Puerto Rican Bad Bunny dominated the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards last night in Miami, sweeping nine categories, including the coveted Artist, Songwriter and Top Latin Album of the Year.
Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, the music phenomenon, came to the awards leading with 23 nominations and his name resounded at the Watsco Center during the ceremony that recognizes the most popular albums, songs and performers of Latin music according to the weekly lists from Billboard.
The 28-year-old reggaeton singer has accumulated successes this year, which included scenes with Brad Pitt on the big screen in “El tren bullet”, the highest number of nominations for the Latin Grammy Awards and the success of his album “Un Verano Sin Ti”, a the top of the Billboard 200 chart.
Also Puerto Rican Carlos Efrén Reyes Rosado, known as Farruko, followed with four statuettes thanks to his hit “Pepas”, which won the award for Hot Latin Song and Song of the Year, among others.
“I am here to tell you that we have more empathy, that we are better human beings,” said the singer in a heartfelt speech. “While we are celebrating some awards, there are people in Cuba who lost what little they had, there are people in Puerto Rico who lost what little they had, there are people in Florida who have nowhere to sleep,” he added, referring to the weather conditions that plague the Caribbean region.
Colombian Karol G, who came in with fifteen nominations, capitalized in three categories, including Female Artist of the Year.
On a night that bathed reggaeton in glory, Puerto Rican Rauw Alejandro tied with regional Mexican genre stars Grupo Firme and Eslabón Armado, taking home two awards each.
This Wednesday’s ceremony saw a parade of stars, with performances by, among others, Christina Aguilera, Ozuna, Camilo, Elvis Crespo, Carlos Vives and Maluma, who took advantage of the gala to premiere his song “Junio”.
The organizers also paid tribute to established figures of Latin music such as pop star Chayanne, who received the Billboard icon, and reggaeton player Nicky Jam, who was awarded the Hall of Fame award.
“I really did not expect this,” said the artist excitedly upon receiving the award from his father. “I’m nervous,” he continued in his thank-you message that included friends, family, and colleagues.
Christina Aguilera also honored with the Spirit of Hope, dedicated to recognizing her philanthropic efforts.
Raphael, the 79-year-old Spanish idol, was enshrined with Billboard for his decades-long artistic career influencing Hispanic music. The organization also awarded the Billboard Legend to Puerto Rican singer-songwriter José Feliciano, whose career includes several Grammys and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, among other achievements.
“I am very grateful,” said the prestigious musician, guitar in hand, in a video broadcast at the ceremony. “I would like to be with you, but unfortunately the hurricane did not allow me,” he explained.