Almost a year after her death, Jenni Rivera remains alive through her music in the hearts and minds of fans. Rivera was the big winner at the Billboard Mexican Music Awards, posthumously taking seven honors, including the all-important Artist of the Year award as well as Artist of the Year, Female; Digital Download Artist of the Year; Albums Artist of the Year and Banda Artist of the Year. Rivera’s album "La Misma Gran Señora" (Fonovisa/UMLE), released in the U.S. a mere week after her death, won Album of the Year and Banda Album of the Year.
Following Rivera in sheer number of wins was young gun Gerardo Ortiz, who continues to garner success with his corridos, and, increasingly, his romantic ballads.
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Ortiz, who holds the record as the winner of the most Billboard Mexican Music Awards -- 17 -- collected four honors this year: Artist of the Year, Male; Songs Artist of the Year, and Norteño Artist of the Year, while his album "El Primer Ministro" (Del Records/Sony) earned an award for Norteño Album of the Year.
La Arrolladora Banda el Limon de Rene Camacho won three awards including Artist of the Year, Duo or Group, Airplay Artist of the Year and Banda Song of the Year for their hit song “Cabecita Dura.” Joan Sebastian received two awards for Ranchero/Mariachi Artist of the Year and Ranchero/Mariachi Album of the Year for "13 Celebrando El 13" (Fonovisa/Universal). Voz de Mando’s song “Y Ahora Resulta” earned two awards including Song of the Year and Norteño Song of the Year.
Billboard’s Mexican Music Awards aired live on the Telemundo network from the fabled Dolby Theater in Hollywood, and were a veritable who’s who of the genre with an unprecedented lineup of star performances by the top names in regional Mexican music, including Ortiz, Sebastian, Calibre 50, Los Tigres del Norte, Banda el Recodo, Los Inquietos del Norte, Banda Los Recoditos, Julión Alvarez y su Norteño Band, AB Quintanilla III and Diana Reyes.
Special honors of the night went to El Recodo, the legendary Mexican banda which is celebrating its 75th anniversary and continues to consistently top the Billboard charts. The group founded by the late Cruz Lizárraga and now led by his two sons Joel and Alfonso, was honored with Billboard’s Legacy Award for their lengthy career and influence on the genre.
Another Mexican icon, Joan Sebastian, who is currently promoting his chart-topping album "13 Celebrando el 13," was honored with Billboard’s La Voz Award, given to a unique artist with a distinctive voice, persona and career. One of the top composers in the Spanish language realm, Sebastian has topped the charts with both ranchera, banda and pop recordings.
A third legend, norteño kings Los Tigres del Norte, received the first ever Billboard “Leaders Award” in recognition of their leadership role and their social activism.
Other key awards include Espinoza Paz, winner for Songwriter of the Year and Fernando Camacho Tirado -- producer for multi-winner La Arrolladora Banda El Limón de René Camacho, who won Producer of the Year.
UMLE was the winner for both Airplay and Album Record of the year, while its fully-owned Disa Records won Airplay Imprint of the year, and Fonovisa Records won Albums imprint of the year. Indie Arpa Musical won both Publisher and Publishing corporation of the year.
Finalists and winners of the Billboard Mexican Music Awards were 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.
To see the complete list of winners visit the official awards show website Telemundo.com/PremiosBillboard.