Regional Mexican band Calibre 50, a four-time finalist for the Billboard Mexican Music Awards, helped kick off the L.A. edition of the Billboard En Concierto series celebrating some of the most successful bands of the genre who will be seen on Telemundo's live broadcast tonight (Oct. 9).
Backstage at the Conga Room, music executives such as Delia Orjuela of BMI, Gustavo Lopez of Universal Music Latin Entertainment, Luis Del Villar of Gerencia 360 and Silvio Pietroluongo of Billboard attended to L.A. showcase, which earlier this month also traveled to Houston and Dallas featuring crooner Roberto Tapia.
For Calibre 50's lead singer Edén Muñoz, the event was a good opportunity to perform for the packed room of fans while also connecting to colleagues in the music industry.
"Our hard work as a band has paid off," said Muñoz, just as he was about to perform. "As finalists, we take great pride being part of the Billboard Mexican Music Awards."
One of the evening's most talked about artists was the late Jenni Rivera, a 10-time finalist in eight categories and currently Billboard's cover story. Her nods include artist of the year, albums artist of the year and digital download artist of the year.
"Jenni Rivera secured her place in the music business thanks to her hard work and along the way she inspired a lot of people," says Keila Ponce, a banda singer, who opened for Calibre 50. "No one can replace Jenni, but her influence will be felt for a very long time."
The Billboard Mexican Music Awards 2013 will include appearances by music acts such as Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizarraga, Gerardo Ortiz, Banda Los Recoditos and Joan Sebastian. The program will air live from Hollywood's Dolby Theatre on Telemundo at 7 p.m. ET (6 CT). For updates go to Billboard.com, Billboard.biz, BillboardEnEspanol.com and Telemundo.com.