Finalists for this year's Billboard Latin Music Awards, presented by State Farm, have all had a major impact throughout the Latin music industry, displaying unique qualities and strengths in a variety of Latin genres.
While these artists have achieved critical acclaim with their music, their award eligibility arises from multiple points of impact with their audiences: album and concert ticket sales, radio airplay and effective use of social networking platforms to expand their reach.
Don't miss the Billboard Latin Music Conference & Awards, presented by State Farm taking place April 23-26, 2012 at the JW Marriott Marquis, Miami. This year's conference includes Q&As with Pitbull and Jenni Rivera, the 2nd annual Latin Music Marketing Awards, and execs like Target VP of entertainment John Butcher and Univision radio president Jose Valle. Visit BillboardLatinConference.com for details.
The contenders have earned top spots on the album sales charts, airplay charts and Billboard Boxscore tallies. From Latin pop, urban, tropical and regional Mexican to the Latin digital album of the year and through social media, these acts have shown their staying power in a constantly changing music business.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards continue to recognize talent in various categories, including the return of the award for social artist of the year.
Contenders for that honor include Don Omar, Pitbull, Shakira and Enrique Iglesias. Highlighting the music's impact on social media and digital sales, this year's artist and song categories combine airplay data and digital download sales.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the most popular albums, songs and performers in Latin music, as determined by the actual sales and radio airplay data that inform Billboard's weekly charts during a one-year period from the issue dated Feb. 5, 2011, through the Jan. 28, 2012, 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, and radio charts, including Hot Latin Songs.
Title-based categories are mostly confined to those songs or albums that didn't appear on the respective charts prior to the Nov. 12, 2010, issue and exclude titles that were finalists in the prior-year's Billboard Latin Music Awards. However, titles that have reached or maintained their peak position on the respective charts during the awards eligibility period are eligible for inclusion regardless of chart debut date or prior finalist appearance.
This year's program will be broadcast live on Telemundo from the BankUnited Center at the University of Miami at 7 p.m. on April 26. Additional coverage will be found on Billboard.biz, Billboard.com, BillboardEnEspanol.com, Telemundo.com and Twitter ( #BBLatin).
Here's a look at some of the top finalists in multiple categories.
Hitmaker Don Omar returns to the Billboard Latin Music Awards as the leading finalist on the strength of his songs "Danza Kuduro" and "Taboo." The Puerto Rican rapper/singer enters with 16 finalist nods in 14 categories including songs artist of the year, male; Latin pop songs artist of the year, solo; tropical songs artist of the year, solo; and social artist of the year. His album Don Omar Presents: Meet the Orphans: The King Is Back is a contender for Latin rhythm album of the year.
A 14-time finalist in 12 categories, rapper Pitbull, whose dance anthems have earned him a global stage, is a finalist for songs artist of the year, male, and Latin pop songs artist of the year, solo, among others. His song "Give Me Everything," featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, is a contender for song of the year; song of the year, vocal event; airplay song of the year; and Latin pop song of the year, while "Bon Bon" is up for digital song and Latin rhythm song of the year.
In a year where bilingual acts have recorded music often in English and Spanish, Prince Royce has reigned high on the charts. He's a finalist in 12 categories, including artist, song and album of the year. His successful year includes five top 20 hits on Hot Latin Songs, including two No. 1s: "Corazon Sin Cara" and "El Verdadero Amor Perdona." His self-titled album spent five weeks at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums.
A busy touring schedule based on the success of the band's album Drama y Luz, Maná is a finalist for album, digital album and Latin pop album of the year. The group is also up for artist and touring artist of the year, among other categories.
In his debut as a solo artist, Romeo Santos' Formula: Vol. 1 debuted at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums. A finalist for artist of the year, among other awards, Santos is also a contender for song of the year, vocal event, following the success of "Promise," featuring Usher.
Competing against Prince Royce and Romeo Santos, Shakira stands out on her own thanks to the songs "Loca," featuring El Cata, and "Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)," which are both finalists for digital song of the year. The Colombian singer/songwriter had two top 10 hits on Hot Latin Songs last year, "Sale El Sol" (No. 10) and "Rabiosa" (No. 8). Her 2010 album Sale El Sol spent most of the time between January and September 2011 lodged in the top 10 of Top Latin Albums.
WISIN & YANDEL
The Puerto Rican reggaetón duo had four top 10s on Hot Latin Songs last year. In addition to the pair's "Tu Olor" (No. 1) and "Estoy Enamorado" (No. 7), Wisin & Yandel also appeared on Enrique Iglesias' "No Me Digas Que No" (No. 1) and "Maquina del Tiempo" by Tito "El Bambino" (No. 4). The act's album, Los Vaqueros: El Regreso, debuted at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums. Among the categories in which W&Y are finalists: songs artist of the year, duo or group and albums artist of the year, duo or group.
"The Diva of Banda" had a successful year thanks to her top 10 album from 2010, La Gran Señora, which continued to chart in 2011. Then Joyas Prestadas: Banda (No. 2) and Joyas Prestadas: Pop (No. 3) appeared in late 2011. She also charted two singles: "Por Que No le Calas" (No. 46) and "La Gran Señora" (No. 44). With three nods in all, Rivera is up for albums and songs artist of the year, female.
Enrique Iglesias returned with three top 10s on Hot Latin Songs: "No Me Digas Que No" (No. 1, featuring Wisin & Yandel), "Tonight (I'm Loving You)" (No. 10, featuring Ludacris and DJ Frank E) and "Ayer" (No. 3). His 2010 album Euphoria continued to perform well in 2011 and spent most of the year in the top 10, making him a finalist in categories including Latin pop album of the year.
LA ADICTIVA BANDA SAN JOSE DE MESILLAS
Finalist in categories including new artist of the year, regional Mexican favorite La Adictiva Banda San Jose de Mesillas had two top 10s on Hot Latin Songs: "Te Amo y Te Amo" (No. 2) and "Nada Iguales" (No. 3). Its Nada Iguales release reached No. 50 on Top Latin Albums.
Mexican crooner Cristian Castro has achieved newfound success with the classic romantic ballads of Mexican star José José. On Top Latin Albums, he had two No. 1s during the year: Viva El Principe, up for album of the year, and Mi Amigo El Principe: La Historia Continua-Viva El Principe Vol. II.
A finalist for albums artist of the year, male who has also been penning music for other acts, Gerardo Ortiz had a pair of No. 1s on Top Latin Albums last year: Morir y Existir: En Vivo and Entre Dios y el Diablo.
JULION ALVAREZ Y SU NORTEÑO BANDA
The regional Mexican band's Marchate y Olvidame reached No. 15 on Top Latin Albums and the group earned two top 10s on Hot Latin Songs: "Ni Lo Intentes" (No. 2) and "Olvidame" (No. 2). The latter is a finalist for regional Mexican song of the year.
The bachata group from the Bronx had a hit on Hot Latin Songs last year with "La Curita" (No. 42). The album 14+14 hit No. 1 on Top Latin Albums in June and is a finalist for tropical album of the year.
Mexican band Camila, whose Twitter following is approaching 1 million, had three top 40 hits on Hot Latin Songs: "Besame," "Entre Tus Alas" and "De Mi." The band's Dejarte de Amar (a No. 1 album in 2010) continued to chart in 2011. Among the categories in which the group is a finalist: albums artist of the year, duo or group and Latin pop songs artist of the year, duo or group.
CHINO Y NACHO
Finalists in three categories, the Venezuelan urban duo Chino y Nacho had two top 40 hits on Hot Latin Songs in 2011, their own "Tu Angelito" (No. 18) and El Potro Alvarez's "Bla Bla Bla" (No. 36).
Los Bukis' 35 Aniversario album debuted and peaked at No. 5 on Top Latin Albums. On the regional Mexican albums chart the set spent nine weeks at No. 1 and marked the act's ninth No. 1 album. It's up for regional Mexican album of the year.
Ricky Martin had three hits on Hot Latin Songs last year: "Lo Mejor de Mi Vida Eres Tu" (No. 1, two weeks), "Mas" (No. 13) and "Frio" (No. 6). His Musica + Alma + Sexo debuted at No. 1 on Top Latin Albums (his fifth chart-topper) and spent two weeks atop the tally. He's a finalist in three categories including touring artist of the year.
TITO "EL BAMBINO"
Puerto Rican artist Tito "El Bambino" returned with his Invencible album, which debuted and peaked at No. 4 on Top Latin Albums and is a finalist for Latin rhythm album of the year. He notched four top 40 hits: "Llueve El Amor" (No. 5), "Llama Al Sol" (No. 11), "Maquina del Tiempo" (No. 4, featuring Wisin & Yandel) and "Me Toca Celebrar" (No. 34).
ALEXIS & FIDO
A finalist in two categories, Puerto Rican reggaetón duo Alexis & Fido had two top 30 hits on Hot Latin Songs: "Contestame el Telefono" (No. 4, featuring Flex) and "Energia" (No. 25). On Top Latin Albums, Perreologia debuted and peaked at No. 10.
On Hot Latin Songs, Daddy Yankee had a No. 9 hit with "Ven Conmigo" (featuring Prince Royce). On Latin Rhythm Airplay he had three top 10s: "Rescate," "Ven Conmigo" and the No. 1 "Lovumba (Prestige)." The lattermost spent 13 weeks at No. 1. He's a finalist for Latin rhythm songs and Latin rhythm albums artist of the year, solo.
Regional Mexican singer Espinoza Paz is a finalist for regional Mexican songs artist of the year, solo. His successful year includes Canciones Que Duelen, which reached No. 1 on Top Latin Albums. Additionally, he had two top 10 songs, "El Culpable" (No. 4) and "Para No Perderte" (No. 7).
Regional Mexican crooner Fidel Rueda charted two top 30 hits on Hot Latin Songs: "Me Encantaria" (No. 2) and "Enhorabuena" (No. 21). He's a finalist for regional Mexican song of the year ("Me Encantaria").
A contender for new artist of the year, Italian operatic pop teen trio Il Volo-Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto and Gianluca Ginoble-charted on Top Latin Albums with Il Volo: Edicion en Español, which peaked at No. 4.
LA ORIGINAL BANDA EL LIMON DE SALVADOR LIZARRAGA
The award-winning regional Mexican band reached No. 23 on Top Latin Albums with El Primer Lugar. On Regional Mexican Albums, it went to No. 10. The group charted two hits on Hot Latin Songs: "Hasta Mi Ultimo Dia" (No. 22) and "Di Que Regresaras" (No. 3). The act received two nods, including regional Mexican songs artist of the year, duo or group.
Larry Hernandez is up for regional Mexican albums and songs artist of the year, solo. On Hot Latin Songs he reached the top 10 with "Arrastrando Las Patas" and "El Ardido." His 20 Super Exitos album hit No. 11 on Top Latin Albums and No. 3 on the regional Mexican albums chart.
LOS TIGRES DEL NORTE
Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte, who have been together since the 1960s, notched its 22nd No. 1 on Top Latin Albums last year with Tr3s Presents: MTV Unplugged, which is a finalist for regional Mexican album of the year. The group earned a top 40 hit on Hot Latin Songs with "Golpes En el Corazon" (No. 39, featuring Paulina Rubio).
The Mexican pop-rock band featuring Gilberto "Bibi" Marín, Julio Ramírez Eguía and Jesús Alberto Navarro Rojas notched two top 40 hits on Hot Latin Songs: "Peligro" (No. 21) and "Tu Mirada" (No. 18). On Top Latin Albums, Peligro debuted and peaked at No. 3. The group is a finalist for Latin pop songs and albums artist of the year, duo or group.
This year's lifetime achievement award winner, Intocable is now enjoying a successful career as an independent band in the Tejano and norteño genres. On Top Latin Albums, Intocable 2011 debuted and peaked at No. 2. It charted two hits on Hot Latin Songs: "Robarte Un Beso" (No. 10) and "Prometi" (No. 3). The band is a finalist for regional Mexican albums artist of the year, duo or group.
The party rock duo is a finalist for crossover artist of the year along with Katy Perry, Rihanna and Alexandra Stan. The group charted on Hot Latin Songs with "Party Rock Anthem" (No. 6) and "Sexy and I Know It" (No. 8).
Crossover artist of the year contender Rihanna charted three times on Hot Latin Songs with "Only Girl (In the World)" reaching No. 15, "S&M" peaking at No. 33 and "We Found Love" hitting No. 3.