Cubans Represent at the 2016 Billboard Latin Music Awards

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Randy Malcom and Alexander Delgado of Gente de Zona perform at the Surfcomber Hotel on Nov. 24, 2015 in Miami Beach, Fla/

The increased presence of Cuban finalists is a sign of the times

Even before the United States and Cuba renewed diplomatic ties in late 2015, Cuban musicians had begun their invasion of U.S. Latin music. This year, artist from the island are representing at the Billboard Latin Music Awards like never before, as singers and as songwriters, in collaboration with some of the biggest Latin stars, and on their own. Get to know these performers and artists behind the hit songs who will be showing some Cuban pride at the 2016 awards.

Gente de Zona
Gente de Zona previously made Billboard Latin Music Awards history with “Bailando.” The Cuban reggaeton duo got the world’s attention performing on the Enrique Iglesias megahit along with fellow Cuban singer/songwriter Descemer Bueno. At the 2015 Billboard Latin Music Awards, the song won Hot Latin Song of the Year and three other accolades. 

This year, Gente de Zona’s “La Gozadera,” featuring Marc Anthony, is a finalist for Hot Latin Song of the Year, Vocal Event, Tropical Song of the Year, and Digital Song of the Year.

The Cuban hitmakers are up for the honor of Tropical Songs Artist of the Year, Duo or Group.

Yotuel
Yotuel Romero, who became known outside of Cuba with his pioneering hip-hop fusion group Orishas, has turned his talent to songwriting in recent years.

Yotuel is a composer and performer on Ricky Martin’s “La Mordidita,” finalist for Latin Pop Song of the Year.

Buena Vista Social Club
Just as the Buena Vista Social Club was preparing to say "adios" at the end of its current world tour, the Cuban phenomenon’s label World Circuit released Lost and Found, a set of outtakes of the original Havana recordings. Lost and Found is a finalist for Tropical Album of the Year.

Osmani Espinosa
Rising Cuban composer Osmini Espinosa wrote the title track of salsa star Victor Manuelle’s Que Suenen los Tambores, a finalist for Tropical Album of the Year. The hit song was previously recorded by Cuba’s Laritza Bacallao.

Pitbull
Pitbull was born and raised in Miami, but the Cuban-American superstar has been representing Cuba at the Billboard Latin Music Awards for years. This time around, he’s joined by a posse of collaborators from the album who are featured on Dale, his latest release, which is a finalist for Latin Rhythm Album of the Year.

The album includes two guest appearances by Gente de Zona, and two by Osmani Garcia, including the hit “Taxi.” The popular Cuban reggaetonero El Micha, a newcomer to the U.S. Latin audiences, is featured on the celebratory song “El Party.”