Backbeat: Prince Royce, Horacio Palencia, UMPG Celebrate Wins at BMI's Latin Awards in Vegas

BMI Icon Award recipients Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga on stage with BMI President and CEO Del Bryant (5th from right, back row) and BMI Vice President, Latin Writer/Publisher Relations Los Angeles, Delia Orjuela (4th from right, back row) at the 20th annual BMI Latin Awards at the Bellagio on March 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Lester Cohen/WireImage)

Talk of new albums and new deals swirled during the BMI 20th annual Latin music Awards, held March 21 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.


From left: Phil Graham, BMI SVP, writer/publisher relations; songwriter of the year winner Horacio Palencia; Michael O'Neill, BMI SVP, Repertoire and Licensing,  on stage at the 20th annual BMI Latin Awards at the Bellagio on March 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Lester Cohen/WireImage)

Prince Royce, one of the two songwriter of the year winners -- the second was Horacio Palencia, who was also Billboard’s Latin songwriter of the year in 2012 -- who shared his table with his publishing company, Warner Chappel Music, says he’s working on a new album, after finalizing his split with his former label and publisher, Top Stop Music. Royce would not say who he’s in conversations with for a new album deal but hinted that an announcement was close.


Gustavo Menéndez, regional MD of Warner Chapell Latin America; BMI Songwriter of the year Prince Royce; Billboard’s executive director of Latin content & programming Leila Cobo

Winning songs of the evening included Jenni Rivera’s “La Gran Señora,” which marked the first time the late singer won a BMI award as a songwriter. The high emotional note of the evening was hit when Rivera’s mother, sister Rosie and daughter Chiquis picked up her award. Another BMI winning writer, Adrian Pieragostino, also celebrated his win by taking his mother onstage.


Receiving Publisher of the year award on stage at the 20th annual BMI Latin Awards at the Bellagio on March 21 are (L-R): Evan Lamberg, president, Universal Music Publishing Group North America; Fernando Rojo, senior director, creative/new business development, Universal Music Publishing Group; Del Bryant, president and CEO, BMI; Zach Horowitz, chairmain and CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group; John Echevarria, EVP Latin America, Universal Music Publishing Group; Phil Graham, SVP writer/publisher relations, BMI; Delia Orjuela, Vice President, Latin Writer/Publisher Relations, BMI; Joey Mercado, senior director, Latin writer/publisher relations, BMI  (Lester Cohen/WireImage)

Others in attendance included Zach Horowitz, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group, and Evan Lamberg, president of Universal Music Publishing Group North America, there to celebrate Universal Music Publishing Group’s win as Latin Publisher of the year and check new group La Santa Cecilia, who performed during the opening of the evening. The evening’s BMI Icon Award went to Banda el Recodo, who performed for almost a full hour at the end of the night and shared the stage with songwriter of the year Horacio Palencia.