Special Feature: Billboard Latin Music Conference & Awards - Well Composed

Four finalists up for songwriting honor

This year's Billboard Latin Music Awards, presented by State Farm in association with Pepsi, recognizes as finalists four songwriters who have hit the right chords on the charts as masters of their craft, often highlighting their ability to be successful recording artists as well.

Three of the four finalists are rooted in regional Mexican--Horacio Palencia Cisneros, Isidro Chavez "Espinoza Paz" Espinoza and Gerardo Ortiz. The fourth, Puerto Rican-born William "Don" Omar Landron, known for his reggaetón sound, continues to thrive as a songwriter and artist.

Earlier this year, Palencia Cisneros received the Latin songwriter of the year prize at the BMI Latin Music Awards in Las Vegas. (Prince Royce was also given the same recognition at the event.) Palencia Cisneros had nine songs in the top 20 of Billboard's Regional Mexican Airplay chart with bands like Los Huracanes del Norte, Calibre 50 and Banda Carnaval.

Espinoza is also a finalist for regional Mexican song, regional Mexican songs artist (solo) and regional Mexican albums artist of the year (solo). His album "Un Hombre Normal" catapulted the singer/songwriter into the finalist category.

Don Omar, known as the "King of Reggaeton," has become a contender thanks to his compositions "Hasta Que Salga el Sol" and "Dutty Love" (featuring Natti Natasha). In 2012, both songs reached No. 1 on the Latin Airplay chart in addition to his dance-inspired "Zumba." He is also a contender for albums artist, digital album and artist of the year, among other categories.

At 23, regional Mexican singer/songwriter Ortiz is one of the genre's youngest entertainers. The crooner's "El Primer Ministro" and "Entre Dios y el Diablo" both reached No. 1 on Top Latin Albums, and he had two top five tracks on Hot Latin Songs. Ortiz is also a finalist for albums artist (male), regional Mexican song and producer of the year.


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