Charlie Zaa and Me

Getting the 411 on the Ritmo Latino Awards 2002

By Ana-Yoli
Published on LatinoLA: August 22, 2002

Charlie Zaa and Me

On my first assignment for LatinoLA.com, driving to the Beverly Hills Hotel (the pink hotel on Sunset Blvd.) was nerve-racking. I wasn't sure what to expect!

As I approached the $10 valet parking (which is cheaper than the House of Blues valet) I asked for the self-parking section. Hey, I work on a part-time basis and that doesn't allow for much! Anyway, the parking attendant looked at me with disbelief (as if there was no self-park) but pointed down the road, where to my surprise and fortune, there was the last FREE parking spot.

What luck, huh?

Happy and sporting a smile because I had just saved gas money for the week, I skipped through the nicely decorated lobby and made my grand entrance.

Boy, was I sweating it!

I kept thinking "Relax, calm down, you can do this, these people don't know you...just do what you have to do and have fun!" Of course, that little pep talk didn't work for me. I was more nervous than before!

Looking around the room I noticed familiar faces -- a reporter from Channel 52, a radio personality from K-LOVE, and a cameraman I had met before. Seeing them there somehow calmed me down. Perhaps because I felt as if I actually knew them, and this made me feel comfortable and not out of place.

The press conference got underway and the nominees for the Fourth Annual El Premio de la Gente, Ritmo Latino Music Awards 2002 were to be announced by none other than Latino superstar Charlie Zaa along with Los Razos, y Annette Moreno.

After thanking the sponsors of the event -- Vons, Telemundo Network, KVEA Channel 52, Viva 107.1 and other supporters -- the Latino artists came out one-by-one to announce the nominations. The paparazzi were snapping away when Christian artist and nominee Annette Moreno began by announcing the first nominees. Then, three members of Los Razos came out, styling their nice sombreros, to announce more nominees.

Finally, the moment I had been waiting for arrived.

Charlie Zaa entered the room looking like he just stepped out of a GQ magazine, wearing all black and topping the outfit off with dark shades. I must say he looked GOOD! ?MMMM GOOD!

You ladies know what I mean?

I observed how charismatic he was with the photographers, staying a little longer, as they bombarded him with cameras and pleas of "?Charlie! ?Aqui!"

This was not a red carpet event but seeing the paparazzi in action made it feel like it was and there I was in the middle of it all. How amazing was that? It was just incredible, to be surrounded by reporters, radio personalities and celebrities that I've been a fan of for years.

I can't wait to see who the winners at this years' Ritmo Latino Music Awards will be. Let me tell you, the choices are tough!

Some of our old favorites like -- Alejandra Guzman, Carlos Vives, Celia Cruz, Marc Anthony, Olga Ta?on and of course let's not forget the talented Laura Pauisini -- are all nominated. t could be that this year that some of our new favorite performers -- those who have captivated our hearts, like Lupillo Rivera, Pilar Montenegro, and Alexander Pires -- have a real good chance of being awarded El Premio de la Gente.

This year the nominees will duel it out at the Kodak Theater, where the ceremony will take center stage on October 25, 2002. And we have the power to decide the winners!

Latinos: Get your Ritmo Latino Groove on and vote online at http://www.premiosritmo.com for your favorites. You can also vote at your local Vons supermarket or nearest Ritmo Latino stores from now until September 12, 2002. When you fill out the ballot and entry form at these locations you will be entered into a sweepstake where you can win two tickets to the show.

You never know, you could be a lucky winner!

If for some reason you can't make it to the Kodak Theater -- you don't win tickets, you're in a financial slump, you don't know anyone who can get you in for free -- don't worry, you won't miss a thing because I'll be front and center to tell you all about it.

All the excitement of the night and of course the chisme can later be re-lived on the Telemundo Network -- KVEA Channel 52 locally --as they plan to air it in the fall.

Stay tuned for more excitement coming your way.

?Hasta the next time!

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