Reggaetón icon Ivy Queen, composer Mónica Vélez, publicist and marketer Mayna Nevarez and Spotify’s managing director for Latin America, Mia Nygren, will be minted as the 2021 Leading Ladies of Entertainment by the Latin Recording Academy.
Due to limitations imposed by COVID-19, the four women, representing different arenas of Latin music, will be honored during a virtual ceremony Nov. 16 instead of the traditional lunch that has defined the event.
Launched five years ago (Billboard‘s Leila Cobo was honored at the inaugural event), the Academy’s Leading Latin Ladies initiative was created to honor and recognize “professional and socially-conscious women within the arts and entertainment fields who have made significant contributions and inspired the next generation of female leaders.”
Since its inception, the initiative has honored both artists and musicians along with executives, and this year is no exception. Ivy Queen, considered the pioneer female artist in reggaetón, is being honored alongside Vélez, a two-time Latin Grammy winner who has written for the likes of Marc Anthony and Luis Fonsi. But she’s also being honored with Nygren, who oversees Spotify’s Latin America operations, and Nevarez, whose company – Nevarez Entertainment — is the longtime agency of superstars like Daddy Yankee and Carlos Vives.
This year the event is also partnering with She Is The Music on a collaborative mentorship program that will pair past honorees with a She Is The Music mentee.
“On behalf of The Latin Recording Academy, I am proud to honor these powerful women as this year’s Leading Ladies of Entertainment,” said Manuel Abud, CEO of The Latin Recording Academy, in a statement. “These dynamic women give us a chance to reflect on the challenges female professionals face in today’s arts and entertainment environment. There is still a lack of gender parity in the industry, and we remain focused on continuing our work to overcome the challenges that women face through educational programs, partnerships and a transparent voting process.”
The Leading Latin Ladies event will take place the week of the Latin Grammys, which will air live on the Univision network from Las Vegas Nov. 18.