The first edition of Billboard Latin Women in Music has arrived. Hosted by reggaetón royalty Ivy Queen and Telemundo television host Jaqueline Bracamontes, the two-hour music special celebrates game-changing Latin women in music: seven musicians and 40 executives.
“We are excited to recognize a wide range of exceptional artists who reflect the astounding depth of talent to be found among women in Latin music,” said Leila Cobo, Billboard’s chief content officer for Latin/Español. “All these artists bring something exceptional to the table and we are honored to celebrate them.”
Ahead of the ceremony, Latin Women in Music presenters and honorees spoke to Billboard Español on the red carpet and defined what “powerful” means to them.
Paula Arenas: “For me to be powerful is to have love around me. It is the greatest power, it is the greatest desire. If I am happy, that makes me powerful; that makes me an empowered woman.”
Maria Becerra: “I think I am quite powerful, I would like to be more so; it is something that is built. You have to empower yourself, it’s not something that happens overnight, it’s a whole process. I love that other people feel powerful listening to my songs, or having you have an outfit [on], watching a performance… I find that great motivation in that and it’s super nice. [Feeling powerful] is also something that happens to me watching other strong artists.”
Amara La Negra: “[I feel most powerful] now that I’m in this new stage of being a mother — I am a mother of twin girls. If you don’t feel more powerful than being a mother, having to work, and being fabulous when you see me, and everything at the same time…women are stronger than we actually know. For me it’s an honor being able to juggle all these things at the same time, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job at it.”
Goyo: “I feel powerful when I’m owning the strength and drive before getting on stage, that’s when I feel super powerful.”
Emilia: “I grew up surrounded by powerful women. The women I work with are powerful and they teach me something every day. They nurture me with values. The fact that I can have a team that gives me a lot of security and happiness, when it comes to work, makes me feel very powerful.”
Chesca: “As an artist I feel most powerful on stage, it’s where I get to be super free, I get to be who I am. Also when I’m around my family with my mom, my aunt, my cousins, we’re very empowering to each other. I think that’s why we became strong females.”
Evaluna: “[I felt most powerful] when I was giving birth. That was super random, but it was a very powerful moment.”
Ludmilla: “To be powerful you have to love first and have self-confidence; have a lot of self-love. You have to love first on the inside [in order to love] on the outside.”
Elena Rose: “I feel most powerful when I’m surrounded with my friends. Also when I feel God close to me, that he’s anywhere that I go, I feel very strong and taken care of.”
Ha*Ash: “[The time I feel most powerful] is on stage.”
A first of its kind for Latin music, Mujeres Latinas en la Música celebrates Latin female artists, executives and creatives who are proactively working for positive change, inclusion and gender parity in the music industry. Shakira will receive the first-ever Woman of the Year award. Other honorees include Ana Gabriel, who will receive the Living Legend Award; Emilia, who will receive the Rising Star Award; Maria Becerra will receive the Visionary Award; Evaluna, who will receive the Tradition and Future Award; Goyo, who will receive the Agent of Change Award, and Thalia, who will receive the Global Powerhouse Award.
The inaugural Latin Women in Music event was announced earlier this year as an expansion of Billboard’s Women in Music franchise. Billboard and Telemundo aim to further elevate Latin music globally and celebrate the women who have made a concrete impact on Latin music through their artistic achievements, or through tangible, noteworthy actions that have brought measurable recognition and opportunity to women, affecting positive change to the industry as a whole.
Watch Mujeres Latinas En la Música on Sunday (May 7) at 9 p.m. ET exclusively on Telemundo and Peacock.