Spanish Singer Luz Casal Signs with SESAC Latina (Exclusive)
Spanish Singer Luz Casal Signs with SESAC Latina (Exclusive)

The importance of YouTube as a promotional tool and revenue source in Latin music will be recognized by SESAC Latina during its annual SESAC Latina Music Awards.

As always, the ceremony will honor the most-performed Latin songs, composers and publishers in U.S. radio. But this year, SESAC Latina will also give its first-ever YouTube Performance Award. The awards will be held June 19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

SESAC Latina VP J.J. Cheng, who instituted the honor, says she was inspired by the YouTube success of PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” which SESAC represents in the U.S.

“I wanted to give an award to recognize songwriters for their success in digital media,” says Cheng.

Unlike the other SESAC Latina Awards, which are determined by airplay, YouTube will provide viewing data which will then be divided by territory to determine a winner.

The YouTube award won’t be the only first at the event. Spanish star Luz Casal will be honored with the Icon Award,  celebrating a career that has had “worldwide cultural impact.” Although SESAC Latina and SESAC overall have given lifetime career honors in the past, this marks the first-ever “Icon” award bestowed by the performing rights organization. 

“She’s one of the best voices in Spanish music and she has transcended in many other countries,” says Cheng.

Casals will perform June 19, as will singer/songwriter Robi Draco Rosa and regional Mexican group Voz de Mando.

SESAC Latina has had a strong 12 months, more than doubling the number of SESAC-affiliated compositions on the Billboard charts compared to the year before, according to Cheng. “We’ve had more No. 1s than in previous ears and more 100% songs,” says Cheng.

New signings for the society include Ricky Muñoz, lead singer of Intocable, and Rosa. Both Intocable and Rosa had their albusm debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. No. 1 songs include “La Llamada de Mi Ex,” written by Ariel Barreras and performed by La Arrolladora Banda El Limón.