The finalists for the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards were announced Tuesday (Feb. 27) and represent the Latin artists who shined on the charts over the last year. Four rising artists earn spots as finalists in the category of artist of the year, new.
Ozuna: Puerto Rican reggaeton act Ozuna (pictured above) made an impact on the charts this year, due in part to a large influx of streams for multiple titles. He is the only act among the four finalists without a major-label deal. Since April 2016, he has placed nine songs on the Hot Latin Songs chart, reaching the top 10 with “Dile Que Tu Me Quieres.” The official music video alone has garnered 211 million global streams on YouTube since its September release. His popularity on the video platform has ballooned since starting his official channel last March — since then, he has amassed more than 3 million subscribers and collected over 1.2 billion views across the eight videos that have been uploaded.
Ozuna has also asserted his presence on the Hot Latin Songs chart, with four concurrently charting songs as of the current chart (dated Feb. 18). He has yet to place a proper studio album on the Top Latin Albums chart, however a greatest hits set, Todos Los Exitos, debuted in December.
Crecer Germán: 20-year-old regional Mexican singer Crecer Germán (real name Angel Adrian German) was born in Los Mochis Sinaloa and brought up in Tijuana, Mexico. He began his career as part of the group Alta Consigna, before parting ways to pursue a career as a solo act. Germán signed with Universal Music Latin Entertainment, under the Fonovisa label, in March of 2016 and has already made his mark on multiple Billboard charts. His single “Quien Te Entiende,” from his debut set Hombre Afortunado, became a top 20 hit on Hot Latin Songs and has nearly 24 million views on YouTube.
Hombre Afortunado spent multiple weeks on the Top Latin Albums and Regional Mexican Albums charts, and has since spawned a new hit, “Lo Que Te Amo,” which debuted on the Feb. 11 Regional Mexican Digital Song Sales chart.
CNCO: Five-member boy band CNCO earns a spot as finalist for artist of the year, new, due in part to the success of the group’s debut album, Primera Cita. Formed on Univision’s reality competition show La Banda, the multi-cultural ensemble (made up of Christopher Vélez, Erick Brian Colón, Joel Pimentel, Richard Camacho and Zabdiel de Jesús) survived every elimination round of the show to become the winners of its first season in December of 2015. The group hit the ground running with first single “Tan Facil,” which debuted on Billboard charts in March and reached No. 1 on the May 14-dated Latin Airplay chart. Follow up singles “Quisiera” and “Reggaeton Lento (Bailemos)” have also dotted multiple charts.
CNCO continued making waves with its first studio set, bowing at No. 1 in September on Top Latin Albums with the highest sales week for any Latin album in 2016. CNCO’s first headlining tour was recently announced. It will kick off on Feb. 26 and will take the group through multiple countries, including Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, and Argentina.
Ulices Chaidez y Sus Plebes: Trio Ulices Chaidez y Sus Plebes, fronted by 17-year old Chaidez, nabs an entry as one of two regional Mexican finalists in the category. Hailing from Sinaloa, Mexico, the group signed to DEL Records and plays banda music (a style within the regional Mexican genre). Debut album Andamos En El Ruedo has spent the last two weeks at No. 1 on the Regional Mexican Albums chart, thanks to the inclusion of track equivalent album (TEA) units and streaming equivalent album (SEA) units, on the updated Feb. 11-dated chart.
The group’s songs “Andamos En El Ruedo,” “Porque Me Enamore,” and “Te Regalo,” all from the debut set, each made their mark on Hot Latin Songs this year, helping to cement the act as a finalist.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards are the culmination of the Billboard Latin Music Conference, taking place April 24-27 at the Ritz Carlton Miami Beach. To register, visit BillboardLatinConference.com.