Bad Bunny and Daddy Yankee each claimed seven wins Wednesday night at the pandemic-delayed Billboard Latin Music Awards.
Bad Bunny won artist of the year, the night’s top honor, as well as top Latin album for “X 100PRE” and songwriter of the year. He did not attend the ceremony.
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, and song of the year honors for streaming and airplay and digital platforms.
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The reggaeton star dedicated the first of his awards to those who had lost loved ones due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. “Music remains medicine,” he said.
Actress Gaby Espino hosted the ceremony, which aired live on Telemundo from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. The event had a red carpet, but no audience.
Mexican romance singer-songwriter Armando Manzanero received a Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony. Enrique Iglesias was honored as Billboard’s Top Latin Artist of All Time.
Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee were also recognized for “Despacito,” which was named song of the decade.
The ceremony, rescheduled from April to October, took place in-person at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. It featured a limited audience, but had most of the trappings of a pre-pandemic awards show including a red carpet and live performances.
Billboard and NBCUniversal, Telemundo’s parent company, said they put a number of safety measures in place to mitigate risk of performers and crew members contracting COVID-19.
Five stages were constructed: a central stage for Espino and four outlying stages for performers, which allowed sets to be sanitized between acts and helped facilitate social distancing.
“It’s certainly unprecedented for us,” Jeff Mayzurk, Telemundo’s executive vice president of operations and technology, told USA TODAY. “It’s almost like producing four separate shows.”
Contributing: Gary Dinges and Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY; the Associated Press