Carlos Santana proposes onstage to girlfriend

LOS ANGELES Mon Jul 12, 2010 6:12pm EDT

Carlos Santana performs at the 41st Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles February 26, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Carlos Santana performs at the 41st Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Shrine auditorium in Los Angeles February 26, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Almost three years after his wife filed for divorce, rock guitarist Carlos Santana is marching to a new beat with his drummer.

The Grammy-winning virtuoso behind '70s hits such as "Black Magic Woman" and "Oye Como Va" proposed to Cindy Blackman onstage during his concert last Friday in suburban Chicago, his label said on Monday.

Blackman, who had just performed a drum solo on the song "Corazon Espinado," accepted, the couple kissed and the audience cheered, according to a statement from Sony Music.

"Cindy and I are blessed to have found each other," said Santana said in the statement. "Being in love is a gift from the universe, and the spirit and vibrations that come with it are infinitely powerful. I look forward to expressing that incredible energy through my music, and in helping to tip the balance toward more love in the world with what Cindy and I share."

There was no word on when the couple planned to marry.

Santana, who turns 63 next week, was previously married for more than 30 years to Deborah Santana, the mother of his three children. She cited irreconcilable differences in her October 2007 divorce filing.

In her 2005 memoir, "Space Between the Stars," she revealed that her husband had been unfaithful. After its publication, Carlos Santana said he had apologized and tried to be a better man.

The Mexican-born musician has sold over 90 million albums worldwide during a career spanning more than 40 years, according to his label. He won eight Grammy Awards for his hugely popular 1999 comeback album "Supernatural," and plans to release an album of rock cover tunes in September.

Blackman, 50, recorded and toured extensively with Lenny Kravitz, and played with such artists as Pharoah Sanders, Cassandra Wilson, and Bill Laswell, the statement said.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Jill Serjeant)

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