Updated at: 11/15/2012 4:35 PM
By GISELA SALOMON
(AP) LAS VEGAS - Juanes, Juan Luis Guerra, Nelly Furtado and Natalie Cole are among the artists who celebrated Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso at a ceremony honoring him as the Latin Recording Academy’s Person of the Year.
Veloso’s influence as a composer and activist also was the subject of a video featuring Sting and Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar that was shown at the tribute Wednesday at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Veloso said in the video that he never decided to become a musician, but fate and the circumstances of life in Brazil moved him in that direction.
Considered among the most influential Brazilian artists of modern times, the 70-year-old entertainer has recorded more than 40 albums, and won eight Latin Grammys and two Grammy Awards. With his eponymous 1968 album, Veloso launched a new style of music, tropicalia, that saw his Brazilian musical roots mixed with other contemporary styles, including blues, psychedelic rock and the sounds of the Beatles.
The movement comprised a new generation of artists, including Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and Maria Bethania, who openly expressed political opinion in their music.
In accepting the honor, Veloso said, "It’s too much."
The Latin Grammy Awards are scheduled to be presented Thursday at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The show will be broadcast live on Univision.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)