Peoples' Choice Honors Backstreet Boys; Gloria Estefan To Receive "Award Of Merit"

The Backstreet Boys, Shania Twain, and Ricky Martin were the musical winners in Sunday night's presentation of the 26th annual Peoples' Choice Awards in Pasadena, California, a populist precursor of sorts to the upcoming Grammy, Academy, and Emmy Awards.

In addition to the awards handed out to films and television series and their respective actors and actresses, the Peoples' Choice Awards also named Latin sensation Ricky Martin as its Favorite Male Musical Performer and country crossover Shania Twain as its Favorite Female Musical Performer.

The Backstreet Boys received the Peoples' Choice Award for Favorite Musical Group Or Band. The fivesome was unable to attend the event, prompting award presenter Craig Kilborn to joke that the group was actually out touring with fellow Orlando boy band 'NSYNC.

The Peoples' Choice Awards are based on the results of a phone poll of 5,000 Americans conducted by the Gallup Organization, a group which normally handles political

polling during certain state and national elections.

In other award show-related news, Gloria Estefan has been named this year's recipient of the "Award Of Merit" from the American Music Awards, in recognition of her work as an international superstar and for helping popularize Latin pop music across the world.

'NSYNC, who dueted with Estefan on the hit single, "Music Of My Heart," will participate in the planned salute to the former Miami Sound Machine singer. The "Award Of Merit" will be given to Estefan during the broadcast of this year's American Music Awards, slated for January.

-- David Basham

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