CORAL GABLES, Florida (AP) — Romeo Santos and Enrique Iglesias swept the Billboard Latin Music Awards, but Jennifer Lopez may have stolen the show.
Santos, the U.S. singer known as the "King of Bachata," took home 10 awards Thursday night, including Artist of the Year Solo while Spanish artist Enrique Iglesias won nine, including Latin Pop Song Artist of the Year. The biggest standing ovation, however, went to Lopez, who performed a tribute to Selena, backed by the band of the young Mexican singer who was killed in 1995.
Colombian reggaeton artist J. Balvin was another big winner with three trophies, including Artist of the Year, at the annual event in the BankUnited Center in Coral Gables.
The awards for Santos also included Top Latin Album of the Year and Tropical Album of the Year, New for his "Formula, Vol. 2." Santos, who set a record for the most Billboard Latin Music Award nominations in a year, with 21 entries in 16 categories, thanked God, his fans and fellow singer Marc Anthony, who accompanies him in the song and video "Yo, Tambien."
"I had the opportunity, the grand privilege to record with a man I admire so much, Marc. Thank you for giving me that privilege," he told Anthony, who opened the three-hour show. "I would also like to thank the deejays, who spread our music."
Iglesias, who was also a big winner at the Latin Grammy awards in November, thanked the many fans who kept his mega-hit "Bailando" at the No. 1 on the Billboard's Hot Latin Songs chart for a record 41 weeks.
"I want to thanks all my fans ... for all the support they have given me these 19 years, and to the artists who have collaborated with me," he said as he accepted awards that also included Latin Pop Album of the Year and Latin Pop Albums Artist of the Year, Solo with "Sex and Love."
Anthony opened along with Gente de Zona for the duo's "La Gozadera" to a backdrop of dancers in costumes that represented the flags of the all the different countries represented in the show. Along the way, the audience was treated to performances by Juanes and Carlos Santana, Carlos Vives and Daddy Yankee as well as Lopez, who played Selena in a 1997 biopic of the slain Tejano legend.