Billboard Latin Music Awards: Don Omar, Romeo Santos & Jenni Rivera Among Top Finalists
Don Omar has done it again. After leading the 2012 list of finalists for the Billboard Latin Music Awards with 16 finalist nods, he returns in 2013 with 18 nods, including Artist of the Year; Social Artist of the Year and Streaming Artist of the Year.
Following with 12 nods is bachata star Romeo Santos, while urban duo Wisin & Yandel and the late Jenni Rivera are tied with 11 nods each. Prince Royce and Pitbull, major finalists last year, also returned with 10 and nine nods respectively, while newcomers 3BallMTY notched eight.
With the exception of Rivera, what all leading finalists have in common are the up-tempo, dance tracks that continue to dominate U.S. Latin radio today. Deeper mining of the finalists also finds regional Mexican acts La Arrolladora Banda el Limón de René Camacho and Gerardo Ortiz with seven and six nods, respectively, rockers Maná with five and pop act Ricardo Arjona with three.
The 2013 Billboard Latin Awards presented by State Farm mark the 15th-year anniversary of the awards on the Telemundo network, which will produce and broadcast the show live on April 25 from the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami in Florida. The awards are the culmination of the Billboard Latin Music Conference, which takes place April 22-24 at the JW Marriot Marquis in Miami. Billboard and Telemundo announced finalists during a press conference at the Gibson Showroom in Miami that also featured finalists América Sierra, Gerardo Ortiz and Chino y Nacho, and Telemundo actor and singer Jencarlos Canela.
In a reflection of the increasing importance of social and digital media for the Latin business, the 2013 Billboard Latin Music Awards featured two new categories: Streaming Artist of the Year and Streaming Song of the Year. Last year, the awards added a Social Artist of the Year category, determined by the new Billboard Social 50 chart.
Indeed, Don Omar returns as a leading finalist thanks in no small measure to his social clout. The Puerto Rican singer/composer/producer’s nods include the above mentioned awards as well as Songs Artist of the Year, Male; Albums Artist of the Year, Male and Songwriter of the Year. His album “Don Omar Presents MT02: New Generation” (Orfanato/Machete/UMLE) competes for Latin Rhythm Album of the Year and Digital Album of the Year. Three of Don Omar’s hit songs -- "Dutty Love,” featuring Natty Natasha, “Hasta Que Salga El Sol” and the ever-lasting “Danza Kuduro” -- are finalists in various song categories.
Bachata superstar singer and songwriter Romeo Santos’ nods include Artist of the Year and Albums Artist of the Year, Male. His album "Formula: Vol. 1" (Sony Music Latin) vies for Album of the Year, Digital Album of the Year and competes against "The King Stays King: Sold Out at Madison Square Garden" (Sony Music Latin) for Tropical Album of the Year. Santos’ song “Promise,” featuring Usher, contends for Digital Song of the Year, Streaming Song of the Year, and Tropical Song of the Year where it’s up against his song "La Diabla."
Puerto Rican Reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel are up for 11 awards including: Streaming Artist of the Year and Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group. The album “Lideres” (Machete/UMLE) is up for Latin Rhythm Album of the Year and Digital Album of the Year. Their song “Algo Me Gusta de Ti,” featuring Chris Brown and T-Pain, is up for Song of the Year, Vocal Event and Latin Pop Song of the Year; while their collaboration with Jennifer Lopez “Follow the Leader” vies for Streaming Song of the Year.
The late Jenni Rivera, whose already strong sales exploded further after her death, is this year’s leading female finalist, also up for 11 awards. Her album “Joyas Prestadas: Pop” (Fonovisa/UMLE) is up for Album of the Year and Latin Pop Album of the Year; “La Misma Gran Señora” (Fonovisa/UMLE) also vies for Album of the Year and Regional Mexican Album of the Year; in the latter category she competes against herself with “Joyas Prestadas: Banda” (Fonovisa/UMLE).
Prince Royce competes for 10 awards in nine categories including Artist of the Year and Songs Artist of the Year, Male while his album “Phase II” (Top Stop) is up for Album of the Year; Digital Album of the Year; and Tropical Album of the Year. The songs "Incondicional" and “Las Cosas Pequeñas” vie for Tropical Song of the Year.
Pitbull’s nine finalist nods include Social Artist of the Year and Streaming Artist of the Year, while his collaboration on Juan Magán’s "Bailando Por El Mundo" also featuring El Cata is up for Song of the Year, among other categories.
Mexican newcomers 3BallMTY cap off a sensational year with eight nods, including Artist of the Year, New and Albums Artist of the Year, Duo or Group. Their debut album “Intentalo” (Fonovisa/UMLE) competes for Regional Mexican Album of the Year, while the song by the same name, a collaboration with El Bebeto and America Sierra, vies for Song of the Year, among other awards.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards honors the most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin Music, as determined by the actual sales, radio airplay, streaming and social data that informs Billboard’s weekly charts during a one-year period from the issue dated February 4, 2012, through this year’s January 26, 2013, issue. Finalists, and the eventual winners, reflect performance of new recordings on Billboard’s album and track sales charts, including Top Latin Albums and Latin Digital Songs, radio charts, including Latin Airplay, and streaming and social charts such as On-Demand Songs, Streaming Songs and Social 50.
By Leila Cobo | February 05, 2013 9:57 AM EST