Light Mode

2001 Billboard Latin Music Awards

MIAMI BEACH, FL, April 27, 2001 – There was a lot of territory to cover–musically and geographically–at Thursday’s eighth annual Billboard Latin Music Awards. Stars from Puerto Rico, Colombia and Mexico united in the melting pot of Miami-Dade County–considered the Latin music capital of the world by many–to celebrate the best in Latin pop, dance, rock, salsa and jazz.

“Most of our fans are Latin American. They are the ones who keep me alive as an artist,” said singer Lupillo Rivera, who performed during the awards ceremony at the Jackie Gleason Theater on South Beach.

Son by Four, the group behind the infectious “A Puro Dolor,” won seven awards, including the year’s Hot Latin Track award for “A Puro Dolor.” The Puerto Rican quartet delivers a sound all their own, mixing flamenco, salsa and R&B in much of their music.

- Advertisement -

Dressed in bright, rich colors and sporting their friendliest smiles, celebs like Marc Anthony and Gloria Estefan came in person to pick up their awards. Anthony’s Desde Un Principio–From the Beginning won the Greatest Hits Album award.

Estefan, whose Alma Caribena won Best Female Tropical/Salsa Album, brought husband Emilio Estefan with her onstage to receive the award. She said that they are inseparable both musically and personally.

“Music is the soundtrack to our lives,” the Cuban-born singer said.

Estefan performed “Por Un Beso,” the title track from the Mexican soap opera of the same name, which has not been shown in the United States.

As for her future plans, Estefan said she has written a screenplay about metaphysics called Muchas Vidas, Muchos Sabios. She hopes to star in the film as well.

The Colombian group Los Tri-O, winners of the group award for a pop album for Mi Gloria, Eres Tu, dedicated the award to their country.

- Advertisement -

“The Colombian people can stop observing the war and observe the talent,” said Los Tri-O’s Manuel Pena.

Tito Puente Jr., son of “Oye Como Va” legend Tito Puente, attended the awards for a tribute to his late father. Tito Puente Sr. is considered a tremendous influence on many artists in the Latino community.

Salsa diva Celia Cruz presented the Hall of Fame Award to percussionist Mongo Santamaria for outstanding longtime artistic merit.

Mexican singer and actress Thalia, who attended the ceremony with her husband, Sony Music President Tommy Mottola, received the Billboard “Premio de la Estrella” [Star Award] in recognition of her contributions to Latin music.

“It gives me great honor to receive this award,” Thalia said tearfully.

Thalia said she was glad Latinos could gather and share their culture through their music. She also said that as a hard-working woman, she has always achieved all the goals she’s tried to reach in her lifetime.

- Advertisement -

“Chicano” band Los Lobos received the Lifetime Achievement Award for their 20-year-long career.

The band catapulted to fame in 1987 after singing the theme song for the Ritchie Valens tribute film, La Bamba.

“We are proud of what we have done,” Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo said after the ceremony. “We are glad to see that Latino music is getting what it’s supposed to be getting.”

Kings of Latin romanticism Ricardo Montaner, Julio Iglesias and Alejandro Fernandez were among the evening’s performers.

The Spanish-language Telemundo Network will air the event as a 2 ½ hour special at 8 p.m. Sunday.

- Advertisement -