Enrique wins at Latin music awards
Miami: Spanish pop star Enrique Iglesias was the big winner at the Billboard Latin Music Awards held in Miami, taking home nine prizes including Latin Artist of the Year.
Runner-up to Iglesias in the number of awards won was Colombia`s Shakira with six, while newcomer Prince Royce and Aventura took four each.
Iglesias, who came into the event with 14 nominations, also took the honours for Hot Latin Song of the Year and Latin Pop Airplay Song of the Year for ‘Cuando Me Enamoro’, a duet with Dominican artist Juan Luis Guerra, and Latin Pop Album of the Year for ‘Euphoria’, among others.
"My career has had its ups and downs, but my Latino audience has always stood by me," said the victor of Thursday night`s awards ceremony, who thanked his fans for their unfailing support throughout his almost 15 years of music-making.
He added with characteristic charm that "we have to keep having kids so there are more and more Latinos and we`re the most and greatest".
The singer opened the show with two of his biggest hits, ‘No Me Digas que No’ and ‘Tonight I`m Loving You’, the latter together with the Puerto Rican duo Wisin and Yandel, who took home the trophy for Latin Rhythm Airplay Artist of the Year, Duo or Group.
After winning the Latin Artist of the Year prize, the Spaniard ran among the audience with hugs, handshakes and kisses for everyone within reach. It was all so unexpected that even host Daniel Sarcos said "That`s really thanking the fans".
The Mexican trio Camila, which had 10 nominations, received three honours, and its members used the occasion to deny rumours that they are breaking up, at least "not yet".
This year the Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award went to Mexican pop legend Emmanuel, who in his 30 years of recording has had seven gold and two platinum discs.
The Mexican offered his thanks to God for the gift of singing, to his father Raul Hacha for accompanying him throughout his 28-year career, and above all "to the public who with their applause give us the heart to continue".
Also honoured during the night was Cuban-American star Gloria Estefan, who received the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award, created in remembrance of Tex-Mex singer Selena`s tragic death, for the philanthropic work she does through her foundation.
Gloria thanked Billboard for this "honor and privilege" and her husband, Emilio Estefan, who, she said, has been with her every moment on the long road she has traveled.
Among the evening`s performances, one of the pleasant surprises was the duet by Cristian Castro and Jose Jose, who harmonized "Lo Pasado, Pasado".
Mexican rocker Gloria Trevi brought a surge of adrenaline to the proceedings when, leading a tough-looking gang of motorcycle gals and dressed in black from head to toe, she belted out her hit tune "Me Rio de Ti".
Bringing down the curtain on the evening`s entertainment were Jencarlos Canela with ‘Mi Corazon Insiste’, theme song of the new, like-named Telemundo telenovela he is soon to star in, and Pitbull singing ‘Bon Bon’, a number that had the audience up and dancing.
The event was hosted by Venezuelan emcee Daniel Sarcos and popular telenovela stars Aylin Mujica and Rafael Amaya.
The Billboard Latin Music Awards honor the most popular discs, songs and singers in their respective categories, according to current disc sales and Billboard`s weekly radio charts, and this year climaxed the 22nd Billboard Latin Music Conference and Awards held April 26-28 in Miami Beach.