Latin American Music Awards: Karol G takes top honors

While the seventh-annual Latin American Music Awards offered a sizzling celebration of Latin music, there was also an unmistakable message of global unity.

The Black Eyed Peas, who embraced Latin music on their 2020 album “Translation,” opened the show with a heartfelt tribute to the people of Ukraine and performed a bilingual rendition of “Where Is the Love?” They were accompanied by Ozuna, Prince Royce, Farruko, Christian Nodal, CNCO, Chiquis Rivera, and Ukrainian singer Nastya Kamenskikh, also known as NK.

Later in the night, NK gave a touching speech on her native country, which is under attack by Russia. Mexican superstar Nodal also gave Ukraine a shoutout during his acceptance speech after being honored with the Extraordinary Evolution Award.

While Karol G sat out this year’s Latin AMAs, the Colombian pop starpicked up the prize for artist of the year, while her third album “KG0516” clinched album of the year. Rapper Bad Bunny, also not in attendance, nabbed song of the year for his multiplatinum single “Dakiti.” And Argentinian singer Maria Becerra, whose debut album “Animal” was released last August, took home best new artist.

Bad Bunny racked up the most nominations with 10, including artist of the year and favorite male artist. Bad Bunny’s No. 1 album “El Ultimo Tour del Mundo” was nominated for album of the year, while “Dakiti” was up for favorite urban song.

Trailing behind Bad Bunny was his “Dakiti” collaborator Jhay Cortez, who earned eight nominations, including favorite urban artist and viral song of the year for “Fiel,” which topped Billboard’s Latin airplay chart. Along with song of the year, Cortez claimed favorite urban song for “Dakiti.”

A star-studded lineup of Latin music superstars, including Reik, Luis Fonsi, CNCO and Gloria Trevi, hit the stage for knockout performances.

The legendary Lupita D’Alessio, also known as the “La Leona Dormida,” also performed a medley from her decade-spanning music catalog. She was honored with the Legend Award.

The Latin AMAs were hosted by Rafael Amaya, Jacqueline Bracamontes and Cristian de la Fuente and broadcast on Telemundo from the Michelob Ultra Arena at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

Like the American Music Awards, the Latin AMAs are voted on by fans. The nominations were based on fan interactions with music, including streaming, sales, airplay and social activity tracked by Billboard from Feb. 6, 2021, through Jan. 29, 2022.

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