Stars Shine At Billboard Latin Music Awards, But Enrique Iglesias Rules The Night
Stars Shine At Billboard Latin Music Awards, But Enrique Iglesias Rules The Night

PortisheadFire Walker: Enrique Iglesias won nine Billboard Latin Music Awards including Artist of the Year and Best Latin Pop Album By a Soloist. (Photo: Telemundo/Gary Rothstein)

MIAMI -- There's no question that Enrique Iglesias ruled the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Awards. Not just because he opened with a romantic, soft and laser-lit performance of not one but two songs and then went on to win nine awards, including the top honor Artist of the Year and Latin Pop Album by a soloist -- but because he clearly had fun and entertained the audience as only he can.

Setting a standard for collegial generosity seen throughout the night at the BankUnited Center, he thanked the artists with whom he's collaborated in the past couple of years, including Juan Luis Guerra, Wisin & Yandel (who joined him on "No Me Digas") and Pitbull (sadly absent from the performance of "Tonight I'm Loving You").

See the full list of Billboard Latin Music Award winners here.

After beating giants like Marc Anthony and Shakira and new favorite Camila for Latin Pop Album of the Year, Iglesias thanked the fans. "My life has been filled with good moments and bad moments but there is one thing that has been constant and that's been the public," Iglesias said, then changed his tone. "We have to keep having babies so there can be more and more of us and, hopefully, one day, there will be more Latins than anything. We are already almost there."

Check out all of our coverage of the 2011 Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards right here!

After the fourth award, he stopped his thank-you's in mid-sentence and ran into the audience, because it looked more fun. "What's happening over there? Yo voy pa' alla," he said, and thrusting an award in each hand, he went around the BankUnited Center high-fiving, hugging and cheek-kissing colleagues and fans who were hooting and hollering and applauding.

"He is really celebrating his public," said one of the presenters, who stood slack-jawed after being abandoned onstage.

PortisheadDown a man: Aventura, who won three awards, were missing their frontman Anthony "Romeo" Santos (Photo: Getty)

Camila and Aventura -- bands that share a facility with harmony as well as a slew of nominations -- were other big winners of the night. Aventura's members (minus frontman Anthony "Romeo" Santos, who was filming a video in California that could not be rescheduled) seemed surprised by every one of their three awards. "I don't have words," said one of the other Santos. "Now, Romeo is really going to get mad that he's not here."

"Romeo really missed it," said another bandmember, before giving a nod to other urban bachateros nominated, a list led by newcomer Prince Royce, who took home four awards. "We are still together after 15 years and we give a shout-out to the new generation of bachata… Bachata worldwide! Let's keep it going."

Mexican rock trio Camila took home three awards and left behind a poignant performance that ended with an angel descending on Mario Domm's piano. Samo dedicated a prize "to the public who keeps us on our feet." And in what was a repeated reference to social media's power in the music industry, guitarist Pablo Hurtado thanked the fans, especially those on Facebook and Twitter.

PortisheadYou Must Be an Angel: Camila, post-poignant performance (Photo: Getty)

Indeed, social media got a lot of play as one presenter texted on stage and Don Omar, who has 4.7 million "likes" on his Facebook page and participated in a panel about his "big vast social network" at the Billboard Latin Music Conference earlier this week, won Latin Social Artist of the Year.

Don Omar also gave one of the best performances of the night with the hit song "Danza Kudura," a collaboration with Lucenzo that gained him the Latin Rhythm Airplay Song of the Year. But consummate entertainer Gloria Trevi -- who hates to be compared to Madonna but came out on a motorcycle with her dancers looking like a biker gang of futuristic strippers -- gave a rousing performance of her new hit "Me Rio de Ti."

PortisheadThe Don: Don Omar's performance of "Danza Kudura." was one of the award show's highlights. (Photo: Getty)

Other notable performances included Marc Anthony's impassioned ballad and Mexican actress/songstress Lucero, who seemed to channel a Latina Britney Spears with her clothes, fast tempo and careful choreography, and the grand finale that put Jencarlos Canela, Pitbull and T-Pain together in a seamless trio of songs that got thousands at the BankUnited Center jumping on their feet.

PortisheadFeeling It: Marc Antony mid-croon. (Photo: Telemundo/Gary Rothstein)

Emmanuel got a standing ovation when he went to take the lifetime achievement award. He thanked God for giving him the talent "that all of us have here, all of us who can sing and transmit, but this gift becomes a responsibility. You are an example for better or for worse, for the young and all who come after you."

Another honor, the Spirit of Hope Award, was given to Gloria Estefan, who was assisted down the stairs by her husband and longtime musical partner Emilio Estefan, for her work with organizations like Unicef, the Miami Fund to Cure Paralysis, Save the Children and concerts for relief aid, like the Haiti earthquake relief concert she led last year.

"Gloria Estefan was the first Latin woman to have a crossover and have a global impact," Ricky Martin said in a recorded mini documentary.

PortisheadGloria Estefan with her Spirit of Hope Award (Photo: Telemundo/Edward Rothstien)

"Through her generosity, the nobility of her spirit, she has helped people in many countries. Also where there is persecution and injustice, she is there," Martin said, as the video showed Estefan singing for the Pope and asking him to pray for the freedom of the people in Cuba.

Cuba was also in the house when Aylin Mujica, a Cuban-born actress who lives in Mexico, sang a few strands of Celia Cruz's "Quimbara Kumbara," which brought the house down when it was performed b the Celia Cruz All Stars at the conference's emerging artists showcase Tuesday night.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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