30 Years of Billboard Latin Music Week: A Timeline

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Everything you need to know about the 30-year history of Billboard Latin Music Week.

In honor of 30 years of Billboard Latin Music Week, Billboard is breaking out the greatest moments from Latin music's premier event. Billboard Latin Music Week has hosted Superstar Q&A’s from Latin legends including Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Don Omar, Marc Anthony, Daddy Yankee, J Balvin, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, Bad Bunny, Laura Pausini, Romeo Santos, Gloria Estefan, Paulina Rubio, Alejandro Sanz, Chayanne, Ricky Martin and the late Jenni Rivera. Showcases from the event have assisted in the launch of countless careers, including Selena, Elvis Crespo and Prince Royce. This year's event, our first virtual Latin Music Week ever, follows in the steps of great names and moments. Here's a look back at the biggest ones. 


-Billboard produces the first Premios Lo Nuestro A La Musica Latina Conference & Awards.
-Regional Mexican group Los Bukis wins big at the first-ever Premios Lo Nuestro Awards, taking home Regional Mexican Album of the Year, Regional Mexican Song of the Year and Regional Mexican Group of the Year.

-The generically named Latin Music Seminar, sponsored by Billboard, starts as a one-day event in Miami. It consists of five industry panels, two artist showcases and an awards show televised from the 4,000-seat James L. Knight Center.

-Mexican artist Ana Gabriel is the most-nominated artist at the Premios Lo Nuestro Awards. At the end of the night, Gabriel takes home three awards, including Pop Album of the year, Pop Song of the Year and Female Pop Artist of the Year.
-The Latin Music Conference expands to a two-day event with six panels.

-The Billboard Latin Music Conference & Awards takes place in Las Vegas.
-Selena and Jon Secada both perform at the new artist showcase at the conference.

-Music mogul Emilio Estefan becomes the Billboard Latin Conference's first keynote speaker.
-Selena performs 1993's Regional Mexican Song of the Year "Como La Flor" at the Premios lo Nuestro.
-Billboard's fourth annual International Latin Music Conference & Music Awards makes the cover of the Billboard May 22, 1993, issue.


-Tom Preston, CEO of MTV Networks, and Jay Berman of RIAA deliver keynote speeches at the fifth annual Billboard Latin Conference.
-Emilio Estefan is awarded the El Premio Billboard Award/Lifetime Achievement Award.
-Celia Cruz and Cachao Lopez are inducted into the Hall of Fame at the fifth annual Billboard Latin Music Conference.


-Songwriter & producer KC Porter delivers the keynote speech.
-Selena is inducted into the Hall of Fame and is awarded with the Spirit of Hope, a new award to be given annually in her honor.


-Shakira performs at the New Artist Showcase. She has gone on to win 26 Billboard Latin Music Awards.
-Singer and Composer Jose Feliciano is awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.


-McHenry Thichenor delivers the keynote Q&A at the eighth annual Billboard Latin Conference.
-Former MTV VJ Daisy Fuentes hosts the eighth annual Billboard Latin Music Awards at the Gusman Center of Performing Arts in Miami.


-Alex González of Mana gives the keynote speech at the conference.
-Vicente Fernandez is inducted into the Billboard Latin Music Hall of Fame.
-Jon Seda of Selena hosts the ninth annual Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami.

-Memorably, Ricky Martin performs "Livin' La Vida Loca" at the height of the "Latin explosion."
-Ricardo Dopico of the RIAA delivers the keynote speech at the 10th annual music conference.
-The Billboard Latin Music Awards, hosted by Daisy Fuentes and Paul Rodriguez, are televised for the first time.
-Flaco Jimenez is inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Latin Music Awards.

-The traditional keynote is replaced with a one-on-one Q&A with Enrique Iglesias at the 2000 Billboard Latin Conference.
-Marco Antonio Solis of Los Bukis is inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 2000 Latin Music Awards.

-Thalia is honored with El Premio de la Estrella (the excellence award) at the 2001 Latin Music Awards.
-Percussion master Mongo Santamaria is inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Latin Music Awards.
-Marc Anthony sits down for an exclusive Q&A at the Billboard Latin Conference with our very own Leila Cobo.

-Ricky Martin sits down for an exclusive, in-depth chat during the 13th annual Billboard Latin Conference and receives the Spirit of Hope Award.
-Celine Dion is awarded for "My Heart Will Go On" and performs "Aun Existe Amor" at the Billboard Latin Music Awards.

-Latin Pop Album finalist Alejandro Sanz participates in a Q&A at the Billboard Latin Conference.
-Armando Manzanero is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
-El General receives the Spirit of Hope award.


-Paulina Rubio is the Q&A guest.
-Banda El Recodo is inducted into the Hall of Fame, and Soraya receives the Spirit of Hope award.
-Alejandro Fernández receives Telemundo's Star award.


-Chayanne is the Q&A guest.
-Academy Award-winning director Fernando Trueba talks about the marriage of film and music, and for the first time, Billboard hosts a reggaetón panel and a live production panel featuring Luny Tunes.
-Marco Antonio Solís receives the Lifetime Achievement Award and Juan Luis Guerra receives the Spirit of Hope award.


-Daddy Yankee is the Q&A guest, heralding the introduction of reggaeton to the market.
-Conjunto Primavera singer Tony Melendez makes a surprise appearance at the regional Mexican panel.
-The Billboard Latin Awards show includes the premiere of Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” with Wyclef Jean. Shakira also receives the Spirit of Hope award from a group of children flown in from her schools in Colombia.


-Colombian superstar Juanes is the guest Q&A, in his first public interview in over a year.


-Enrique Iglesias is the star Q&A.
-Iglesias meets Wisin & Yandel backstage at the conference, leading to their first collaboration.


-Don Omar is the guest Q&A.
-Santana receives the Lifetime Achievement Award and Daddy Yankee the Spirit of Hope award.


-For the first and only time, the conference takes place in Puerto Rico in partnership with the Puerto Rican government. In honor of the move, for the first time, the conference features triple-threat Q&As with Aventura, Marc Anthony and Elvis Crespo.
-Los Temerarios receive the Lifetime Achievement award and Marc Anthony the Spirit of Hope award.


-The Conference returns to the Eden Rock in the Beach, in an expanded version that again features three Q&As with Gloria Trevi, Camila and keynoters Mana.
-Emmanuel receives the Lifetime Achievement Award and Gloria Estefan the Spirit of Hope.


- The conference features Q&As by Pitbull, Emilio Estefan and the creators of Zumba.
-Jenni Rivera is also a Q&A, her last lengthy interview before her death.

John Parra/Getty Images
Jenni Rivera performs during Billboard Latin Music Awards 2012 at Bank United Center on April 26, 2012 in Miami. 


-Carlos Vives returns to music and gives his first sit-down interview in a decade. Gloria Estefan also gives a Q&A.
-Mana is honored with the Spirit of Hope award and José José with Lifetime Achievement.


-The conference celebrates 25 years with Q&As from Enrique Iglesias, Marc Anthony and Laura Pausini.
-Carlos Vives receives the Spirit of Hope award and Franco De Vita receives Lifetime Achievement.


-Romeo Santos, fresh from selling out three Madison Square Garden concerts, sits for a rare Q&A.
-We host our first new urban panel with J Balvin, Nicky Jam and J Quiles.
-Carlos Santana is the Icon Q&A.


-Daddy Yankee and Don Omar sit down for a first-ever mano a mano.
-Marc Anthony is the star Q&A.


-The Nicky Jam, J Balvin mano a mano is live-streamed by nearly 1 million.

Nicole Pereira
J Balvin and Nicky Jam during the Superstar Mano A Mano panel at the Billboard Latin Music Conference in Miami on April 26, 2017.

-Maluma sits down for his first Q&A.
-The Sony ATV Q&A with Residente from Calle 13 sparks a Puerto Rican rap battle that lasts over two months.
-Miguel Bose is the Iconic Q&A.


-Maluma and Shakira grace the cover of Billboard magazine.
-Bad Bunny sits down for his first-ever Q&A.
-Maná make a rare appearance to talk about their foundation.
-Pitbull discusses his new independent status.

Nicole Pereira
Pitbull and Leila Cobo at the Latin Billboard Conference 2018 at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.

-The Women’s Panel presents Dr. Stacy Smith’s findings for the first time, and features a who’s who of female stars, including Becky G and Karol G.
-Descemer Bueno is the Sony ATV Q&A.

-Ozuna gives a candid interview.

Gizelle Hernandez 
Ozuna photographed on April 23, 2019 at The Venetian in Las Vegas. 

-Anuel talks about his life after prison.
-Wisin & Yandel, after playing eight sell-out dates in Puerto Rico, sit together for the Sony ATV Q&A.
-Juan Luis Guerra is the iconic Q&A.
-The women’s panel once again brings Dr. Stacy Smith to present data, and features the top female stars: Becky G, Karol G, Anitta, Lali and Natti Natasha.


-Watch everything here!

Billboard Latin Music Week