At the 2008 Billboard Latin Music Awards, Norteño group Conjunto Primavera will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award while the Spirit of Hope Award will be bestowed upon Colombian rocker Juanes

At the 2008 Billboard Latin Music Awards, Norteño group Conjunto Primavera will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award while the Spirit of Hope Award will be bestowed upon Colombian rocker Juanes. Both artists will be honored during the 19th annual awards ceremony, which airs live April 10 on the Telemundo network.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes artists with a long trajectory who have expanded the reach of Latin music and influenced in its development and growth. The Spirit of Hope Award, created in the memory of late singer Selena, honors artists for notable humanitarian work that represents a dedicated and unselfish commitment to a cause.

Primavera's Lifetime Achievement nod coincides with the group’s 30th anniversary celebration, which has included a sold-out show at Los Angeles' Nokia Theater L.A. Live. Primavera is the first regional Mexican act to perform in that venue.

"It's very important for us to demonstrate to audiences, to the world, that regional Mexican music -- in this case, grupero music -- was sometimes relegated," says Tony Meléndez, lead singer for the six-man troupe. "We want to set a standard and prove that our music is dignified enough to show anywhere in the world."

Primavera has raised the standard for regional Mexican music via tight, singular ensemble work and Meléndez's prodigious voice. Today, Primavera songs play on both pop and regional Mexican radio stations, a rare feat. Primavera, long signed to Fonovisa Records, have had four No. 1 songs on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart, and 15 No. 1 singles on Billboard's regional Mexican airplay chart -- more than any other artist.

Colombia's Juanes will be honored with the Spirit of Hope Award for the humanitarian work he does through his Mi Sangre foundation. Created in 2005 to aid victims of land mines in Colombia, the foundation's primary objective is education, which it finances and facilitates at many levels. On the one hand, it helps victims finish their basic school education but it also reincorporates them into the workforce by providing them with vocational instruction in their area of choice. Mi Sangre has also expanded its reach and last year launched programs providing free preschool education to Colombian children. "Its our way of investing on a population that in 15 years can choose whether to pick up a gun or have another mentality," says Juanes.

Juanes is currently organizing a large-scale free concert at the Colombia-Venezuela border to promote peace in the region.

While the Billboard awards are based solely on chart performance, the special awards are decided upon by Billboard's editorial board based on specific criteria unique to each award.

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