Latin music fans from coast to coast and around the world enjoyed an event filled with unforgettable moments and spectacular music, which began with an outstanding joint performance by Aventura, Wisin & Yandel, and Akon, which was immediately followed by Jenni Rivera. Top honors at the most important and prestigious Latin music event went to Flex who received eight Billboard Latin Music Awards, and performed his mega hit "Te Quiero;" while Enrique Iglesias was honored with six Awards, and surprised audiences with a live broadcast from Minsk, Belaruse. Aventura and Mana, received four awards each.
Billboard's special recognitions went to multi-platinum selling artist, Carlos Santana, who received the Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding music career and Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee, was honored with the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award for his commitment and humanitarian work through his foundation "Corazon Guerrero" (Heart of Warrior). Santana surprised the audience, when he joined Mana in a memorable performance. Daddy Yankee also performed an energetic number joined by the all-male dance troupe Jabbawockeez.
Artists who received two Billboard Latin Music Awards included, Ivy Queen, Jenni Rivera and Vicente Fernandez. Those honored with one award were, Armando Avila, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Gloria Trevi, Isidro Chavez, K-Paz de la Sierra, Los Dareyes de la Sierra, Los Temerarios, Marco Antonio Solis, Pitbull, RBD and Wisin & Yandel.
The event marked the long-awaited return of Salsa legend, Ruben Blades who joined the stage with his group Los Seis del Solar to celebrate the band's 25th musical anniversary. The magnificent production also featured exclusive performances by pop star, Paulina Rubio, and urban icon, Don Omar, who featured the global television premiere of their respective new productions; an acoustic presentation by Reik; Banda El Recodo, which celebrated its 70th anniversary; Cristian Castro who was accompanied by pianist Arthur Hanlon; La Quinta Estacion, with a performance featuring special effects; a pop medley by Gloria Trevi, and a special number by popular regional group Patrulla 81.
Novela actress Aylin Mujica and host of Telemundo's morning show "Levantate," Alan Tacher, hosted the star-studded ceremony. The event, which culminated the 20th annual Billboard Latin Music Conference, was preceded by the ultra stylish and highly anticipated red carpet arrivals pre-show, which featured the best in fashion and interviews with the stars as they paraded down the carpet just moments before the big show.
The awards were presented during the 2009 Billboard Latin Music Awards, held at the BankUnited Center located at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida.
Goes Beyond Music And Gives Back...
Daddy Yankee, founded the "Corazon Guerrero" foundation to help inmates getting close to being released from prison, become law-abiding and productive members of society. Through his organization, Daddy Yankee empowers young men and women to break the cycle of being in and out of prison by providing them with educational and vocational opportunities that will facilitate the process of reincorporation into society. Last year, the foundation launched "Educate con Impacto" (Educate yourself with Impact), a scholarship program that offers former inmates the opportunity to continue undergraduate studies at the Ana G. Mendez University System in Puerto Rico. The recipients also receive academic mentoring, food and book/supplies allowance, and psychological assistance. "Corazon Guerrero" also manages a public lunchroom and an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.