sarinana.
Garcia was also nominated in three other categories, including song of the year, album of the year, and best female pop vocal album.
Latin pop diva Gloria Estefan, who was honored with the 2008 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year award Wednesday night, also scooped up awards for best traditional tropical album for "90 millas" and best tropical song.
In pre-show awards, Mexican singer-songwriter Julieta Venegas picked up two Latin Grammys for best long form video and best alternative music album, and Mexican alternative rock group Cafe Tacuba picked up one.
Cafe Tacuba led the night's nominations with six, including album of the year, record of the year, best alternative song of the year, best rock song and song of the year.
This year marked the Houston debut of the Latin Grammys, which give out awards in 49 categories from ranchera to rock en espanol.And the show's lineup of scheduled performers also reflect that array of genres.
During the show, a video package highlighted the iconic images and multicultural mix of Houston, the country's fourth largest city. Oil rigs, glass-walled skyscrapers and Tex-Mex food painted a quick portrait of the sprawling metropolis.