Pop songstress Shakira won six awards and reggaeton pacesetter Daddy Yankee took home three at the Billboard Latin Music Awards on Thursday night.
Shakira’s album “Fijacion Oral Vol. 1” (Oral Fixation Vol. 1), which was released in both Spanish and English, won female Latin pop album of the year. The album’s top song, a sexy duet with Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz called “La Tortura” (The Torture), won four other awards, including hot Latin song of the year.
The Colombian crossover star’s voice was nearly drowned out by the cheering audience when she received the award for female Latin pop album.
“Wow. Thank you. This is for all of you, my fans, who have been accompanying me, understanding and protecting me all these years,” she said.
Later, Shakira, wearing a sparkling blue bikini top and red-and-white skirt, unleashed her trademark hip-wiggle as she danced and sang alongside Wyclef Jean on their pulsing collaboration “Hips Don’t Lie.”
The performance kept with the theme of these awards over the years: mix Latin acts with performances with crossover appeal.
Shakira also won the Spirit of Hope Award, in honor of the 29-year-old’s work to improve living conditions for Colombian children through her charitable organization, Fundacion Piez Descalzos (Bare Feet Foundation). Four children from her foundation surprised her on stage and gave her the award.
Sanz’s collaboration with Shakira netted him four awards. Colombian rocker Juanes — a big winner the past few years — won three. Dominican bachata singer Andy Andy and good-looking Mexican pop group RBD also won three times.
RBD, which reached young listeners with its album “Rebelde” (Rebel), won best Latin pop album for a duo or group, and the same award for new artists. It also won the viewers’ choice award.
Reggaeton — a mix of tropical rhythms, reggae, hip-hop and rap that first took hold in the major U.S. Hispanic markets of Miami, Los Angeles and New York — was featured during several performances.
Surrounded by dancers clad in jungle camouflage, Daddy Yankee performed two songs to start the show — “Bailando” (Dancing) on an outdoor floating barge, and “Rompe” (Break) on the indoor stage.
The Puerto Rican star whose song “Gasolina” is among reggaeton’s most well-known tunes, won for top Latin album artist and top reggaeton album. He also was among those honored for reggaeton song of the year for “Mayor Que Yo” (Older than Me), a collaboration with Baby Ranks, Tonny Tun Tun, Wisin y Yandel and Hector “El Father.”
He gave credit to fellow reggaeton producers for helping propel the genre.
“This award is for all my people, for all of reggaeton,” he said while receiving the reggaeton album award.
Reggaeton also was the theme of the show’s final performance, which featured Tito “El Bambino,” Angel y Khriz and Wisin & Yandel.
Other notable performances came from Orishas, the Cuban hip-hop group based in Europe who energized the show by surrounding their vocals with horn and Latin percussion sections, and Ricardo Montaner, who showed off his strong voice while singing his ballad “Nada.
Those in attendance also honored singer-songwriter Joan Sebastian, who received the Hall of Fame Award after 30 years as a fixture on the Mexican music scene.
The show was held at Seminole Hard Rock Live, which is adjacent to a hotel and casino complex in this Fort Lauderdale suburb.
It was hosted by TV personality Candela Ferro and Mexican ranchero artist Lupillo Rivera. Television personality Maria Celeste Arraras, Puerto Rican dance queen Olga Tanon and soccer announcer Andres Cantor were among the presenters at the show, broadcast live on Telemundo.
The awards show honors the most popular albums, songs and performers in Latin music as determined by sales and radio airplay data published on Billboard’s weekly charts.