Tonight (Sept. 23), after a days-long celebration of the Latin music industry with Billboard‘s Latin Music Week conference, top talent gathered for the annual Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami.
Global pop star Camilla Cabello — wearing a glitzy black outfit with matching elbow-length gloves — kicked off the star-studded evening with a live and impassioned performance of her latest hit, “Don’t Go Yet,” which hit the top 50 on the Hot 100.
Even more vital, though, was that Cabello (who is managed by Roger Gold and signed to Epic Records) used the opportunity to deliver a message. After calling for an end to tyranny in Cuba, the artist punched one fist in the air as she shouted “patria y vida.” The phrase translates to “country and life,” a new take on Cuba’s official slogan of “country or death.”
The phrase was popularized by singers Yotuel, Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno and Maykel Osorbo this February when the artists released “Patria y Vida,” a single that was met with harsh criticism from Cuba’s Communist Party. It now has over eight million YouTube views — and after such a high-profile shoutout from an artist like Cabello, that number is likely to soar.