“Why not?” Christine Marcel, a senior majoring in management and marketing, said when asked about her reasoning for attending the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
On Thursday, September 29, Billboard and Telemundo joined forces to take over the Watsco Center. Thousands flock to the arena for the chance to sit (or stand) just feet away from Latin music’s biggest stars.
Global superstars like Rowe Alejandro, Maluma and Nicky Jam were on hand to present awards or perform at the show. Other artists like Bad Bunny — who lead this year’s nominations with 10 — were missing in action.
Damaris Rojas Lopez, a senior majoring in public health and psychology, recalled the frustration she felt about the lack of opportunities for UM students to attend last year’s awards show despite being located on campus.
“I was heartbroken,” Lopez said. However, he will not be waiting outside the event this time.
OS | LA Productions is an audience filler company providing both 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 issued application forms to interested students and those selected to attend the event were notified via text message. In the days leading up to the show, invitees were sent various emails and contacted via phone calls to confirm their attendance.
Lopez said his experience as a fan in the pit-standing area of the stage is unparalleled. Spent the evening resting on stage. During Nicky Jam’s performance, his proximity to the platform was so close that he held her hand.
“I’m still scared,” Lopez said.
Other UM students, such as Paul Dillon, a senior majoring in criminology and sociology, attended the ceremony through the Tau Sigma Transfer Honor Society. The organization had 33 tickets for members who submitted a form. Applicants were handpicked by their executive boards.
Douillon said he enjoyed the end of the show the most. Colombian singer-songwriter Camilo closed the evening with the debut of his latest project “Aeropuerto.” The track was selected as Telemundo’s official song for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Between the stage production and the backup dancers of all ages, Duillon felt impressed and delighted that she took advantage of the event. He wasn’t the only one.
Gracia Rivera, a junior majoring in Modern Artistic Development and Entrepreneurship (MADE), praised the program for giving Latin music the respect it deserves.
“It was a really cool experience to see the show live after all these years on TV,” Rivera said. “You can tell the artists are happy to be there and as a fan that always makes the experience better.”
Rivera participated in the show with Amelia Tripp, a junior majoring in music therapy who has become more involved in the world of Latin music as of late.
“It was really cool to see how music and culture came together to bring the show to life,” Rivera said.
The award show schedule was jam-packed. Major wins include Hot Latin Song of the Year, Vocal Event for Becky G and Carl G’s “Mami.” Rau Alejandro took home the award for Latin Pop Song of the Year for “Todo de Tie”.
Other legendary recognition went to Puerto Rican superstar Chayan, who was honored with the Billboard Icon Award. Nicky Jam was inducted into Billboard’s Hall of Fame for being a reggaeton pioneer.
On August 22nd, Bad Bunny released his music video for the track from his latest album “Un Verano Sin T” in which he pays homage to Elvis Crespo’s unforgettable “Suavemente” music video, Y2K vibes and all. Crespo returns the favor with his remarkable performance of Bad Bunny’s “Neverita” before transitioning into his famous “Suavemente.”
Billboard Latin Music Week 2022 concludes on Saturday, October 1 with Bresh’s Billboard En Vivo performance at Oasis Wynwood after a week of art workshops, concerts and intimate networking opportunities.
Billboard’s VP and Latin Industry Lead, Leila Cobo, said the week-long celebration of Latin music is designed to bring all the top artists and executives under one roof.
“No one else does this, and we’re proud to be a part of the historic growth of Latin music,” Cobo said
Those who were able to attend the 2022 Billboard Latin Music Awards agreed on one thing — it’s just one example of the many benefits UM students have from the Magic City. For those who couldn’t make it to the show, be sure to keep an eye out for next year!