Young norteño star Gerardo Ortiz, the late Jenni Rivera and ever-popular Arrolladora Banda El Limón de René Camacho lead the list of finalists for the third annual Billboard Mexican Music Awards, set to air live on the Telemundo Network Oct. 9 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
The list of top finalists, which also include banda star Roberto Tapia, brash norteño trio Voz de Mando, venerable Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga, Calibre 50, 3BallMTY and Joan Sebastian, represent the eclectic nature of regional Mexican music, which has long been the top-selling genre of Latin music in the U.S.
Ortiz led the charge with 14 nods in 13 categories that underscore his success in every arena of the business, from album sales and digital downloads to airplay and songwriting. Ortiz is up for Artist of the year, Songs Artist of the Year, Airplay Artist of the Year, Digital Download Artist of the Year, Albums Artist of the Year and Songwriter and Producer of the Year, among other categories. In the Norteño Album of the Year category, his “El Primer Ministro” competes against another of his own albums, “Sold Out: En Vivo Desde El NOKIA Theatre L.A. Live.”
Following Ortiz in number of nods is Jenni Rivera, a 10-time finalist in eight categories thanks to the huge surge of sales following her death last December. Rivera’s finalist nods include Artist of the Year; Artist of the Year, Female; Albums Artist of the Year, Songs Artist of the Year and Digital Download Artist of the Year. Two of her albums, “La Misma Gran Señora and Joyas Prestadas” are vying for Album of the Year and Banda Album of the Year.
Not too far behind is La Arrolladora Banda el Limón de René Camacho, the uber-popular traditional banda that is known for ratcheting up radio hits. The group is up for seven awards, including Artist of the Year; Artist of the Year, Duo or Group; Songs Artist of the Year; Airplay Artist of the Year and Banda Artist of the Year. Their song “Cabecita Dura” from their hit album “Irreversible” is a finalist for Song of the Year and Banda Song of the Year.
Tied as finalists for six awards each are Roberto Tapia, Voz de Mando and Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga. Tapia, who just last month saw his hits album debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart, just finished a stint as coach on La Voz Kids and is up for Songwriter of the Year, Producer of the Year and Artist of the Year, Male, among others, while his hit “Mirando al Cielo” is up for Song of the Year and Banda Song of the Year.
Nods for up-and-coming norteño group Voz de Mando include Artist of the Year and Norteño Artist of the Year while their hit “Y Ahora Resulta” is up for Song of the Year and Norteño Song of the Year.
On their end, El Recodo’s nods include Airplay Artist of the Year and Banda Artist of the Year while two of their songs—“La Mejor de Todas” and “Sin Respiración” are up for Banda Song of the Year.
The Billboard Mexican Music Awards are given in 32 award categories—including honors in the subgenres of Banda, Norteño, ranchero/mariachi and duranguense/grupero/cumbia--as well as awards for top labels and publishers. Finalists and winners are determined by chart performance as chronicled in Billboard Magazine and on billboard.com during the eligibility period of August 18, 2012 through August 10, 2013. Award categories are based on album and digital track sales data provided by Nielsen SoundScan and radio airplay monitored by Nielsen BDS.
Read the full list of finalists here.