As part of the 20th anniversary celebration of its Latin Music Conference and Awards, Billboard will honor icon Carlos Santana, reggaetón star Daddy Yankee and industry maverick and impresario Raul Alarcón Sr. with special discretionary awards.
Santana will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his achievements in Latin music; Yankee will receive the Spirit of Hope Award of his humanitarian work through his foundation, "Corazón Guerrero; and Raúl Alarcón, Sr., the founder of Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS), will posthumously receive the Hall of Fame award for his extraordinary contributions to the Latin radio and music business in the United States.
While finalists and winners of the Billboard Latin Music Awards are determined by the Billboard chart data, the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement, Spirit of Hope and Hall of Fame Awards are nominated by an editorial committee that bases its decision on the virtues related to that specific award.
Billboard's special awards have become increasingly prestigious over the years and are regarded by the industry as a definitive seal of approval and recognition.
Santana, who was also honored with the Billboard Century Award in 1996, is now recognized for his contributions in expanding the reach of Latin music worldwide, not only within the marketplace, but also into other genres. The Spirit of Hope award, created in memory of slain Tejano singer Selena, has yearly singled out one artist for exemplary humanitarian or charity work that goes beyond simple donation and into active involvement in a cause. Yankee's work rehabilitating youthful offenders and providing basic services to underprivileged youth through his Corazón Guerrero Foundation exemplify the animus behind Spirit of Hope.
Inductees into Billboard's Hall of Fame have, over the years, been true legends of the genre, including Vicente Fernández and Celia Cruz. Alarcón becomes the first executive to receive the award for having been a pivotal figure in the development of Latin radio in the United States, and, without a doubt, a driving force in the success of countless Latin acts. Alarcón passed away last year, the same year SBS celebrated its 25th anniversary. His son, Raul Alarcon, Jr. will receive the award in his name.
The Billboard Latin Music Conference takes place April 20-23 at the Eden Roc Resort in Miami Beach and culminates with the Latin Music Awards, which will air live on the Telemundo Network. For more information and registration, please visit www.billboardlatinconference.com