Rubén Blades, Cristian Castro, Natalie Cole and Draco Rosa are among the artists set to perform at the Latin Songwriters Hall of fame first induction gala. The black tie event, celebrating the rich past and current popularity of Latin song, will take place April 23rd at Miami’s New World Center in Miami Beach during the Billboard Latin Music Conference.
“Besame Mucho,” arguably the most recognizable Spanish-language ballad of all time, will be honored with a performance by Afro-Spanish singer Buika and an orchestra of top musicians. Written by the Mexican composer Consuelo Velasquez in 1940 and performed by artists including The Beatles and Frank Sinatra in addition to numerable Latin stars, “Besame Mucho” will receive the Hall of Fame’s La Musa award at the ceremonies.
Adolfo and Gustavo Angel (Los Temerarios), Jon Secada, Jencarlos Canela, María Martha Serra Lima, Mauricio Zeilic, Horacio Palencia, Arthur Hanlon, Raúl Esparza, Edgar Ramírez, Yul Vázquez, Milton Ruben Laufer, and Lucie Arnaz are also among the artists scheduled to appear at the gala, presented in association with Billboard. John Leguizamo will host the event.
The first five songwriters to be inducted into the recently created Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame are Manuel Alejandro, Jose Angel "Ferrusquilla" Espinosa, Jose Feliciano, Julio Iglesias, Armando Manzanero, and Concha Valdez Miranda.
Additionally, Olga Guillot, Draco Rosa, Nat King Cole, Desi Arnaz, Ralph S. Peer and emerging Spanish singer/songwriter Natalia Jimenez will receive recognition for their contribution to the music industry.
Composer Desmond Child and composer/producer Rudy Perez co-founders of the hall to "honor the world's greatest Latin songwriters and their music in every genre." A nominating committee made up of songwriters, performing artists, musicians,producers, recording engineers, music critics and industry executives will meet once a year to nominate twenty-four candidates from all genres of Spanish and Portuguese-language music in the categories of Performing Songwriters and Non-Performing Songwriters. All members of the organization were eligible to vote for five out of the twenty-four of the inaugural round of nominees.