Once a year in April Billboard goes all out honoring the best in the Latin music industry and this year was no exception. It was a night to celebrate music at the 25th Billboard Latin Music Awards as celebrities, artists, guests and fans made their way to BankUnited Center in Miami, Fla. Thursday evening.
In the bright sun and heat, fans and seatfillers arrived early for their designated assignments or with hopes to get in on the fun. Celebrities and artists started arriving as early as 5 p.m. to walk the red carpet for photographers and interviews with media that travel from all over the world for the annual music award event.
There were fans with flags and banners supporting and waiting to catch a glimpse of their favorite artists. Chayanne fans kept waving their banner showing their love and respect as he had just lost his mom to cancer. Although he didn’t walk the red carpet, he made an exceptional and emotional performance at the award show later in the evening. Prince Royce, Laura Pausini, Leslie Grace, Andrea Bocelli, Il Volo, Luis Fonsi, David Bisbal were a few of the many artists and celebrities that made act of presence just before the award show.
Then the rush to get into the award show started as doors closed at 7:30 p.m. per instructed on tickets for the live transmission. Once inside a show director instructed everyone to take their seats as he did the countdown just before the start of the award show and in between commercial breaks - “One minute to go, I need everyone seated.” Seatfillers being pulled here and there to fill in floor level seats or let an artist sit.
When fans spotted an artist arriving they would yell and applaud for them as done for Marc Anthony who was rushed in during a commercial break to take a front row center seat. He remained until the end of the show for a number of stage appearances to accept ten of the 15 awards he was nominated for; present the Spirit of Hope Award to Colombian singer Carlos Vives and for the gran finale of the Billboard Latin Music Award show.
Superb performances by all the artists who were scheduled to perform - Ricky Martin promoting this year’s FIFA World Cup with his first live performance of “Vida”, a song submitted via Sony and FIFA's SuperSong competition written by Elijah King. Luis Fonsi wasn’t given enough alone time to sing as he was immediately joined by Wisin to sing "Corazón en la Maleta".
International singers were represented as well – Italy present with singer Laura Pausini recognized for 20 years in the music industry and tenor Andrea Bocelli who received the Billboard Lifetime Achievement Award joined their extraordinary and distinct voices to perform their 2009 hit, "Vive Ya". Later on Brazilian Michel Telo joined Prince Royce for a Brazilian and Spanish version of “Darte un Beso”.
A mix of Cuban and flamenco in Enrique Iglesias latest single “Bailando” sung with Cuban artists Descember Bueno and Gente de Zona. A mix of languages and diverse music talent for a superb Billboard Latin Music Award 25th anniversary celebration that proved there is no barrier in music. Music unites everyone.
Emotions were visible as Chayanne who has been away from music for the past four years kept his performance commitment after the loss of his mom. His debut of "Humans a Marte" led to a lengthy standing ovation bringing the artist to tears and those present. It was obvious of his grieving and gratitude as he touched his heart and looked up to the sky. No matter how long Chayanne been away from singing and on stage, he still has the voice and the swing to mesmerize anyone.
Marc Anthony was another with high emotions receiving award after award. There is no doubt he was the man of the award show all night long. His fans acknowledged his presence at all times calling, clapping and singing on and off his number one hit song "Vivir Mi Vida”. Those that didn’t believe in the song have been proved wrong. It’s like a repetition of when he first started his crossover about 20 years ago with the first hit song he recorded “Hasta Que te Conoci’ in salsa version - the start of a successful Latin music career.
And what other way could have the 25th Billboard Latin Music Award ended, of course with Marc Anthony - the ending highlight performer as expected - saving the best for last. Even before he was presented everyone was standing and clapping for Marc Anthony. Not one but two songs for an extra Marc Anthony treat for viewers and attendees interpreting "A Cambio de Piel" his latest new release song and his winning song "Vivir Mi Vida".