For the second year in a row, Romeo Santos is the lead nominee for the Billboard Latin Music Awards, dominating the field of entries as a 12-time finalist in 11 categories. Santos is up for artist of the year, tour of the year, songwriter of the year and producer of the year, among other categories. His song category nods include Hot Latin Song of the year for “Propuesta Indecente,” which has spent a record 125 weeks on the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart.
The awards will air live April 28 on the Telemundo network, capping of the Billboard Latin Music Conference which takes place April 25-28 at the Ritz Carlton in Miami Beach.
Following Santos in number of nods are Enrique Iglesias and Nicky Jam, with 11 each, much of those on the strength of “El Perdón,” the smash hit that is now the second-longest-running No. 1 track in the history of Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart (following Iglesias’ “Bailando”). “El Perdón” is up for Hot Latin Song of the year, Hot Latin Song of the year vocal event, airplay song of the year and digital song of the year, among other categories. Iglesias is also up for artist of the year, tour of the year and social artist of the year. Jam is a contender in the artist of the year and songwriter of the year awards.
Nicky Jam’s good friend J Balvin is up for eight awards, including Hot Latin Song of the year and airplay song of the year for “Ginza.”
While the four leading acts reflect the prevalence of uptempo, urban-leaning fare on Latin radio and streaming services, the list of finalists makes clear that Latin fans are not only consuming this kind of music.
Top finalists also included iconic acts Juan Gabriel and Maná, who both have seven nods. Gabriel, the revered crooner who saw his career resurrect in the last year with his big-selling Los Dúos album and a high-grossing tour, is competing against Maná -- the biggest rockers in the Latin world -- in the Top Latin Album of the year and the Top Latin Albums artist of the year categories.
Also coming in with seven nods is Ariel Camacho and Los Plebes del Rancho, who saw chart activity soar after Camacho’s death in a car crash last February when he was only 22 years old. They are up for Hot Latin Song of the year for “Te Metiste” and for new artist of the year, where they compete against two other regional Mexican acts -- Banda Clave Nueva de Max Peraza and La Séptima Banda -- and against Colombian rising urban star Maluma.
This year’s finalists reflect an ever-changing Latin consumer that easily veers from the traditional and well-known to the new and inventive, in English, Spanish and Spanglish. Many of the collaborations that made the list of finalists highlight this plurality. “El Perdón,” for example, was recorded in English and Spanish. Farruko’s “Sunset,” featuring Nicky Jam and Shaggy, up for Hot Latin Song of the year vocal event, is a bilingual track. And OMI and Justin Bieber, both finalists in the crossover artist of the year category, have recently collaborated with Nicky Jam and J Balvin, respectively.
All told, more than 60 artists are finalists in more than 40 awards, 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 char dated Feb. 7, 2015, through this year's Jan. 30, 2016, issue.
In addition to honoring artists, songwriters and producers, the awards will also honor labels and publishers.
For information on the Billboard Latin Music Conference, please visit billboardlatinconference.com.