Urban-leaning acts led the finalists' charge for the 2010 Billboard Latin Music Awards, with Tito "El Bambino" competing for 18 awards for his album "El Patrón" (Siente/Universal) and the single "El Amor." Following in sheer number of finalist slots are reggaetón duo Wisin & Yandel, up for 14 awards and urban/bachata stars Aventura, up for 12 awards. Regional Mexican singer/songwriter Espinoza Paz is a finalist in eight awards while Luis Fonis, Banda el Recodo and La Arrolladora Banda El Limón are up for six award each.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards, presented by State Farm, will be broadcast live April 29 from the Puerto Rico Coliseum on the Telemundo network, marking the first time the awards show‹the top-rated special on the Telemundo network--travels to Puerto Rico. The awards are the culmination of the Billboard Latin Music Conference, taking place April 26-29 at the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan (www.billboardlatinconference.com). This year's top finalists reflect a radio landscape where formats and genres increasingly overlap and where pop and tropical stations are increasingly playing urban beats. In effect, urban music, a novelty in the Latin arena just five years ago, is increasingly blending with pop and tropical music for a hybrid that crosses musical boundaries.
Also reflecting a changing marketplace is the addition of a Latin Digital Album of the Year category, which joins the already existing Latin Digital Download of the Year and Latin Master Ringtone of the Year categories. Most notably, Billboard has created a signature Artist of the Year and New Artist of the Year categories, reflecting an artist's performance on both the Latin Songs and Latin Albums chart. As a result, the Artist of the Year and New Artist of the Year categories for both Latin Singles and Latin Albums has been removed.