Fresh from landing his third No. 1 debut on Billboard's Latin Airplay chart with "Odio," featuring Drake, bachata star Romeo Santos led the charge as the top finalist for the 2014 Billboard Latin Music Awards, presented by State Farm and broadcasting live on Telemundo April 24.
Santos is a 17-time finalist in 14 categories, including Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Tropical Albums Artist of the Year and Producer of the Year, with many of his nods coming off early success from the singles of his yet to be released sophomore solo set, "Formula Vol. 2" (Sony Music U.S. Latin), due out Feb. 25.
Santos' nods underscore the continuing success of contemporary "urban" bachata on the Billboard charts. Similar-minded fellow New Yorker, Prince Royce, is a 16-time finalist in 15 categories, including Artist of the Year, Social Artist of the Year, Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year, Male and Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Male.
And also up for 15 awards is Marc Anthony, a finalist for Artist of the Year, Tour of the Year, Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year, Male and Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Male, among others. Anthony's strong showing comes in the wake of his successful salsa album, 3.0, which ended the year as the top-selling Latin album of 2013, according to Nielsen SoundScan, while hit single "Vivir Mi Vida" is up for numerous awards, including Hot Latin Song of the Year and Digital Song of the Year.
If Santos, Royce and Anthony are a triumvirate of superstars, so are the other biggest multi-finalists.
The late Jenni Rivera, whose albums continued to dominate sales throughout 2013, is an 11-time finalist up for eight awards this year, while Daddy Yankee and Enrique Iglesias are up for seven awards each.
Both Yankee and Iglesias had strong radio hits in the past 12 months, with Yankee's summer hit "Limbo" up for Digital Song of the Year and Latin Pop Song of the Year. On his end, Iglesias' new single, "Loco," featuring Santos, gave him six of his seven nods; he is also up for Social Artist of the Year.
Mexican crooner Alejandro Fernandez and La Arrolladora Banda El Limon De Rene Camacho are up for six awards each while young corridor star Gerardo Ortiz and Norteño group Voz De Mando vie for five awards each. Finalists up for four awards include: Alexis & Fido, Don Omar and Wisin & Yandel, while Christina Aguilera and Yandel are finalists for three awards each. Andrea Bocelli, Banda Carnaval, Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizarraga, Calibre 50, Carlos Vives, Chino & Nacho, Grupo Mania, Il Volo, J Alvarez, Jesse & Joy, Leslie Grace, Luis Coronel, Roberto Tapia and Thalia are up for two awards. Forty one other musical acts, songwriters or producers are one-time finalists this year.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin Music, as determined by Billboard's weekly charts during a one-year period from the issue dated February 2, 2013 through this year's January 25, 2014 issue. Finalists, and the eventual winners in 67 categories reflect performance on album and track sales charts, radio charts and streaming and social charts.
The awards show culminates the Billboard Latin Music Conference presented by State Farm, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2014. This conference takes place April 21 - 24 at the JW Marriott Marquis in Miami, Fla. To register, visit BillboardLatinConference.com.