Daddy Yankee and Joss Favela, two sharply contrasting singer/songwriters, representing both sides of the spectrum of Latin music, were the big winners at the 25th annual ASCAP Latin Music Awards, winning songwriter and songwriter/artist of the year, respectively.
“Duele el corazón,” the Enrique Iglesias hit featuring Wisin, was named Latin song of the year, and Sony/ATV Discos Music Publishing won publisher of the year for an astounding 15th consecutive year. Independent publisher of the year honors went to BMG Gold Songs.
It was an eminently tropical evening — which, in a departure for awards that are usually given out in Miami and Los Angeles, took place at the Vanderbilt Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, under the helm of ASCAP US Latin/Latin America VP Gabriela Gonzalez. ASCAP president John Williams and John Titta, ASCAP’s EVP membership, were also in attendance.
The special honorees of the evening were salsa band El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, who received their ASCAP Latin Heritage award from tropical music star Gilberto Santarosa, while pioneering rapper Vico C received the ASCAP Vanguard award from icon Draco for his impact on new and developing genres. Song of the year went to “Duele el corazón,” penned by Iglesias, Silverio Lozada and Mhmd Hasibur Rahman.
Joss Favela (real name José Alberto Inzunza), a new artist with only one album to his name, collected his second songwriter of the year award for an extraordinarily prolific year of penning mostly romantic hits distinguished by fine lyrics both for himself and others. All told, Favela had 12 winning songs, recorded by a star-heavy roster of acts that included Gerardo Ortiz, Banda el Recodo, Banda MS (“Me vas a extrañar”) and La Séptima Banda.
On his end, Daddy Yankee’s seven global hits included the viral “Shaky Shaky,” “Andas en mi cabeza” (the hit recorded with Chino y Nacho) and “Tu y yo.” This marks only the first time Yankee wins Songwriter of the year, an incredibly auspicious achievement for a reggaeton artist who is penning music for himself and who seems to have an endless supply of hits in the pipeline. As for “Duele el corazón,” the track spent 14 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Latin Songs chart. Performed by Iglesias featuring Wisin, it’s yet another example of how pop and urban have fused seamlessly in the Latin world to produce some of the biggest hits on the chart, a topic that will be discussed at the upcoming Billboard Latin Music Conference.
The trend was apparent in the list of winning songs from both Sony ATV — with a remarkable 47 tracks — and BMG Gold Songs. Sony ATV’s roster included “La bicicleta,” the Carlos Vives–Shakira track co-written with Andres Castro, as well as Nicky Jam’s “El perdedor” and “Andas en mi cabeza.” BMG’s 13 winners included “Traidora,” performed by Gente de Zona, and Farruko’s “Chillax.”
Awards, which are given to ASCAP’s most performed songs in Latin music in 2016, were presented in pop, tropical, regional Mexican, urban and television categories.