Salsa got even hotter Thursday night, with Colombian heartthrob Juanes, late entertainer Celia Cruz and Latin chart-topper Ricky Martin sharing a three-way split for top honors at the Billboard Latin Music Awards broadcast live by Telemundo from the Miami Arena.
Also sharing the heat of the spotlight: winners Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan and Luis Miguel.
Winners reflected sales and airplay success as measured by Billboard’s weekly charts from Feb. 15, 2003 to Feb. 7, 2004.
Cruz, who died in July, was posthumously honored as Latin album artist of the year and also won for Latin greatest hits album and tropical album of the year, female, for Regalo del Alma, reports Reuters.
Juanes, whose Un Dia Normal has stayed on the charts for nearly two years, grabbed the trophies for songwriter of the year, hot Latin track of the year and pop airplay track – the latter two for “Fotographia,” a duet with Nelly Furtado.
Martin, who had a strong year on Spanish stations with the single “Tal Vez” from Almas del Silencio, won with that album for hot Latin track, Latin pop airplay track male and Latin pop album male.
Estefan, fresh from this week’s gig on American Idol, took to the stage as both performer and winner for her single “Hoy” – named Latin pop airplay track of the year female.
Lopez’s win was for top Latin dance single with mixmaster Paul Oakenfold for their redo of her Flashdance-inspired hit “I’m Glad.”
Miguel’s concert trip took honors for tour of the year. One notable shutout, meanwhile, was Thalia, who went into the evening with four nominations.