A glittery ensemble of estrellas celebrated the best of the best at the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Awards at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables Thursday night.
Top honors went to the so-called King of Bachata, Romeo Santos, who swept up a whopping 10 awards, including Artist of the Year; Songwriter of the Year; Producer of the Year; Top Latin Album of the Year; and Tropical Album of the Year.
Enrique Iglesias has to find room for his nine trophies, including Latin Pop Song Artist of the Year, Solo; Latin Pop Album of the Year; and Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year, Solo. After spending a record 41 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart (the most weeks at No. 1 in the chart’s 28-year history), Iglesias’ Bailando, featuring Descemer Bueno and Gente de Zona, garnered six prizes each.
Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin received an impressive three trophies, including Artist of the Year.
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The three-hour show — hosted by telenovela beauty Gaby Espino and Mexican singer/actor Pedro Fernandez — opened with Marc Anthony joining Gente de Zona for the duo’s La Gozadera (Fun Times); followed by banda star Gerardo Ortiz singing El Cholo (Cool Dude) and Nicky Jam, with Travesuras (Shenanigans).
A first for the annual ceremony: Electronic Dance Music (aka EDM) made its debut with a high-energy set by Dutch mega DJ Afrojack joined by Puerto Rican R&B’er Luis Fonsi and rapper Ne-Yo.
Viewers were also treated to a heart-tugging homage to Selena Quintanilla-Perez by Jennifer Lopez, who played the slain Tejano legend on the big screen. J.Lo got an able assist from Selena’s band, Los Dinos.
Another highlight was the worldwide TV premiere of Spanish crooner Alejandro Sanz’s video for his heavily instrumental ballad, Un Zombie a la Intemperie (A Zombie Out in the Open).
On the collaboration front: Carlos Santana (who was honored with the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award for his work on behalf of children through his Miracle Foundation) and Juanes came on stage together for their La Flaca (The Skinny One). Wisin, Carlos Vives and Daddy Yankee moved the crowd with their rhythmic meets romantic Nota de Amor (Love Note).
For those who couldn’t tune in, watch Telemundo at 1 p.m. Friday for “Premios Billboard Acceso VIP,” featuring backstage interviews and memorable moments. A full list of winners can be found at Telemundo.com/PremiosBillboard