Daddy Yankee, RBD Lead Billboard Latin Finalists

With appearances in 10 and nine categories, respectively, reggaeton star Daddy Yankee and Mexican pop phenomenon RBD -- both part of the youth movement that dominated Billboard's Latin charts last yea

Reggaetón star Daddy Yankee and Mexican pop phenomenon RBD -- both part of the youth movement that dominated Billboard’s Latin charts last year -- are the leading finalists for the 2006 Billboard Latin Music Awards. Yankee is a finalist in 10 categories, while RBD is a contender in nine.

The awards extravaganza will air live April 27 on the Telemundo network at the close of the annual Billboard Latin Music Conference, which will kick off April 24 at Miami's Ritz-Carlton South Beach.

Yankee is up for Hot Latin Songs Artist, Top Latin Albums Artist and Songwriter of the Year, while his album "Barrio Fino En Directo" (El Cartel/Interscope) is up for Reggaetón Album of the Year. This week, it remains at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart; his 2004 release "Barrio Fino" is still in the top 20 of the same chart.

Pop group RBD, which burst into mainstream consciousness last year along with the soap opera "Rebelde," is bidding for Top Latin Albums Artist among its honors. Most impressively, all three RBD albums released in 2005 on EMI/Televisa are finalists in the duo or group category of the Latin pop albums field.

Pop artist Shakira is in the running in eight categories with her single "La Tortura" and album "Fijación Oral, Vol. 1" (Epic/Sony BMG Norte), and Machete act Wisin & Yandel is a finalist in seven categories.

Colombian rocker Juanes and Puerto Rican meringue/pop star Olga Tañón are finalists in five categories. Pop acts La 5a Estación and Reyli, along with contemporary bachata group Aventura, are each up for awards in four categories. Other multiple finalists inlcude Frankie J., Arthur Hanlon and Luis Fonsi.

The list of finalists for the 2006 awards confirms audience interest in Latin pop at a time when many have bemoaned the decline of Latin pop stations.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the most popular albums, songs and performers in Latin music, as determined by the actual sales and radio airplay data that informs Billboard’s weekly charts during a one-year period ending with the Feb. 4 issue.

Artists are honored in 51 categories representing pop, tropical, regional Mexican, reggaetón and hip-hop. The top labels, tours and publishing companies also are honored. This year's list of finalists incorporates new awards recognizing the reggaetón song and the Latin ringtone of the year.

Click here to view a full list of finalists.

For information on the Billboard Latin Music Conference & Awards, visit