From career milestones and new music releases to major announcements and more, Billboard editors highlight the latest news buzz in Latin music every week. Here’s what happened in the Latin music world this week.
Juanes Teams Up With Berklee Visiting Artist Series
Juanes is the latest artist to make a special appearance for Berklee’s Visiting Artist series. During the virtual event, the Colombian star talked to students about his creative process, music’s power to change the world and more. Juanes also spoke about the four-year Prodigy Scholarship that he is financing to fund a student’s bachelor’s degree in music at Berklee School of Music starting in Fall 2021. Applications to the scholarship are still being accepted.
Previous guests have included T-Pain, Julia Michaels, Tank and the Bangas, Adrianne Lenker, Michael Franti, and others. Read more about Juanes’ virtual visit here.
Alejandro Fernández’s special award
Alejandro Fernández is set to receive the Icon Award during the sixth edition of the Latin American Music Awards, Telemundo has announced. The Icon Award is given to an artist who interprets our life in their songs, forms an important part of Latin America’s history, and is considered a musical hero whose name exceeds all generations, according to statement by Telemundo.
The Jalisco-born star will also perform at this year’s Latin AMAs, which will take place April 15 and will be broadcast live from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Fernández joins the previously-announced star-studded lineup that includes Maluma, Banda MS, Camilo, Eslabon Armado and Karol G, among others.
Billions of views for Ozuna and Manuel Turizo
Ozuna and Manuel Turizo have entered YouTube’s Billion Views Club with their 2018 hit “Vaina Loca.” On Wednesday (March 31), the video platform announced that Ozuna and Turizo’s collaboration crossed the 1 billion views mark almost three years after its launch.
This becomes Ozuna’s “ninth entry in the Billion Views Club as a lead, featured artist or collaborator — putting the Puerto Rican artist one entry behind J Balvin,” highlights an official statement from YouTube.
COVID-19 vaccination experience
Latin artists such as Elvis Crespo, Emilio Estefan Jr. and José Luis Rodríguez “El Puma” have taken to social media to share their COVID-19 vaccination experience with their millions of followers.
Estefan was among the first to get vaccinated right before entering 2021 and, most recently, it was merengue star Crespo who shared the vaccination process where he sang a re-imagined version of his hit song “Suavemente.” As he pulled up to get the vaccine, he told the nurse, “Suavemente, puyame … que no me duela, que no me duela (gently, poke me, I hope it doesn’t hurt me).”
See his Instagram post here.
Midem Goes Digital & Free
Following its successful Latin American Forum, Midem has announced its plans to go fully digital. Billed as the leading international business event for the music ecosystem, the event plans to return to Cannes in June 2022. Free to access, the 2021 edition will be available online on the Midem Digital platform, where it offers its more than 12,000 members year-around access to resources, networking and educational content, to name a few.
“Since the pandemic hit us all, we’ve taken our role in keeping the worldwide community connected, informed, engaged and looking forward together, extremely seriously,” Midem director Alexandre Deniot said in a statement. “Midem Digital has allowed us to be here, daily, throughout the year to help us all better understand the new context in which we find ourselves and to navigate our new landscape.”