Argentinian footballer Osvaldo Ardiles and Nicaraguan-born human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger will pick up lifetime achievement awards at the Latin UK Awards (LUKAS) in April.
The LUKAS is the only annual award ceremony to recognise the contributions of one million Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese residents to British life. Now in its third year, it is the fastest-growing awards ceremony in the UK and most media-covered Latin event. Last year 350,000 Latin culture lovers voted for their favourite sports personalities, dancers, musicians, restaurants and business leaders. Spanish airline AirEuropa sponsors the event.
This year, people in Britain and across the world are voting for 56 awards marking contributions to the arts, music, sport, dance, food, business and community. So far, 1,200 individuals and organisations have been nominated in seven LUKAS categories.
Nominations for the Sports Personality Award include three Premier League footballers - Luis Suarez (Uruguay, Liverpool), Santi Carzola (Spain, Arsenal) and Sergio Aguero (Argentina, Manchester City). In Music and Dance, the best of Britain's Tango, Salsa, Kizomba and Brazilian performers, teachers and DJs compete. Superstars Pitbull (Cuba), Marc Anthony (Puerto Rico) and Shakira (Colombia) are nominated for International Artist of the Year.
BBC Radio DJ Gilles Peterson is among several 'honoury' Latinos nominated for awards, along with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange - currently living under asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy, and who is nominated for 'Personality of the Year'. Other nominees for this award include Royal Ballet Principle dance couple Thiago Soares (Brazil) and Marianela Nuñez (Argentina) and Omar Allibhoy - 'the Antonio Banderas of Spanish cooking' according to Gordon Ramsey - responsible for the UK Tapas Revolution.
Lifetime achiever Osvaldo Ardiles is recognised for his contributions to football over 40 years. He played with the Argentinian 1978 World Cup winning team and became a cult hero as a player and manager for Tottenham Hotspurs. Bianca Jagger, formerly married to Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger, is founder of the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation and is a Council of Europe Goodwill Ambassador. She has won a string of awards for her work for humanitarian causes around the world.
Osvaldo Ardiles said: "I was delighted when I was told I would receive this award. I feel honoured and excited to be part of this much-talked-about event."
Bianca Jagger said: "I feel honoured to accept The Lifetime Achievement Award and celebrate the contribution of the Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese communities to the UK."
The LUKAS gala ceremony will be held at the legendary KOKO venue in central London on Wednesday 30 April. It will be hosted by Cuban Fury star Yanet Fuentes and Boris Izaguirre, one of the Spanish world's biggest TV show hosts. The event is organised by Latinolife, the UK's leading Latino lifestyle magazine. To vote, visit www.thelukas.co.uk.
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Notes to editors
The first round of public voting closes on 5 March 2014. The top five nominees will go into a second round of voting which finishes on 6 April. The winners and runners-up will be decided at the end of the final round with the public vote counting for 50% and the remaining 50% by votes from a panel of experts selected for each award.
Last year's LUKAS awards were presented by Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, fashion queen Vivienne Westwood and ballet star Tamara Rojo.
They were covered by over 90 radio, press and TV outlets around the world, over 5,000 websites and social netowkring sites and made national TV in Spain, Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia, reaching over 10 million people.
The LUKAS were founded by journalist, writer and social entrepreneur Amaranta Wright and Latin DJ, producer and promoter Jose Luis Seijas.
More quotes: "The gala ceremony is the hottest Latin ticket in the annual London diary. I am proud to be part of the LUKAS, the long-overdue awards for our achievements in the UK." Ballet star Carlo Acosta
"The LUKAS are doing a great job celebrating and rewarding the talent and efforts of our cultures in the UK and Europe." Juanes, multi-Grammy award winner and currently the world's most popular all-speaking Spanish-speaking artist.
"In the United States they've been recognising the quality and popularity of Latin and Spanish music for years. With so many Latinos in Europe and the popularity of the culture here, it is natural that we should have our own awards of this side of the Atlantic." David Bisbal, Spain's most successful pop artist of the last decade.