Univision Network’s 2015 Premios Juventud (Youth Awards), held at the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables on Thursday night, had it all: musical performances, emotional tributes and even a little controversy, thanks to a certain Republican presidential candidate.
Hosted by Ninel Conde, William Levy, Alejandra Espinoza and El Dasa, the 12th annual edition of the so-called Youth Awards featured presenters from all over and for all tastes: from telenovela hunk Cristián de la Fuente and Colombian songstress Fanny Lu to movie star Michael Peña, who is in town doing press for Ant-Man.
Traffic infractions, be darned: Spanish pop sensation Enrique Iglesias earned major kudos after fans declared him the best of the best among Latin entertainers. Unfortunately, Iglesias is on tour and could not accept the honors in the flesh.
Up-and-coming Mexican regional singer Luis Coronel also walked away as one of his generation’s favorites for the evening. Coronel, who followed his mom’s advice to go for it and became a runaway success after uploading his songs on YouTube and Facebook, won the “Just Play It All” award for Quiero Ser Tu Dueño (I Want to Own You).
As for the performances, a bevy of chart-topping artists took the brightly lit video game-themed stage. Ricky Martin debuted his latest, La Mordidita (A Little Bite) and the ladies of ladies of Fifth Harmony rocked out with Worth It. Pitbull — who raised quite an online hubbub after uttering not such kind words for former ally Donald Trump, saying, among other things: “Watch out for El Chapo, dude!” — provided another highlight with a spectacle involving pyrotechnics.
Cue the screams: Chino Y Nacho captivated audiences with a performance inspired by classic video games. Yandel kept the party going with his hit Calentura (Fever).
Univision also recognized Mario Kreutzberger’s professional achievements with PJ’s Idol for Generations Award. A montage of his career had a few audience members dabbing their eyes. Kreutzberger, aka Don Francisco, will step down from his variety show, Sábado Gigante, which is ending after 53 years in September.
Also honored for his long career was Mexican singer-songwriter Joan Sebastian ( aka “The People’s Poet”), who died Monday after a battle with cancer.
Before the ceremony, several women stood out on the red carpet for their slinky, colorful numbers: Gloria Trevi, Chiquis Rivera and Becky G, who later did a slinky duet of Can’t Stop Dancing with J Balvin.
Find a full list of winners at premiosjuventud.com