Vives to Auction Off Swarovski-Studded Guitar Designed by Mauricio Benitez for Charity

Carlos Vives is ready to give back to his community…

Tis November, the 54-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter is planning to auction off a guitar studded with 50,000 Swarovski crystals that he played in concerts on his Mas Corazon Profundo tour of Bogota and Santa Marta.

Carlos Vives' Swarovski-Studded Guitar

The instrument will be put up for bids on November 4 in Bogota to raise money for a social project in Santa Marta, the city where Vives was born.

“The guitar goes on the auction block to collect funds to rebuild the sports complex in the Pescadito neighborhood,” a project he shares with ex-soccer star Carlos “Pibe” Valderrama, also a native of that city, according to the auctioneers.

The guitar’s design was the work of Mauricio Benitez, known as “Mr. Bling,” and was inspired by the wide-brimmed “vueltiao” sombrero typical of Colombia’s Atlantic coast, woven with natural fibers and which was declared a “cultural symbol” of the country by Congress in 2004.

Notable among Benitez’s works are the crystal statuettes of Our Lady of Guadalupe and of artists and athletes like Alejandro Fernandez, Don Omar, Venus Williams and Falcao Garcia.

Vives Leads The Pack of Latin Grammy Nominees

Carlos Vives is one of this year’s Latin Grammy darlings…

The 52-year-old Colombian singer, composer and actor leads the pack of Latin Grammy nominees with five nods.

Carlos Vives

Among his nominations, Vives’ latest album Corazon Profundo is up for Album of the Year, while his hit single “Volví a Nacer” is nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Illya Kuryaki & the Valderramas, a duo who take their name from the fictional television spy and former Colombian soccer player Carlos Valderrama tied Vives with five nominations, landing nods at Latin music’s top honors for best urban song and best alternative album.

Spanish singer-songwriter Alejandro Sanz and Caetano Veloso, the 71-year-old pioneer of Brazil’s Tropicalia music genre, each earned four nominations.

Sanz’s album La Música No Se Toca was nominated for album of the year and best contemporary pop vocal album, while his song “Mi Marciana” was nominated for song of the year and record of the year.

Veloso, who earned a Latin Grammy lifetime achievement award last year, earned record of the year and song of the year nominations for the song “Um Abraçaço.”

Natalie Cole, whose first Spanish-language album debuted at No. 1 on the Latin Albums chart, and Draco Rosa, whose Vida marked a spectacular return for the artist from his battle with cancer, earned three nominations each.

Spanish singer and actor Miguel Bosé, 57, will be honored as the person of the year for lifetime achievement. His album Papitwo is also nominated for album of the year and best contemporary pop album.

The Latin Grammys will take place November 21 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The awards show will be broadcast live by Univision.

Click here for a complete look at this year’s nominees.

Valderrama to Dye His Signature Hair Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness

Carlos Valderrama is planning to get all pretty in pink for a good cause…

The 51-year-old Colombian soccer legend, known to millions as “El Pibe,” has announced plans to dye his famously huge blond Afro the color pink in support of the fight against breast cancer, which takes the lives of four women each day in his native country.

Carlos Valderrama

Valderrama also said he will take part in the Breast Cancer Walk in Bogota on September 8, the day when thousands of women will be marching in cities around the country.

“I’m going to paint myself pink for the walk,” the former captain of Colombia’s national team told the press, adding that he urged the authorities to step up their efforts to prevent the disease from taking more lives.

He noted that if a patient discovers she has breast cancer in time, it can be treated, and added that it’s not an illness that attacks only women but that it sometimes strikes men as well.