Entertainment

Billboard’s Latin Music Week Starts Tomorrow And These Are The ‘Can’t Miss’ Events You Can Join For Free

Billboard’s annual Latin Music Week has finally arrived and this year is extra special since it’s the 30th anniversary of the annual event. Not to mention the entire lineup of events – from concerts to Q&As – has gone virtual, making it easier than ever for you and me to join in.

Already the event schedule looks incredible, including a live Q&A with Jennifer Lopez and Maluma about Latin musics path to Hollywood.

So if you’re finding yourself bored at home (as so many of us continue social distancing) this is the perfect roundup of events to keep us entertained.

Billboard’s Latin Music Week starts today and it promises to be a one stop shop for music fans.

With all of us being cooped up at home still, this year’s Billboard Latin Music Week is hotly anticipated. The four-day immersive experience officially starts today (Tuesday, October 20) and will be dedicated to Latin music, culture, and entertainment.

And this yer is extra special because Billboard is celebrating it’s 30th birthday for the annual event, making it the longest running and biggest Latin music industry event. And this year for the first time ever it will be completely virtual, meaning you can easily join in on the intimate artist conversations, industry panels, workshops, and performances.

According to Leila Cobo, a VP at Billboard, “Latin music has become a formidable and undeniable uniting force around the world, so it’s fitting that this year’s virtual Latin Music Week will be globally accessible at no cost to the industry and fans for the first time. She added that “Our virtual event will allow us to connect with fans and artists from all over the world no matter where they are. During these very difficult times, we are thrilled to extend an invitation to all who wish to celebrate Latin music and culture.”

The week will be full of immersive events and online concerts that you won’t want to miss.

For the first time in its 30 years of existence, Billboard Latin Music Week will take place virtually, from Oct. 20-23, meaning that you can easily join in on all the events.

So far, Billboard has confirmed a long list of panels, performances, workshops and Q&As – including one with Jennifer Lopez and Maluma. And performances by Pharrel Williams, Anuel AA, Ozuna, J Balvin, Maluma, Becky G, Los Tigres Del Norte, and many others. You can get a look at the full lineup of events here.

The craziest/best part – it’s completely free! But you have to RSVP so make sure you sign up for your spot here.

This year’s events coincide with this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards broadcasting live on Oct. 21 via Telemundo, with awards to be given out in 59 categories honoring the top artists, songs, albums, labels, publishers, songwriters, and producers of the year.

It’s hard to believe but Billboard is celebrating 30 years of Latin Music Week and looking back on stars before they were megastars.

Since this year marks the 30th anniversary of Latin Music Week, Billboard is taking a look back – way back. The music entertainment giant has put together a playlist of video interviews with stars before they became global sensations.

For example, Maluma’s interview from 2015 just as he was beginning to get mainstream recognition. OMG…that baby face!

Bad Bunny also has an old interview on the site from 2017 (ok…not that long ago) and he looks so different and even sounds so different. It’s so cool to look back on these artists and spot the differences.

Billboard has even put together the ultimate playlist to help commemorate the special week!

Featuring hits from all of this year’s top Billboard Latin Music Award contenders, this playlist is pure fire and will definitely hype you up – which is much needed since we’re all still staying at home amid this major spike in Coronavirus cases.

Remember, the events start today and you can get the full schedule and RSVP here.

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Former Nickelodeon Star Drake Bell Has Rebranded as a Latin Artist and People Are Confused

Entertainment

Former Nickelodeon Star Drake Bell Has Rebranded as a Latin Artist and People Are Confused

Photo by John Sciulli/WireImage

When you think of successful Latin music artists, the name “Drake Bell” probably doesn’t come to mind. In fact, the name “Drake Bell” probably doesn’t come to mind when you think of any musician–the man hasn’t been on the radar much since his Nickelodeon went off the airwaves in 2007. But recently, the former teen star has been making headlines for his unexpected career pivot.

Fans were confused when Drake Bell posted a video to Instagram advertising his services on the celebrity “shout out” app, Cameo on Saturday. While the message was run-of-the-mill (find me on Cameo! Pay me money!), the content was what was surprising: Bell relayed the message in both English and Spanish. A deeper dive into Bell’s social media history quickly explained the perplexing post.

Last November, Bell announced on his Twitter page that he would only be posting in Spanish on his social media pages from that point forward.

Shortly after, he changed his profile name from “Drake Bell” to “Drake Campana” (get it?). He also reps a Mexican flag next to his name.

As of now, Bell has released a dual Spanish-English language album called “Sesiones En Casa” with songs named “Fuego Lento” and “La Camisa Negra”. According to Spotify statistics, Bell’s strategy seems to be working. Out of the dozens of songs he’s released over the year, two of Bell’s Top Five streamed Spotify songs are Spanish-language ones.

It seems that Drake “Campana” Bell is truly committing to becoming a full-time Latin pop star.

Bell described his decision in a July interview with Esquire Mexico. ““I wanted to do something with Latin rhythms for my fans in Mexico,” he said. “I wanted to do something like what I have heard on my tours and visits to Mexico. I love writing in Spanish, it is a beautiful language.”

He explained that his love of Mexican culture comes from growing up in Southern California, which is geographically close to the Mexican border. Growing up near Mexico made him “fall in love” with the culture. He also posted a picture to Instagram of his own Mexican ID with a Mexican address, suggesting that he’s made the country his new home.

Photo: drakebell/Instagram

Some fans are skeptical of the timing of Bell’s image re-brand.

Earlier this year, Bell’s ex-girlfriend, Jimi Ono, took to TikTok to accuse the singer of abusing her while they were together from 2006 to 2009. Ono outlined the accusations in a disturbing TikTok video.

@jimiono

This is my truth. I hope this message reaches young girls, and that no one has to go through what I did. #2020survivor

♬ original sound – Jimi Ono

“When I started dating Drake, I was 16. I was homeschooled. I moved in with him,” Ono said. “It wasn’t until about a year when the verbal abuse started, and when I say ‘verbal abuse,’ imagine the worst type of verbal abuse you could ever imagine, and that was what I got. It then turned to physical–hitting, throwing, everything.”

Bell publicly denied the accusations, calling them a “misguided quest for more money or attention”. Other observers have noted that Bell began his re-brand about a year ago while Ono’s accusations become public just a few months ago. So, it seems like Bell’s decision to focus on his Mexican fans had been in the works for a while.

It’s likely we’ll never know the true reasons behind Bell’s decision to become a Latin artist, but it’s most plausible that his sales were simply doing better in Mexico. And if his re-brand was simply a stunt for more attention, well…it’s working.

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Reggaetón Won Big At This Year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards And These Two Artists Took Center Stage

Entertainment

Reggaetón Won Big At This Year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards And These Two Artists Took Center Stage

Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images

The 2020 Billboard Latin Music Awards have finally come and gone after being postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. So many of us were anticipating the night asa chance to escape from all the worldwide drama – even if only for one night. And the awards show definitely delivered.

Going into the night, Bad Bunny and Ozuna were expected to win big with 14 nominations each including Artist of the Year. But it was Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee who went home with seven awards each. And when the awards weren’t being handed out, Pitbull, Paulina Rubio and Ozuna, along with many others artists, delivered stunning performances.

Much of the show’s success is owed to Venezuelan actress Gaby Espino who served as the show’s host with help from Nicaraguan co-host Nastassja Bolivar.

Reggaetón artists stole the show at this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards and we couldn’t be more proud.

Although reggaetón artists were expected to win big this year, many were still surprised at just how well some of the biggest artists ended up doing. Both Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee triumphed with seven trophies each at last night’s Billboard Latin Music Awards.

Of course, the night was about celebrating all the incredible music these artists have brought us this year – perhaps a git more important than ever as we all struggle amid a pandemic and other global issues. But so many artists shined a light on front-line workers, victims of Covid-19 and violence against women – it was a very powerful evening.

One of the first groups to speak out was Wisin y Yandel. The duo sent a powerful message through their acceptance speech, with Yandel ending it with a resounding “no more abuse against women.” Wisin urged Latinos to get out and vote on Nov. 3 with his second message. “Go out and vote because we’re voting for our future. And vote for that person that will actually care about our community.”

And to top it all off, Maluma accepted the Billboard Spirit of Hope Award, in honor of his foundation, El Arte de los Sueños, which protects youth in pursuit of their dreams.

Bad Bunny is our reigning Artist of the Year.

After last night’s award ceremony, we have a new reigning Top Artist of the Year in Bad Bunny. Although the reggaetónero didn’t attend the award ceremony, he was definitely a highlight of the night.

San Benito took home seven awards (from his 14 nominations) including the top honor, as well as top Latin Album for “X 100PRE” and Songwriter of the Year.

Daddy Yankee, Karol G and several other top artists won big as well.

Daddy Yankee won six of his awards for his hit “Con Calma,” which featured the 1990s artist Snow. His honors included the hot Latin song “Aware.” During his acceptance speech, he acknowledged these have been tough times and dedicated his award to those who have lost their loved ones due to COVID-19.

“These have been challenging times and I want to share this award with those who have been perseverant and those who have lost a loved one. Music continues to be the best medicine,” he said.

Karol G also won big with prizes for Top Latin Albums Artist of the Year, Female, and Hot Latin Songs Artist of the Year, Female.

Ozuna gave us two incredible live performances.

About an hour into the show, Ozuna and the Black Eyed Peas heated up the stage with their smash hit “Mamacita.” Practicing social distancing, Ozuna sang from one stage while Taboo, apl.de.ap and J. Rey Soul danced away to the catchy tune and will.i.am was in another stage delivering the catchy hook “Mamacita, Mamacita, que bonita.”

In his second performance of the night, Ozuna returned to the stage for an intimate performance of “Gracias.” Surrounded by candles and dressed in angelic white, a thankful Ozuna slowed things down for this stripped-down acoustic track. Making the performance even more special and personal, the superstar’s kids joined him onstage. By far one of the most beautiful performances of the night. “Let’s take care of our families,” Ozuna said. “Let’s take care of women. There are too many femicides around the world and they are the ones who gave us life.”

Another standout moment was the special tribute in honor of Mexican singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero.

Artists Pablo Alborán, Luis Fonsi, Jesús Navarro (Reik) and Joy (Jesse & Joy) sang a medley of Manzanero classics including “Contigo Aprendí” and “No Sé Tu.”

“I have no words to express what my heart is feeling right now after singing with this new generation of artists that is so grand, strong and talented in a special stage like this one,” Manzanero said following his performance.

Meanwhile, the ear worm “Despacito” was named Song of the Decade.

It seems we can’t escape this 2017 hit featuring Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee. We won’t mention the other version that also had an appearance by Justin Bieber – although I guess I just did.

But it was inducted into Billboard Latin Music history as it took home the evenings Song of the Decade award – marking another win for Daddy Yankee.

Did you watch the awards show? What did you think?

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