Chairman/chief creative officer, iHeartLatino; on-air personality, iHeartRadio
Pedro Javier Gonzalez
Senior vp programming, iHeartLatino
Santos and Gonzalez have led iHeartMedia’s deep plunge into Latin music, contributing to the genre’s mainstream takeover. “Digitally, Latin artists continuously top the charts worldwide, proving that Latin music is much more than a [temporary] phenomenon,” says Santos. A partnership between iHeartRadio and Puerto Rico’s UNO Radio Group has given the island’s audience access to content and programming such as the iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina in Miami and the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. The company has “prioritized our Spanish-language and Hispanic-focus podcasting offerings,” says Santos.
What the social climate means for Latin music: “Credible Latino voices this year have stepped up to the mic in a big way. Some have released specific songs addressing these issues, such as Rafa Pabón’s ‘Sin Aire’ [“Without Air”], which directly references social injustices with minorities in the United States.” - Santos
Executive vp, primetime nonscripted programming and specials, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises
While the coronavirus shut down conventional TV production, Suárez and his team at Telemundo were able to employ “rigorous COVID-19 prevention measures that allowed us to go back to shooting shows like La Voz and Exatlón Estados Unidos,” he says, with the programs returning in July. “We have taken various measures including requiring masks, temperature checks and deep cleaning of our spaces.” On Oct. 21, Telemundo will air the Billboard Latin Music Awards live from Miami.
What the social climate means for Latin music: “As a community we must stand together and continue pushing our music forward with a theme of inclusivity and tolerance.
CONTRIBUTORS: Trevor Anderson, Katie Bain, Alexei Barrionuevo, Dave Brooks, Pamela Bustios, Ed Christman, Tatiana Cirisano, Leila Cobo, Stephen Daw, Griselda Flores, Gab Ginsberg, Josh Glicksman, Paul Grein, Lyndsey Havens, Steve Knopper, Carl Lamarre, Joe Levy, Joe Lynch, Taylor Mims, Gail Mitchell, Mia Nazareno, Melinda Newman, Glenn Peoples, Jessica Roiz, Dan Rys, Andrew Unterberger, Nick Williams, Xander Zellner
METHODOLOGY: Billboard power lists are chosen by Billboard editors. Nominations for each power list open not less than 120 days in advance of publication. (For our editorial calendar listing publication dates, please email thom.duffy@ billboard.com.) The online nomination link is sent to press representatives and/or honorees of companies previously featured on any Billboard power list, as well as those who send a request before the nomination period to thom.duffy@billboard. com. Nominations close and lists are locked not less than 90 days before publication. Billboard’s Latin Power Players for 2020 were chosen by editors based on factors including, but not limited to, nominations by peers, colleagues and superiors. In addition to nominations, editors weigh the success of each executive’s company or affiliated artists as measured by chart, sales and streaming performance. Career trajectory and industry impact are also considered. Unless otherwise noted, Billboard Boxscore and Nielsen Music/MRC Data are the sources for tour grosses and sales/streaming data, respectively. Nielsen is also the source for radio audience metrics. Unless otherwise noted, album streaming figures cited represent collective U.S. on-demand audio totals for an album’s tracks, and song/artist streaming figures represent U.S. on-demand audio and video totals.