Reggaeton singer and social media master Don Omar and deceased Mexican regional music idol Jenni Rivera were the biggest winners at Thursday night’s Billboard Latin Music Awards, broadcast live on Telemundo from the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables.
Don Omar took home 10 awards, including Airplay Song of the Year and Digital Song of the Year. Rivera, who was honored with a musical tribute led by her brother Juan Rivera, received six awards, including Artist of the Year.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the top acts in the magazine’s sales, radio and digital charts.
Prince Royce, a young bilingual singer of R&B style bachata who has been one of Latin music’s few recent break-out stars, earned four awards, including Albums Artist of the Year, Male. Romeo Santos, the former Aventura frontman who has become a major solo heartthrob and star, and Shakira were among the four artists earning three awards. Santos also took home the fan voter award Premio Tu Mundo.
The three-hour show was heavy on dual performances, packing maximum star power into the broadcast. Longtime Mexican pop-rockers Mana (who received the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award for their work on environmental conservation) performed Penelope, with author Robi Draco Rosa, an innovative singer and songwriter who recently overcame cancer. Marc Anthony premiered a new song, Vivir Mi Vida, and was joined by reggaeton singer Tito “El Bambino.”
Carlos Vives, a beloved Colombian singer absent from the U.S. scene for several years, was back in a big way, performing Como Le Gusta a Tu Cuerpo, a bubbly tribute to bodies and beach bliss, with Brazilian singer Michel Telo.
Santos joined Dominican idol Juan Luis Guerra, pioneer of bachata-pop fusion, on Guerra’s lilting Frio, Frio.