The Billboard Latin Music Awards show was dedicated to the trend that has dominated the charts for the past few years, but especially in 2016: Duets.
Perhaps fueled by “El Perdón,” Nicky Jam and Enrique Iglesias‘ big hit (and multiple winner on the night), artists from different countries and different genres came together on stage for unique versions of popular songs that made for historic musical moments likely to never be repeated.
“This is something that has never been done before in an awards show, in Spanish or in English,” said co-host Pedro Fernandez. Co-host Gaby Espino opined, “Everything good is better multiplied.”
Get more details about the show at Telemundo.
Some duets were hot. Others were more adorable or emotional. The show was opened by Gente de Zona (itself an award-winning duo) with El Dasa in an electrifying performance that set the tone for others to follow. Paulina Rubio and Alexis & Fido excited the crowd with an upbeat mix of their own, and the audience sang along with Nicky Jam and the duo Zion y Lennox – both of whom won awards — when they sang Hasta El Amanecer.
Alejandro Fernandez and his daughter Camila harmonized on an emotional Spanish-language version of the Lion King’s “Cycle of Life” that ended with him kissing her on the forehead.
Juan Gabriel, who had been honored with album of the year honors, said he was so grateful to collaborate with Paty Cantu, Juanes and Alejandro Fernandez. “This has been such a special night and I am so appreciative of these artists who have helped me extend my career,” he said. Gabriel had delivered some impassioned performances, jumping and spinning and belting like he was Juanes’ age in what is quite possibly the best version of Querida ever.
There were also a couple of trios, too.
Ha*Ash — which is a duet of two sisters — was joined on stage by Fanny Lu and Kany Garcia for “Lo Aprendi de Ti” and sang it like a female power anthem. Later, Marco Antonio Solis performed with Marc Anthony and Natalia Jimenez — putting Mexico, Spain and Puerto Rico together on the stage to sing the icon’s songs.
The most anticipated duo of the night was the first televised performance mano a mano by Daddy Yankee and Don Omar, who have seemingly put aside an old rivalry and set-up a joint 60-date tour. Maybe.
Presented and announced like a boxing match, with Don Omar in one corner and Daddy Yankee in the other, the performance was more like a street rap fight with each man taking turns trying to one-up the other with vignettes of their songs.
The challenge seemed to make each artist strive harder and the audience ate it up.