A remake of an Algerian song, set to a salsa beat, helped propel Marc Anthony to become the top winner at the 2014 Billboard Latin Music Awards, which aired live on the Telemundo network on April 24. Anthony took home 10 awards, including Artist of the year and Hot Latin Song, Digital Song and Latin Airplay Song of the year for “Vivir Mi Vida,” a track that spent 17 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart—a record for 2014. The singer also won Top Latin Album of the year for 3.0 (Sony Music Latin), his first studio salsa album in a decade and a set that has rekindled interest in salsa as a genre.
In tears as he accepted the award for Artist of the Year, Anthony said that the “this award really motivates me.” Dedicating the award to his kids onstage near the end of the show, he told them to go to bed.
Anthony incited ecstatic screams in the arena each time he took to the podium, and grinning, sent the crowd into bliss singing “Cambio de Piel,” followed by his winning salsa comeback single “Vivir Mi Vida,” which closed the three-hour euphoric awards show.
It was a night of literally all-star performances and authentic emotion, most of all happy.
Breaking into a spontaneous chorus of “Vivir Mi Vida,” as he held one of his trophies in each hand at one point in the show, Anthony dedicated them to the people who told him that “this song as not going to be what I thought it was.”
Following Anthony in sheer number of honors was La Arrolladora Banda el Limón de René Camacho, which won five awards, including Top Latin Albums artist of the year, duo or group and Regional Mexican Albums artist of the year, duo or group.
Prince Royce, whose brand of urban bachata continues to rise in popularity with both English and Spanish-speaking listeners took home four awards, including Hot Latin songs artist of the year, male and Latin Pop Songs Artist of the Year, Solo, while his single “Darte Un Beso” won Streaming song of the year.
Royce performed a new Portuguese version of the song with Brazilian artist Michele Teló during the show.
Ricky Martin premiered his new single, “Vida,” an official 2014 FIFA World Cup song, complete with choreography. Recalling his 2006 World Cup hit, “The Cup of Life,” Martin proved he can still inspire soccer (or any kind of) fever.
Pop singer Chayanne also premiered a new single, “Humanos al Marte.” Practically skipping across the stage, Chayanne rivaled Martin for charm and pep. As did Luis Fonsi, who teamed with Wisin to sing his latest upbeat single, “Corzon en la Maleta.”
Iglesias sang his latest single “Bailando,”a mix of flamenco soul and Cuban sabor that after one week has over 12 million views on Vevo. He was joined by his collaborators on the song, the Cuban artist Descemer Bueno, Iglesias’ Miami-based hit song-writing partner, as well as Gente de Zona. The Cuban reggaeton duo lives in Havana, making them the first Cuban nationals to perform on the stage of the Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Andrea Boccelli performed a moving rendition of the Latin classic “Perfidia,”and performed a second time with Italian multilingual singer Laura Pausini.
Eighteen-year-old Regional Mexican singer Luis Coronel won the award for Best New Artist.
“I remember last year seeing the Billboard Latin Music Awards home.,” Coronel said. “I still can’t believe that this is happening.”
The awards were hosted by TV personality Raul Gonzalez, Hollywood star Roselyn Sanchez and Mexican actress, singer and TV host Laura Flores.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin Music, as determined by Billboard’s weekly charts during a one-year period from the issue dated February 2, 2013 through this year’s January 25, 2014 issue. Finalists, and the eventual winners in 67 categories reflect performance on album and track sales charts, radio charts and streaming and social charts.
But in addition to the chart-based awards, Billboard also bestows honors for special achievements. This year, Colombian singer Carlos Vives received Billboard’s Spirit of Hope Award for his decades’ long commitment on behalf of the indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities; Andrea Bocelli received the Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award for a lengthy career with broad impact for Latin music and beyond; and Venezuelan singer/songwriter Franco de Vita was awarded the Billboard Hall of Fame Award for an extraordinary career that encompasses some of he most beloved pop anthems in the Latin music songbook. He lovingly performed a medley of his classics, and dedicated his awards to his native Venezuela.
Also honored during the awards show, presented by State Farm, was Pausini, who is celebrating her 20-year recording career and who was also a keynote speaker at the Billboard Latin Music Conference, along with Enrique Iglesias and Marc Anthony.
Other multiple honorees of the evening included Romeo Santos and the late Jenni Rivera, who took home three awards each.
Earlier in the week, the top industry labels and publishers picked up their awards during a breakfast held at the JW Marriott Marquis hotel as part of the 25th annual Billboard Latin Music Conference.
Label awards were divided between Universal and Sony, in what has become a constant of the past few years. Universal Music Latin Entertainment picked up nine awards, including Hot Latin Songs label of the year, Top Latin Albums label of the year and Airplay label of the year. The company also won Albums label of the year honors in the pop, regional Mexican and Latin Rhythm categories.
In turn, UMLE imprint Fonovisa won Top Latin Albums imprint and Regional Mexican imprint of the year while Disa won Regional Mexican Airplay imprint of the year. Another UMLE imprint, Machete, won Latin Rhythm Airplay and Albums imprint of the year.
On its end, Sony Music Latin won eight awards, including Hot Latin Songs Imprint of the Year, Airplay Imprint of the Year, Latin Pop Airplay Label and Imprint of the Year, Latin Pop Airplay Imprint of the Year and Tropical Songs Airplay Label and Imprint of the Year as well as Tropical Albums Label and Imprint of the Year.
On the publishing end, Sony/ATV Music publishing continued its incredible run as the country’s top Latin publisher. After winning publisher of the year both at the BMI and ASCAP awards, it won Publishing corporation of the year. IN turn, EMI Blackwood Music Inc. (BMI)—now administered by Sony/ATV—won Publisher of the year.