Iconic Mexican singer/songwriter Marco Antonio Solís will be honored with Billboard’s Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2016 Billboard Latin Music Awards, taking place April 28 at the BankUnited Center in Miami.
Solís, who this year celebrates his 40th anniversary as a recording artist, will be honored for his outstanding career, which includes the record for most No. 1s—12–on the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart. Solís, who was named Billboard’s “Latin Artist of the Decade” in 2009 by virtue of his chart accomplishments, has also earned 11 No. 1s on the Hot Latin Songs chart, most recently in 2014 as a featured artist on Enrique Iglesias’ “El perdedor.”
As a songwriter, Solís holds the record for most No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot Latin Tracks chart than any other composer. As a producer, he’s taken home Billboard’s Latin Producer of the Year award on several occasions both for work on his own albums and for other artists, including Rocío Durcal, Olga Tañón and Ana Bárbara.
Solís’ accomplishments go beyond the charts. He was arguably the first artist who navigated from regional Mexican music — romantic grupero fare — into the realm of pop. Already established as the lead singer and songwriter of Los Bukis, one of the top-selling and grossing romantic Mexican grupos of all time, Solís ventured into pop as a soloist in 1999 with Trozos de Mi Alma. The album was certified platinum for shipments of 1 million units and opened the doors for traditional Mexican acts to be heard around the world, with lead single “Si no the hubieras ido” finding its way into the soundtrack of landmark film Y Tu Mama También.
Long signed to Fonovisa, Solís is now recording and releasing as an independent artist, and he’s unfazed by the change.
He began 2016 earning top honors at the Viña del Mar Song Festival, recorded the official song to welcome Pope Francis in his native Michoacan during his Holiness’ latest trip to Mexico, and is about to embark in a newly produced tour slated to reach the U.S., Mexico, Argentina and Chile.
And, always, at the core of everything he does, is the music that he confesses he still writes on little slips of paper, whenever inspiration strikes.
“There is strength in paper,” Solís told Billboard. “When I get to my studio, I begin to give shape to my scribbles. I sit at my keyboard and I write the base, and little by little I construct the harmonies. But, by then the essence of the song is there. Everything else is easy. And the melody always comes first. Always. Melodies for me are something divine. They come from a higher place.”
Under the theme “Billboard Duets,” this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the most popular albums, songs, and performers in Latin music, as determined by the actual sales, radio airplay, streaming and social data that informs Billboard’s weekly charts. The awards will air live on the Telemundo network April 28 and are the culmination to the Billboard Latin Music Conference, taking place April 25-28 in Miami Beach.