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Latin Billboard Award, back?

Una nueva fecha tentativa.

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Just as the country is on the road to recovering economic activity, the music industry is on the task of resuming the important dates that were cancelled in the wake of the pandemic.

According to EFE, Telemundo's production department is seeking to reschedule the Billboard Latino Awards for Oct. 21 of this year, although the date is tentative and has yet to be confirmed.

However, last week an email arrived to the guests' advertisers and managers asking them to save the date.

The Latin Billboard Awards are the oldest in the history of the Latin music industry. The first award, in 1994, recognized the Fantasmas del Caribe as artist of the year. Over the next 25 years, artists who made a mark on the industry were recognized, from Selena to Juan Luis Guerra, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Celia Cruz and Ricky Martin.

The Latin Billboard is not only relevant as a media event, but has played a role in building the image of the Latin community in the world through music that was later supported by other awards and events. The Latin Grammy Awards, in contrast, began to be celebrated six years later, in 2000.

Somehow, looking at the list of 1994 Latin Billboard winners here is to see an X-ray of the history of Latin music that has stood out most for its commercial success: from Selena to Bad Bunny.

If it takes place, it will be, on the one hand, a celebration for reggaeton lovers -which by far predominate in the number of nominations- but it would also be an achievement for the cultural industry in its quest to recover the dynamics that make it viable as an economic sector.

Perhaps the advantage this event has is the way it is organized. Unlike the big film festivals -which this year had to go digital through the We Are One Film Festival platform- these great music awards would not have to rethink how to organize a large number of spectators in distances of 2 meters: since its creation, Telemundo has made sure that everyone can see it from their own armchairs.

But the last word on the awards will be given, as it will in every context, by the behaviour of the virus.

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