Top moments at the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards reflected the unprecedented and trying times we’re living in.
Banda MS, who took the first night’s award top Latin albums artist of the year, duo or group, didn’t say much in their acceptance speech but the few words they said were powerful. “Our thoughts are with the people who have battled COVID-19,” they said. “We’re praying for everyone that has been impacted.” Daddy Yankee echoed Banda MS adding, “these have been challenging times and want to share this award with those who have been perseverant and those who have lost a loved one. Music continues to be the best medicine.”
Another standout moment was the special tribute in honor of Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero. Artists Pablo Alborán, Luis Fonsi, Jesús Navarro (Reik) and Joy (Jesse & Joy) sang a medley of Manzanero classics including “Contigo Aprendí” and “No Sé Tu.”
Below, find the top five moments at the 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Banda MS’ frontmen Alan Ramírez and Oswaldo Silvas were the first to give an acceptance speech at the awards ceremony and their poignant words touched hearts.
Wisin & Yandel was the next duo to send a powerful message through their speeches. In their first acceptance speech, Yandel ended with a resounding “no more abuse against women.” Wisin urged Latinos to get out and vote on Nov. 3 with his second message. “Go out and vote because we’re voting for our future. And vote for that person that will actually care about our community.”
Daddy Yankee acknowledged that these have been “challenging times and want to share this award with those who have been perseverant and those who have lost a loved one. Music continues to be the best medicine.”
Tribute medley in honor of Armando Manzanero
Celebrating Mexican icon Armando Manzanero, who was awarded with the Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award, Alborán, Fonsi, Navarro (Reik) and Joy (Jesse & Joy) sang a medley of Manzanero’s songs, with the icon himself on the piano, that have stood the test of time including “Conigo Aprendí,” “Por Debajo de la Mesa,” “No Sé Tu” and “Como Yo Te Amé.” Then, a visibly emotional Manzanero, performed “Esta Tarde Vi Llover.”
“I have no words to express what my heart is feeling right now after singing with this new generation of artists that is so grand, strong and talented in a special stage like this one,” Manzanero said following his performance.
The 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards featured a total of 18 performances in a span of three hours. From Maluma’s opening performance of his global hit “Hawái” to Gerardo Ortiz and Gente de Zona’s genre-bending “Otra Botella,” Armando Manazanero’s heartfelt, star-studded tribute and Carlos Vives’ medley of anthemic songs such as “La Gota Fría” and “Pa’ Mayté”, the night was filled with unforgettable moments on the stage.
Check out a list of top performances of the night here.
Special awards for special artists
Manzanero wasn’t the only one who received a special award at the Billboard Latin Music Awards. Romeo Santos, Enrique Iglesias, Maluma, Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Carlos Vives were all recognized for chart milestones, philanthropic work and contributions to Latin music. Santos was recognized with the Billboard Top Latin Album of the Decade for Formula: Vol. 2; Fonsi and DY were honored for Billboard Latin Song of the Decade with “Despacito”; Maluma was acknowledged with the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award; Vives distinguished with the Billboard Hall of Fame Award and Iglesias bestowed with the Billboard Top Latin Artist of All Time Award.
“I feel very honored,” Vives said. “Thirty years ago I decided to do music my way and how I wanted, without following any trends. Maybe the industry didn’t accept it at first but the public did. And I can’t thank them enough. Thank you Billboard for recognizing my career. Thank you to my manager and label for believing in me. Thank you Colombia for the inspiration. And for the new generation, I want to say all of you are unique and original, but equal in the industry.”
The power of Latin music
Romeo Santos received the Billboard Top Latin Album of the Decade for Formula: Vol. 2 and in his acceptance speech, the King of Bachata made sure to recognize the power of Latin music.
“When I’m preparing an album, my objectives are always the same,” Santos said. “How can I surprise my fans? And at the same time, advance my genre? With Formula: Vol. 2 I also wanted to reinvent myself. I had Drake singing in Spanish. I had Nicki Minaj on this album. When I see the success of some songs like “Despacito,” it makes me so proud. When I see Bad Bunny with Drake and Karol G with Nicki Minaj on “Tusa,” I know that I’m not alone. Our culture and our essence is like no other. It’s an honor to be Latin. This album was a team effort and I want to share this award with my entire team. The most successful album is a bachata album and my fans made that happen.”