2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards Merge Global Superstars With UM
“Why not?” said Christine Marsell, a senior management and marketing specialist, when asked about her reasoning for attending the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
On Thursday, September 29, Billboard and Telemundo joined forces to take over the Watsco Center. Thousands of people packed the arena for the chance to sit (or stand) within feet of some of Latin music’s biggest stars.
Global superstars such as Rauw Alejandro, Maluma and Nicky Jam were scheduled to present awards or perform at the show. Other artists like Bad Bunny – who led this year’s nominations with 10 – were missing.
Damaris Rojas Lopez, a public health and psychology graduate, recalled the disappointment she felt at the lack of opportunities for UM students to attend last year’s awards despite its location on the campus.
“I was heartbroken,” Lopez said. However, she wouldn’t be left waiting outside the event this time around.
SE | LA Productions is an audience-filling company that provides free and paid participation opportunities and casting services. This year, they offered University of Miami students the opportunity to apply to walk the red carpet, participate as seat fillers, or watch the show from the stage pit.
The company provided applications to interested students and those chosen to attend the event were notified by text message. In the days leading up to the show, guests received various emails and were contacted by phone to confirm attendance.
Lopez said her experience as a fan in the standing area of the stage was unmatched. She spent the evening resting on the stage. During Nicky Jam’s performance, his proximity to the platform was so close that he grabbed her hand.
“I always freak out,” Lopez said.
Other UM students, such as Paul Douillon, a criminology and sociology graduate, attended the ceremony through the Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society. The organization had 33 tickets for members who submitted a form. The candidates were hand-picked by their board of directors.
Douillon said he enjoyed the end of the show the most. Colombian singer-songwriter Camilo closed the evening with the launch of his latest project “Aeropuerto”. The track was selected as Telemundo’s official song for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Between the staging and backup dancers of all ages, Douillon felt impressed and happy to have taken advantage of the opportunity. He was not the only one.
Grecia Rivera, a junior student in Modern Art Development and Entrepreneurship (MADE), enjoyed the show which gave Latin music the recognition it deserves.
“It was a really cool experience to see the show live after so many years of seeing it on TV,” Rivera said. “You can tell the artists were happy to be there and as a fan that always makes the experience so much better.”
Rivera attended the show with Amelia Tripp, a young music therapy student who has been immersing herself more in the world of Latin music lately.
“It was really cool to see how music and culture came together to bring the show to life,” Rivera said.
The schedule for the awards ceremony was packed. Major wins include “Mamii” by Becky G and Karol G for Hot Latin Song of the year, Vocal Event. Rauw Alejandro won Latin Pop Song of the Year for “Todo De Ti”.
Other legendary recognitions went to Puerto Rican superstar Chayanne, who received the Billboard Icon Award. Nicky Jam was inducted into the Billboard Hall of Fame for being a reggaeton pioneer.
On August 22, Bad Bunny released his music video for his latest album track “Un Verano Sin Ti” where he paid homage to Elvis Crespo’s unforgettable “Suavemente” music video, Y2K vibes and all. Crespo returned the favor with his standout performance of Bad Bunny’s “Neverita” before moving on to his famous “Suavemente.”
Billboard Latin Music Week 2022 wrapped up on Saturday, October 1 with a Billboard En Vivo performance by Bresh at Wynwood Oasis after bringing a week of industry workshops, concerts and intimate networking opportunities.
Billboard Vice President and Head of Latin Industry Leila Cobo said the week-long celebration of Latin music is designed to bring together all the top artists and executives under one roof.
“Nobody else does, and we’re proud to be part of the historic growth of Latin music,” Cobo said.
One thing is unanimous among students who were able to attend the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards – this is just one example of the many benefits UM students get from Magic City. For those who weren’t able to attend the show, keep an eye out for next year!