Indie Artists, New Styles Dominate Billboard Latin Awards
In a year awash in reggaeton and pop, the big winner at the 2007 Billboard Latin Music Awards was a romantic regional Mexican singer with both youth and adult appeal. Mariano Barba, a virtual unknownIn a year awash in reggaeton and pop, the big winner at the 2007 Billboard Latin Music Awards was a romantic regional Mexican singer with both youth and adult appeal. Mariano Barba, a virtual unknown until his song "Aliado del Tiempo" hit the charts last year, took home four awards including Hot Latin Song of the year for "Aliado del Tiempo" at the ceremony tonight (April 26) at Miami's BankUnited Center.
Barba's album of the same name, out on small indie Three Sound Record, also took home Regional Mexican album of the year by a new artist. Barba's win underlined the continued importance of the regional Mexican market, which still comprises more than 50% of all Latin music sales. But it also highlighted the possibilities open to new labels and acts at a time when the Latin music industry is undergoing dramatic changes.
Indeed, this year's awards were anything but typical, with no big acts dominating a winners list that often reflected alternative marketing and unconventional styles.
Following Barba in number of wins was pop phenom RBD, which took home three awards, including tour of the year and Top Latin Albums artist of the year.
Beyond that, nearly a dozen acts took home two awards each. They included maverick urban bachata group Aventura, whose wins included tropical album of the year by a duo or group for "K.O.B. Live," out on another small indie, Premium Latin. In turn, Aventura lead singer Anthony Romeo Santos won the songwriter of the year award for tracks penned for a variety of acts.
Producer of the year props went to reggaeton production duo Luny Tunes for the second consecutive year, while new urban bachata singer Toby Love took home the Latin rap/hip-hop album of the year, besting stalwarts like Akwid and Jae-P.
The Hot Latin Songs artist of the year award went to another relatively new act, reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel, who also won in the Latin ringtone of the year category with their hit "Rákata."
Finalists and winners of the awards, which aired live on Telemundo, are determined by their performances on the Billboard charts. For a full list of winners, click here.